Many golfers walk up to the tee on a par 3 hole at Los Naranjos Golf Club and breathe a sigh of relief. This usually happens because par 3s are short holes. The distance to the green is manageable in just one shot for most of the players.
Players see a par 3 hole as one to mark down with a low number of their scorecard. Such as a 2 or a 3. This can make pleasant reading in among 5s and 6s from previous holes. However, there is a lot more to a par 3 than simply hitting the ball to the green and making the putt.
When designing golf courses, architects look at par 3 holes as being both an opportunity for the golfer to make a birdie but to also drop shots.
Due to the fact the green is reachable in just one shot, they are often well protected. You will usually find bunkers surrounding greens, be it at the front, back, sides or a combination of the three.
Greens on par 4s and par 5s will also have a bunker in most cases at Los Naranjos GC. However, these tend to be a lot more approachable than those found on par 3 holes.
Water is another hazard which can often be found around a par 3 green. Island holes are becoming more common on modern golf courses and this sees the green surrounded by water. Anything which does not land on the putting surface is more than likely to end up in the water.
That leads to dropped shots. Before you know it, you are playing a shot to the green knowing you are not going to make par.
The greens themselves are often trickier on a par 3 hole than they are for par 4 and par 5s.
The green itself is often smaller and more difficult to hit. You cannot afford to be off target on a par 3 green. This is because the smaller size often means you will be in trouble. The pin positions on par 3 greens are also difficult.
Of all the holes at Los Naranjos course, you can expect to the pin position to be most awkward on a par 3. It could be tucked into one corner of the green or pushed towards the main hazard which surrounds the green. This can leave you in two minds as whether to attack the pin.
In addition, many casual golfers find it more difficult to control the mid to long range irons. Not all par 3s are going to accessible using a pitching wedge or 9 iron. It might require a longer club to get the ball to the green.
These clubs are not as easy to control as the shorter clubs. Furthermore, not as easy to hit as a wood or hybrid club. This can lead to missing the green and on a par 3 hole, that’s very costly.