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.
Taking bronze was the lunar experience that is the 2nd hole on Carne’s Kilmore nine… and then there were two. Splitting hairs would be an understatement, in truth, reverse the order and few could argue but our silver medal went to hole 4 at the magnificent Royal County Down to clear the way for our favourite short hole on the island.
Royal Portrush 16th, 236/202/195 yards
If you read our No. 2 par three entry then you’ll already have guessed which hole fills our No. 1 slot. ‘Calamity Corner’ played an important part in deciding the winner of the 2019 Open Championship – and especially in determining who fell by the wayside with double bogeys.
With the two new holes (7 and 8) it meant that the famous 14th became the famous and devastatingly dangerous 16th. From the back tees you have to take on a chasm that stretches tee to green. You should walk to these tees (or size it up en route to the 8th tee) to experience the full effect. It is a terrifying 236 yards.
From the forward tees the chasm is less in your eye-line but it remains a serious threat as that vacuum of space consumes the right hand side. This is one of the highest points on the Dunluce links so the wind will be strongest as you hit towards a green. Don’t be short, don’t be right, don’t be long… all three options will see you trekking steeply down a dune with a blind shot back up. Your only bail out is front left and left… and even then it’s not easy. The green has subtle slopes but Calamity Corner is not about the green… it’s about putting the fear into your swing as you tee off. Index 6.
What do you think of our completed list?
10. Druids Glen 8th, 166/152/140 yards
9. Lahinch 5th, 154/148/143 yards
8. Co Sligo 4th, 180/164/135 yards
7. Killarney (Mahony’s Point) 18th, 174/167/153 metres
6. Waterville 12th, 200/164/144 yards.
5. Tralee 16th, 199/179/138 yards
4. Portmarnock 15th, 204/190/176 yards
3. Carne (Kilmore) 2nd, 165/147/131 metres
2. Royal County Down 4th, 229/202/159 yards
1.Royal Portrush 16th, 236/202/195 yards