Golf Blog

The Short Par 4

Without question, my favorite type of hole to see on the score card is the short par 4.  If done correctly, it rewards the sensible and aggressive players while punishing the foolish and poorly struck golf shots.  It gives course designers the ability to get creative with challenging green complexes.  It challenges the player to make a smart decision based on a number of factors.  If your course doesn't have one, you are missing the boat...  The birdie boat to fun golf land.  Here are my top 10 short par 4's in no particular order.

  • The 14th at  Southern Dunes - A drivable option with sand everywhere.  I went for it and found the sand twice and ended up with a round crushing 6.
  • The 4th hole at Pebble Beach - 2 options off the tee.  Driver leaving a short chip or iron leaving a fuller shot.  Most tour players go with an iron, I go with driver.
  • The 14th hole at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge - With great views of Mount Si in the background this short par 4 urges you to hit driver over the wooded abyss to find a tight and challenging green.  Or you can just bail out right and wedge in.  Great fun!
  • The 16th hole at Bandon Dunes -  One of the most photographed holes on the property.  With a strong tail wind usually in play, the player can go for the green.  Although, truly evil bunkers lurk short and the Pacific Ocean on the right.  Awesome!
  • The 4th hole at Spyglass Hill -  Although some players hate it, this is possibly my favorite golf hole in existence.  The more you decide to carry the hazard off the tee, the shorter your second shot will be.  A uniquely designed green complex awaits.  Probably the skinniest green in the world.
  • The 12th hole at Chambers Bay - Featured prominently at the US Open, the 12th is a very real chance to make an easy eagle by driving the green.  The green offers all sorts of unique putts if you don't put it in the right space.
  • The 2nd hole at Gamble Sands - Probably the best scoring chance on the list, offering a beautiful view and only a 3 wood into the green it's a real chance for the double eagle!!  My buddy John thought he had one here until he find his ball in the bunker over the green.
  • The 6th hole at Desert Willow's Firecliff Course - An iron layup or a driver to a well protected green?  A well designed option on my favorite course in the Palm Springs area.
  • The 10th hole at PGA West -  Pete Dye continues to keep the water in play here requiring a solid iron and a wedge to this scenic back nine opener.
  • The 7th hole at Wolf Creek -  Only an idiot would hit driver at this green.  Fortunately I hit my driver so poorly I missed all of the obvious trouble and managed a sneaky pitch and putt for a birdie.  A real tough green complex to hit in real life and in the video game.
The 14th at Southern Dunes in Maricopa, AZ, a great short par 4.

The 14th at Southern Dunes in Maricopa, AZ, a great short par 4.

The 10th at PGA West

The 10th at PGA West