Some golfers see par 3s as a challenge they must face a few times each round, however, I see par 3s as an opportunity for golfers to make a lower number than usual while maintaining or improving the momentum of a good round. Capitalizing on the opportunity presented on par 3s is the focus of this article — lets take a look at three reasons par 3s should be your favorite scoring holes and three ways to play them more effectively.

Three Reasons to LOVE Par 3s

  1. Par 3s are amongst the shortest holes on the course; data analysis tells us that golfers stand a better chance to score well when they are closer to the hole.
  2. You don’t have to hit driver. Most golfers I teach at GolfTEC tell me during the first lesson that they struggle hitting their driver consistently. Par 3s offer a chance to keep the driver in the bag and use a much shorter, more controllable club off the tee.
  3. You get to hit from a perfect lie. Since you are allowed to use a tee on a par 3 tee shot, you have the ability to make the lie as perfect as you see fit. Whether you prefer to play the ball sitting up a little higher or hit it from the short-cut tee box, the choice is yours. Par 3 tee shots give you the opportunity to play the ball from the lie you are most comfortable with.

Three Ways to Play Par 3s Effectively

  1. Know your club. From the tee box, par 3s are typically measured exactly to the center of the green. Knowing this distance, you have the opportunity to use the club that you know will get you there – but you must know how far that club goes! Make sure to spend time determining how far you truly hit each of your clubs to give yourself the best chance at playing the proper distance on every par 3.
  2. Aim at the most open part of the green. Par 3 greens only defend themselves with hazards that are either in front of or to the side of the green. To prevent making a high number on a short hole, aiming for the most open part of the green will take the hazards out of play and give you the greatest chance of making a 3.
  3. “Ignore” the flag stick. Similar to the advice above, play to a spot on the green that gives you the best chance to avoid the hazards. Going “pin hunting” is an effective way to score if your swing is on, however if it’s not, let the pin go and try to make birdie by sinking a long putt instead. The last thing you want on a par 3 is to miss-hit a shot and leave yourself a difficult up and down attempt to save par.

If you can follow the advice above and stick to your game plan, you can play par 3s much better more frequently and write down some lower scores!

For additional ways to improve your game on par 3s and throughout your round, talk to a GolfTEC Certified Personal Coach today.

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Featured Photo: Wine Valley Golf Club #14. Walla Walla, WA


  1. Only a small handful of professionals will play the par 3’s for a whole season under par the scoring comes from playing the par 5’s while being close to the hole not the par 3’s. The par 3’s are where the pros loose shots not gain them, good advise however on playing the par 3’s effectively.


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