The 10 longest par 3s in the world

Are you good enough - or foolish enough - to attempt golf's longest par 3s from the tips?
Can you carry 272 yards of ocean on one of golf's longest par 3s?

While creating a list of the world's longest par 3s is somewhat silly - how many golfers will actually play from these absurd distances? - we figured it's one of those golf trivia questions that every player wants answered.

We all know par is an arbitrary number. A golf course architect can call a 305-yard hole a "drivable" par 4 or a mind-numbingly-long par 3 depending on how they shape the hole, design the green complex or how they fit the hole within the context of the entire layout.

That said, every golfer wants a chance to make an unbelievable par on a notoriously difficult hole, so these certainly apply. You'll likely be using driver on almost all of them unless you move up a tee box or three. Consider yourself warned.

What's interesting about our list of the world's longest par 3s is that one of the most famous, home to one of the most intimidating carries in golf, missed the cut ... by a yard. Legend has it that when Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player teed it up the iconic 272-yard third hole at Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island at the course's grand opening in 1964, Player couldn't make the treacherous carry. He had the excuse of old club technology. What will be yours when you plunk one in the Pacific?

The 10 longest par 3s in golf

  1. 305 yards: 16th hole at Canouan Estate Resort & Villas

    This beast of a par 3 caps the most scenic stretch of holes at the Canouan Estate Resort & Villas in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Holes 11 through 17 are built around Mount Royal's 877-foot peak high with spectacular views of the Grenadines and the Caribbean Sea. Sitting on the top of the ridge, the 16th hole is greatly impacted by the wind.

    What's the longest par 3 you've played? Let us know in the comments below.

  2. 301 yards: 16th hole at the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort
    Pete Dye has pushed golf design to the extreme, evidenced by the 8,000-Dye course at French Lick Resort in Indiana that opened in 2009. Pictured is the par-3 16th hole, which plays 301 yards.

    The longest - and perhaps nastiest - par 3 in American resort/public golf is the 301-yard 16th on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort in southern Indiana. Water, bunkers, mounding - it's all there to swallow your ball. I don't know about you, but I would need some wind and a miracle to reach this green in reg.

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  3. 299 yards: 8th hole at the Dye Canyon course at Promontory Club
    The 8th hole on the Dye Canyon Course at Promontory Club plays 299 yards from the tips.

    At 299 yards, the gold tees are more than 100 yards longer than the black tees (197 yards) on the Dye Canyon Course at Promontory Club, a respected private community in Park City, Utah. The way the tees are angled, golfers must take on the three bunkers on the left to reach a narrow green, while one more lurks on the right.

    The Extreme 19th hole, Legend Golf & Safari, South Africa

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    Extreme 19th at Legend Golf & Safari Resort

    This legendary 400-yard, par-3 hole isn't a part of any course. It's a singular experience I played in 2015 at the Legend Golf & Safari resort outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. Although it's unclear if it's still operational post-pandemic, my foursome rode a helicopter up to a makeshift tee on Hanglip Mountain, where we attempted six shots to drive a green shaped like Africa. The severe elevation drop requires a 260- to 270-yard shot to reach the green. Although I tried it and failed miserably, I definitely recommend visiting the resort if you ever get the chance. With such a favorable exchange rate, this might be the only time you can enjoy golf, a safari, a luxury resort and a helicopter ride all in one memorable vacation. Even if the Extreme 19th isn't available while you're staying, there's also an 8,500-yard Signature Course that's the longest in Africa and the 10-hole Tribute short course featuring replica holes of famous par 3s to play.

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    The 45-minute adventure to hit six shots off a mountain is simply too cool for words. Every golfer should be fortunate enough to experience it. Jason Scott Deegan has more from Limpopo, South Africa.

  4. 291 yards: 3rd hole at Salish Cliffs Golf Club
    A view from tee #3 at Salish Cliffs Golf Club.

