Courses: A look at the par 3’s at the historic Royal Dornoch

Image courtesy of Royal Dornoch’s Twitter account.

Here at the GP Golf Report, I always love to talk about the shorter courses and holes. In this particular story, I wanted to highlight the par-3’s at what is arguably one of the 10 greatest golf courses on earth; Royal Dornoch.

It is one of the oldest courses in the world, being designed in 1616. It is also the home course the great Donald Ross, who doesn’t need an introduction. The mind behind Pinehurst.

Tom Watson, who is arguably the greatest links course player we’ll ever see, famously said the Dornoch was “the most fun he had ever had playing golf”. Not bad hearing that from a five-time Open Championship winner.

One of the great things about links golf is that there is so much history beneath your feet. Dornoch’s grounds are so historic that you’d think you traveled through a time machine.

Par-3’s are always looked at as the most challenging and picturesque holes, and Dornoch has some of the best in the world. One of the cool aspects of Dornoch is its routing, with a long par 3 as the second hole. For this story, we’ll take a look at each of Dornoch’s amazing shorties as we celebrate the world of small golf.

Hole 2, 184 yards:

The second has a beautifully shaped green with two bunkers on the front of it. To avoid the sand, it’s best to aim for the backside of the green, but since Dornoch is a links course, it’s easy for the ball to bounce passed the green.

In this case, it’s better to be in the rough than in the bunker. At the worst, you can hit your chip from the thick stuff and save par. All in all, it’s a terrific par-3 to start your round with.

Hole 6, 161 yards:

The second par-3 at Royal Dornoch is easily one of the best on the entire course. Three bunkers guard the left side of the bean-shaped green, while another blocks the front.

The goal here is to aim to the right side of the green, as there are no bunkers, and there’s no room on the green. However, if you missed too far to the right, you can kiss your ball goodbye, as it will end up down the slope. This will leave you with a tricky second shot.

Don’t be afraid to take aim at the flag. Just make sure you club enough to get past that pesky frontside bunker. The strategy of this hole is why it’s so great.

As the yardage book states: “Choose your club carefully and think of the choices you’ve made in life! You have to live with the consequences!!“. Well said.

Hole 10, 174 yards:

The string of amazing par-3’s continues on Royal Dornoch’s back nine. Club choice and power is critical on this hole that features a smaller green than the previous short holes.

You have an army of bunkers guarding the front of the green. This is why it’s important to choose the proper club, so you can hit over the bunkers without overshooting the green.

Aiming more towards the right may be the best bet here, as you avoid the three bunkers that are slightly on the left side. Although you still have two bunkers guarding the front right side, it still may be a safer bet. Another great par-3 at Royal Dornoch.

Hole 13, 180 yards:

This may arguably be the toughest par-3 on the golf course. With bunkers in practically every direction, this hole is all about pure accuracy. It’s a great representation of what the par-3 is all about. Accuracy.

Since this is one of the many Dornoch holes that wants to flex its muscles, you may have to flex yours. Your best bet is aiming towards the back of the green, so clubbing up or put a little extra juice on your current club may be the best option.

Otherwise, all of those front side bunkers will be making dinner out of your golf ball. There are a couple of bunkers on the back right side, but they aren’t as troubling as the front beaches.

Grab your sword and get ready to go to war. This is the most deadly boss battle you’ll face at Royal Dornoch when it comes to par-3s.

So there you have it! A close look at all of the par-3s at one of the world’s truly elite and historic tracks.

Par-3s continue to be the best holes in the world. They’re simple, while also challenging, they’re beautiful, and they have amazing design qualities. Royal Dornoch has 18 terrific holes, but the par-3s are definitely a treat and it’s awesome that we can talk about these little beauties to celebrate the joys of the short hole.

Have you played Royal Dornoch? Tell me about it! What are some of your favorite par-3 holes in the world? Hit me up on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio and be sure to follow the GP Golf Report on Twitter as well, @GPGolfReport!


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