Not too many courses conclude with a short hole, but these five exciting exceptions each provide a fitting finale
5 Of The Best Closing Par 3s
This James Braid links hugging the north-east coast of Scotland is one of the most rugged and natural in the UK, with precious little changing since the great man was drafted in to make some changes in the 1920s. The finale (pictured above) is a 201-yarder across a valley into which anything short may well trundle back. The green also slopes away at the rear, but that troubles relatively few golfers other than when the wind is at their backs.
This excellent heathland test in South Yorkshire has gorse-lined fairways and a rich history. The initial nine holes were designed by Old Tom Morris, following which several leading architects were involved. More recently, it came to light that the final hole is one of a handful designed by Alister MacKenzie. The bunkering was revamped in 2016 by Ken Moodie and it serves as a very appropriate finish.
Killarney – Mahony’s Point
Although Killarney is better known for its Killeen course, the accompanying Mahony’s Point is not that much shorter and also has some spectacular holes. The closing three in particular are superb, and the final hole is not only the prettiest on site but one of the most attractive in Ireland. With Lough Leane hugging the right side, four bunkers to the left and pine framing the putting surface, it’s worth the green fee on its own.
One of the most extreme courses on the British mainland in terms of location and access is this fabulous nine-holer on the far north-western coast of Scotland. Its lunar landscape setting is truly other-worldly and while the par-5 6th is glorious with a green bordering Loch Lanlish, it is the closing hole along the clifftop that will have the camera working overtime. Played over a rocky inlet to a well-protected green, it’s a thriller.
The Arden course has hosted the European Tour on several occasions and is doing so again this summer with the welcome return of the English Open. In any such tournament, there is nothing to beat a thrilling finish, and the tough par-3 closing hole across a lake fits the bill perfectly. It stretches to 211 yards from the championship tee and is protected by sand on either side.
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