    Much like Mauna Kea, Salish Cliffs Golf Club in Shelton, Wa., south of Tacoma, doesn't give golfers much time before unveiling its very long par 3 on the third hole. This green protrudes from a mountain shelf. While it plays downhill, it's still an intimidating shot because there's really nowhere to miss. If you're not on the green, the two bunkers are your best option.

  5. 288 yards: 8th hole at Oakmont Country Club
    The par-3 8th hole at Oakmont Country Club plays 288 yards from the tips.

    The longest par 3 in major championship golf gave up just 24 birdies over four rounds at the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa. Thankfully for members, a flat green does accept running shots for those who can thread their tee shots between the bunkers.

  6. 286 yards: 16th hole at The Reserve at Moonlight Basin

    At 7,500 feet of elevation, golfers playing the Reserve at Moonlight Basin in Big Sky, Mont., can probably take at least 10 percent off of the distance to hit the proper shot. That's still a heck of a poke to carry the front bunker and hold a green that slopes away from the tee in back. Jack Nicklaus made Moonlight Basin beautiful, but it sure is hard except if you're Phil Mickelson or Bryson Dechambeau, who paired in The Match with Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers in 2021. Although a very exclusive private club, golfers can play the 8,000-yard course by staying in rental properties ranging from a two-bedroom "cabin" to a six-bedroom lodge.

  7. 285 yards: 11th hole at Royal Isabela

    Royal Isabela is a gorgeous Puerto Rican golf resort and community well away from the hustle and bustle of San Juan. Its golf course roams the cliffs and has been called the "Pebble Beach of the Caribbean", although several courses in the Dominican Republic might be even more scenic. No. 11 named 'Guaraguao' (Hawk) requires a carry over a natural lake to a narrow green that's 65 yards deep. Side and rear catch bunkers might actually save your ball from worse fates.

  8. 284 yards: 16th hole at the Norman Course at Red Sky Golf Club

    Between the high-flying altitude of the Vail Valley and the downhill approach, the 16th hole on the Norman Course at Red Sky Golf Club in Wolcott, Colo., can probably be reached by most players without using driver. Although a private 36-hole club, Red Sky offers public access alternating daily between its two courses for guests who stay at any of 36 different partner hotels and properties in the area.

  9. 281 yards: 12th hole at Cedar Rapids Country Club

    In Iowa, the country's midsection, Donald Ross built this tricky, elevated green complex with no bunkers into a mound that shares another green in back. Was his original intent that players hit driver? Reaching the elevated green is difficult for most, even from the 222 yards 'back' tees. The Cedar Rapids Country Club website notes that "Carry distance and satisfaction with par is the name of the game on No. 12."

  10. 273 yards: 15th hole at the Palmer Course at Speidel Golf Club
    That Speidel's Palmer Course's 15th hole plays uphill just adds insult to injury. Luckily, there's some room to miss.

    Speidel Golf Club is the main golf facility for Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia. Its Arnold Palmer course is a scenic, spread-out ride through the foothills. One might think that its mammoth penultimate par 3 would at least feature a huge vertical drop to make it play a little shorter, but no - it actually plays slightly uphill. Luckily, there's a bit of room to miss the green, which is guarded by a long bunker left.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,100 courses and written about golf destinations in 25 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

Your article sets the right tone by describing these par-3’s as being "mind-numbing”–and so all is a matter of perspective here.

Intriguing holes they are, but I am not among the 4% of golfers capable of swatting 300 yard drives; about 250 is a good clout for me. I might need wind at my back on many of these top ten–something on the order of a hurricane–though I don’t often play in such conditions.

Setting foot on these par-3s might be of help in determining how close (or far) the putting surfaces really play from the tees. I like my chances on a few of the downhill holes pictured, but even on these it looks like obstacles may be spoilers. Fast turf conditions, maybe? It seems that pitching for an up-and-down par would be the most realistic outcome.

My longest par-3 in recent memory: CedarKnob Golf Club, Somers, CT; hole 5, 248 yards; flat terrain. I’ve driven it each time in three plays, but it still has some tricky greenside traps. Beginner's luck.

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The 10 longest par 3s in the world