The Par 3 Issue: 10 Reasons to buy the new issue of Today's Golfer
A note from the editor
It's no coincidence that many of the most famous golf holes in the world are par 3s. From the 17th at Sawgrass to the 12th at Augusta, the 8th at Royal Troon to the 7th at Pebble Beach, short holes capture a golfer's heart like no other. There are many reasons, but they include...
• Every time you step on the tee, there's that glimmer of hope that you could achieve golf's holy grail (despite the fact the odds of you actually making an ace are 12,500 to one)
• Par 3s are often among a course's "signature" holes. Raised tees, sunken greens, water hazards, cavernous bunkers, treacherous green complexes... Course designers often push the boat out on the par 3s, so making a three feels all the sweeter
• Making a three (or better) requires skill. It's not just a matter of bashing a driver and hoping for the best; you need to hit an accurate iron or hybrid the right distance; you need to get up and down; you need to hole a decent putt. You can't wing it on a par 3...
• Par 3s should be straightforward. For a start you can tee it up; often you're only hitting a mid or short iron; they normally come a few holes into a round, so you're warmed up; and usually the hazards are all right there in front of you.
Yet, as we all know, par 3s are anything but easy. In fact, the stats from hundreds of thousands of rounds tracked by Arccos reveal that the average par 3 score for a UK golfer is 3.81; in that common club golfer handicap range of 13-20, it's 4.01. That's why we've pulled together this special par 3 issue, which is packed with advice to help you get more threes on your card. We've also compiled our first ever Top 50 ranking of par 3s in Britain and Ireland – each one of them is amazing – plus some of the UK's top course designers reveal what makes par 3s so special for them.
Editor, Chris Jones
The best Par 3's in the Britain in Ireland
Every golfer loves a par 3. The short holes offer welcome respite from having to hit it miles – and dead straight –in ultra-demanding par 4s and 5s. They may be small in yardage terms, but the par 3s play a huge part in any course design. Some of the most famous holes in the game are par 3s – the 12th at Augusta, the 7th at Pebble Beach, the 8th at Royal Troon, the 9th at Trump Turnberry, the 17th at TPC Sawgrass...
Britain and Ireland are blessed with thousands of par 3s, and many of them are sensational. That's why, for the first time, we've ranked the Top 50, in close consultation with leading golf writers and several top course architects, including Martin Ebert (Mackenzie & Ebert), Robin Hiseman (European Golf Design) and Jonathan Gaunt (Gaunt Golf Design).
The Par 3 Special
• Par 3 Intstruction: Discover the preparation, strategy and skills that will take your Par 3 performance to the next level
• What makes a great Par 3: Four of our top course designers share the secret –and reveal their personal favourite short holes...
• The Little Bad Nine: We played the World's trickiest Par 3 Course. It's so tough, the man who owns it will give you $1,000 if you break par when the pins are tucked away
Equipment: Gear Tests & New Gear
• Which wedge will work for you? We've put eight of the very latest models to the test
• Five forged irons tested: Our verdicts on the latest models from Mizuno, Callaway and TaylorMade
• New Gear: PXG's new 0311 ST irons are ultra-premium 100% milled at almost £700 a pop, while Cleveland's new Launcher HB Turbo driver is for players who don't need adjustability
• Insulating tops: The cooler golfing days are here again... but you won't even notice with one of these
FREE: 68-Page Travel Magazine
Whether you're seeking winter sun or looking to take advantage of winter rates closer to home, we've got your next golf trip covered!
Inside: The best of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Spain Portugal, Turkey, Morocco, Czech Republic, Egypt, Austria, Oman, Hungary & more...
Lee Westwood: 25 years on Tour
After 25 years at the game's top table, Lee Westwood has adopted a new relaxed approach. Here the englishman explains the reasons behind the change, golf's future and reveals his one remaining goal.
Slow Play Special
Golf has long been considered a gentleman's game. The kind which values integrity above anything else. Break a rule and your reputation and score is on the chopping block. Everyone knows it, which is why we all work so hard to prevent it. It's just a shame the same rules don't apply to pace of play.
What you need to know about the European Tour's updated pace of play policy, and how the PGA Tour are handling the same issue.
My Life in Golf: Sir Clive Woodward
World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward on his round of a lifetime, England's hopes in Japan and using his expertise to improve golfers.
A quick 18 and the Golf Test
• A Quick 18: European Tour winner Jordan Smith talks morning rituals, his bag bromance with fellow european tour star Laurie Canter, and hitting golf balls into people's gardens at wentworth...
• The Golf Test: Just how like you are the world's best golfers? On the tee this month...nine-time PGA Tour winner and Olympic bronze medallist Matt Kuchar
Andrew Cotter: Column
'Take a moment to celebrate the joys of matchplay': The recent Walker and Solheim Cups have reinvigorated my joy for this format says Andrew Cotter in his latest column for TG.
• At TG we've known for some time that some of the best mail order balls o er tour-level performance for half the price of the market leader. And our thinking was backed up by the performance of Snell's MTB-X ball within our recent robot ball test. So we've teamed up with Snell to offer four lucky TG readers the opportunity to win six dozen Snell MTB-X balls
• This month Today's Golfer has teamed up with Verdura Resort to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a fantastic five-star golf holiday for two to Sicily.