Ireland’s Top 10 Par Threes

Kevin Markham

A tee to green view of the 2nd hole on Carne's Kilmore course, by Kevin Markham

Kevin Markham

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Ireland has a vast range of amazing short holes… from ocean drama to hilltop happiness to the terrors in the trees. We can all make birdies… we can all make double bogeys but whatever our score, we all love a great par three.

Picking a top ten is unbelievably tough, mainly because of the amazing holes that have to be left out. We started at number 10 on Tuesday – the 8th hole at Druids Glen – followed by number 9 – the famous ‘Dell’ hole, the 5th at Lahinch – followed by number 8, the first of a great collection of par threes, hole 4 at Co Sligo – at number 7 we chose the superb finishing hole at Killarney – 18 on Mahony’s Point while coming in at 6 was one for the worshippers, the 12th aptly named ‘Mass Hole’ at Waterville.

On Monday we entered the top 5 ahead of Friday’s reveal of our favourite short hole on the island of Ireland. At number 5 sat a hole capable of causing devastation, Shipwreck, the 16th obstacle at Tralee followed by a hole many of you had been calling out for, the 15th at Portmarnock.

Now we enter the podium places though the bronze medallist may come as a surprise?


Carne (Kilmore) 2nd, 165/147/131 metres

Of this entire top 10, this is the hole you are least likely to have played. It is on Carne’s ‘new’ nine which has had limited play since it opened in 2013. That is changing this year as the club introduces a composite 18 (combined with the Hackett’s course back nine).

There are so many good par threes at Carne (14 and 16 on Hackett, and 7 on the Kilmore) but this is one of those holes you’ll play and then want to walk straight back to the tee and play again. It’s a high tee in the dunes, tucked away on its own, playing to a green below that is wedged between two more heaving dunes that tower over the putting surface. It feels almost lunar. The completely natural green has sharp and unpredictable slopes but it is the blow-out bunker that rises almost to the top of the right hand dune that proves even more impressive… and you only get a hint of it on the tee shot. A mystical, magical hole.

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2 responses to “Ireland’s Top 10 Par Threes”

  1. Barry Reddan avatar
    Barry Reddan

    Hi enjoying looking at your top 10 par three’s. These choices are always a very good ‘hot’discussion point over pint . As a Co. Louth/Baltray member we are renowned for our suite of par threes but particularly our 7 hole.. acclaimed by all the Pros’ during both of our Irish Opens.. Nick Faldo was enthralled by our Links but particularly our par 3s and in particular our 7th.. Has to be in any Top Ten of par 3s.. good fun!??️‍♀️.

  2. Barry Reddan avatar
    Barry Reddan

    Hi This subject always attracts plenty of discussion. As per my comment above and as a member of Co.Louth/Baltray all our par threes are great but particularly our 7th as endorsed by Nick Faldo during the Irish Open in 2003..Has to be included!

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