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Anyone play a course that has a par 3 opener?


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We play a league at Juniper Hills in MA, 2 courses and the Lakeside course has par 3s for both #1 and #18. A buddy of mine used to play there Sunday mornings and they had something like the 2nd or 3rd tee time. I played with him once and early/late in the season you basically start in the dark. Nothing like a 175 yard uphill par 3 in darkness to start a round. The good part is you're done before 10 am!

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On 5/1/2021 at 5:26 PM, tatertot said:

Yes ... 200 from the "regular" tees ... great way to slog up the tee sheet, slow the day down and get everything off schedule right off the bat. Not as bad as reachable par 5s, but close.

 

It will back up the first tee but theoretically should create wide openings between groups further out on the course.  

 

Per Bill Yates an unreachable par five on the first is a worse situation as you front load the course and then the groups will be bogged in subsequent holes.

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I like courses that start and/or end with par 3s as long as you can see the entire hole from the club house deck. 

 

It allows for easy betting. "I got 2:1 on red shirt vs the rest of the group" or "pink shorts hits the green for a buck", or "3 out of 4 of this group miss the green for a buck."

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Yes and no... I've never played a course where #1 was a par 3, but I've played plenty of tournaments at courses where #10 was a par 3 so it was an opening hole for one day.

 

Personally I'm not a fan of it. Then again I'm also not a huge fan of an opening hole where you have to layup off the tee. To me, I think the tee shot on #1 should let you hit driver if you want. 

 

 

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I don't believe so, but my home course #9 and #18 are both uphill par 3's surrounded by bunkers. 18 is especially annoying because from the blues it's usually around 180-195 yards depending on where they put the tees that day, and it plays 15-20 yards longer because of the uphill shot. 

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I've played a course with a few 9 hole tracks and depending on which 2 tracks they give you a par 3 could be your starting hole and possibly your 18th. It was really weird but not a big deal for the type of course it was. 

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On 5/3/2021 at 11:42 AM, Ferguson said:

Camp David.

For some reason I believe this (meaning Ferg has played the "course"), and if it isn't so I don't want to know!

 

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My course #18 is a 200yd par 3 from blue tees, 240yd from tips. A lot of money has been won and lost on this final hole. Not a huge fan of a finishing par 3, but there can be some wild swings in score.

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Yup.  Pine Springs GC just outside of Tyler Texas

#1 from the white tee is 143 yds.  Its an easy hole from the whites.

 

From the Blue its 205.  there are 2 VERY large trees beside the white tee box you have to deal with. For the average golfer, its an insane par 3 to start a round if playing from the blue tees. 

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9 hole course south of Pittsburgh called Frosty Valley starts with a par 3. A course where depending upon the tees you play on the first hole you can literally start on the other side of the tracks. Railroad line runs directly through the course.

 

A long time back and not very far from FV was a course called Maggi's 84 that was at one time a dumpy 9 hole course that started with a short elevated par 3 over a small pond that included a set of small shrubs right in front of the tee box. Eventually evolved into a cramped dumpy 18 hole course that thankfully NLE. Part of that property is now a trailer park. 

 

Another course that NLE, Cherry Creek (Youngwood PA), began it's life as an 18 hole executive course, started with a 150-160 yard par 3. The entire course was reconfigured and that saw the 1st hole become a dog leg right par 4 that chopped the 2nd hole from a decent par 5 to a really dumb par 4. Closed a few years back.

 

On the flip side of those courses there is a true muni course in a town called Greensburg, PA (Mt. Odin) that starts with 3 consecutive par 5's. Last 15 holes are par 3's & 4's. 

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The Shire, just outside London, designed by Seve. Rather nasty par 3 start with water all round. Always tends to be wind into as well!

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On 5/3/2021 at 12:32 PM, smashdn said:

 

It will back up the first tee but theoretically should create wide openings between groups further out on the course.  

 

Per Bill Yates an unreachable par five on the first is a worse situation as you front load the course and then the groups will be bogged in subsequent holes.

I remember an article in a golf magazine many years ago that looked at ways to speed up play. Their research showed that the best sequencing of holes (for pace of play) is indeed to start off with a par 3, followed by a par 5. The 1st par 3 establishes a nice drumbeat while the 2nd par 5 can absorb (in theory) 3 groups (tee, fairway and green). 

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10 hours ago, Flying Dutchman said:

I remember an article in a golf magazine many years ago that looked at ways to speed up play. Their research showed that the best sequencing of holes (for pace of play) is indeed to start off with a par 3, followed by a par 5. The 1st par 3 establishes a nice drumbeat while the 2nd par 5 can absorb (in theory) 3 groups (tee, fairway and green). 

 

If that sort of science outside of the game interests you Bill Yates wrote a book before he passed away titled Out of Time.  He went through the reasons that courses back up and some easy steps that a course could take to improve flow.  He was a big proponent that it isn't really speed of play that golfers complain about, it is when the flow of the round is halted by waiting.

 

Sort of like traffic on the interstate.  If you are moving at 40 mph that is perceived to be better than stop and go though you may actually cover more distance with the stop and go.

 

Yates indicated that the problem with a par five starting hole was that either the starter (or self starting groups when there was no starter) would let people tee off whenever the fairway was clear to hit and not on their actual start time.  You constipated the course on the very first hole.

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Spring Brook CC in Dewitt Iowa opens with a downhill 200 yard par 3.  Number 2 is a 160 yard par 3 over water.  

 

Not many courses open with a par 3, this might be the only one where the first two holes are par 3's.

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I've played hundreds of golf courses and don't recall one having a par 3 opening hole (not including the par 27 par 3 courses).

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My home course starts with a really easy 120 yds Par 3, but is followed with the most difficult and longest Par 5 hole that even the longest hitters do not dare to attack in 2, as the fairway is narrow, there is water all the way and the green is also well protected by water. Take your medicine, hit an iron off the tee and lay up.

 

Quite a contrast.

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I really like par 3 openers and believe it would be a design benefit if more courses utilized them.

 

A moderate difficult par three of around 180-200 yards with a green open in the front presents a really good opening tee shot for players of all abilities and levels of warm up. A poor drive on the hole does not kill you and because of the length, grand misses are kept in check with very few lost balls. Players can use the first to step into their rounds.

 

While it is true that every group would have to wait for the previous group to finish the hole before they can tee off, that will also allow for better spacing between groups and help with pace of play across the course. Especially if the 2nd hole is a long par 4 or long par 5. 

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