How Many Par-3 Holes Are on a Golf Course?

The number of par-3 holes on typical golf courses ranges from two through six, but by far the most common number is four. However, in the end it is up to the golf course designer (and the tournament set-up crew, in the event of a course hosting a tournament) how many par-3 holes are on a golf course.

There is no minimum or maximum number of par-3 holes (or holes of any other par) a golf course is required to have. Most standard golf courses — meaning 18 holes and typical length — are par-70, par-71, par-72 or par-73 overall, with par-72 being most-common. The lengths and challenges and resulting par ratings of the 18 individual holes are determined in the golf-course design process. If the course designer wishes to have a very long golf course, he or she might use fewer par-3 holes and more par-5 holes; if the course is going to be on the shorter side, fewer par-5s/par-4s and more par-3s might be in order.

As stated at the start, though, four par-3 holes is by far the most common number for typical golf courses. But to see how the number can vary, consider these four, famous, public golf courses with overall pars ranging from 70 to 73:

  • The par-73 Plantation Course at Kapalua has three par-3 holes.
  • The par-72 Pebble Beach Golf Links has four par-3 holes.
  • The par-71 Bethpage Black has four par-3 holes.
  • The par-70 Pasatiempo Golf Course has five par-3 holes.
When there is an even number of par-3 holes on a golf course, they will almost always be split evenly between the front nine and back nine. For example, a golf course with four par-3s will usually have two on the front nine and two on the back nine.

Also note that a tournament committee can change the par of a hole when setting up a golf course for tournament play. The USGA often does this for the U.S. Open, to cite the example of one very famous golf tournament. The USGA often takes courses that are par-72 for regular play and turns them into par-70 courses for the U.S. Open. This can be done by taking a shorter par-5 hole and re-labeling it a par-4 for tournament play; or by taking a short par-4 hole, moving the tees up a bit, and playing it as a long par-3 hole.

To summarize: The standard number of par-3 holes on a golf course is four, but there are no requirements that courses contain any set number of par-3s. While four is the most-common number of par-3 holes, golfers might encounter from two to six par-3s on standard, 18-hole, regular-length golf courses.

There are also par-3 courses, which consist entirely of par-3 holes. If a par-3 course is nine holes in length, then it has nine par-3s.

Related articles:

Popular posts from this blog