by Jeff Beaupre, PGA; Golf Pro at The Preserve at Boulder Hills

Given today’s hectic lifestyles, par 3 golf courses are enjoying renewed popularity.  Traditionally, a round of golf consumes about four-and-a-half hours.  The par 3 experience can cut that time to between two-and-a-half and three hours.

But does such efficiency come at a cost?  Does challenge diminish in direct proportion to the shortened time?  My answer is an unequivocal no!  Par three holes in fact stand as the hardest holes on which to make par.  In addition, they promote dramatic improvements in your game by forcing tighter control of flight and distance on approach shots.

Here are some tips on playing par three courses:

  • Always leave your approach below the hole to maximize your chances of a two-putt. If you’re your shot is above the hole or, even worse, over the green, you will be left with the daunting task of getting  up and down in two strokes to a downhill pin.
  • Become a lagg better on your first putt. Lagging is simply an attempt to control distance and stop within a two foot radius of the hole.  Too many players put too much pressure on themselves to make a long putt, with the result being a needlessly challenging putt for par.  The fastest way to bring down your score is to avoid three-putting.  Do not be disappointed to “settle” for a tap-in two putt.
  • Learn how to flop a wedge. If you don’t usually employ a 60 degree wedge around the greens, then you probably will be faced with the task of carrying a bunker or water to a short pin.  A flop shot with a lob wedge allows you to get the ball in the air very quickly and to hit a softer landing, which in turn keeps the ball from running.  A flop shot can also be a huge confidence builder.

Some Common Misconceptions About Par 3 Golf Courses

As the PGA golf pro at The Preserve Sporting Club and Residences in Richmond, Rhode Island, I’m privileged on a daily basis to play on one of the world’s most beautiful, challenging, and truly inspirational 18-hole par three courses.  Preserve members enjoy this same luxury, and I never tire of watching golfers of all skill levels elevate their games on my home course.  If you wish to join them, please visit and, if you’ll excuse the expression, get the ball rolling.