Scottsdale's Top Par 3s
It’s the only hole that offers every golfer a shot at a hole-in-one and instant immortality. On any par 3, one good swing, or one very lucky bounce, can be cause for instant celebration and offer lasting bragging rights. Every golf course in the Scottsdale area serves up at least three chances for this triumphant feat every round. Here are nine of the more memorable ones:
The 16th hole may the most famous par 3 in town – and the loudest when it’s surrounded by 20,000 fans every February at the Waste Management Phoenix Open – but it’s not the best of its kind on the course. That would the 12th, with bunkers left of the green and water behind and to the right of it.
This hole’s tee area, complete with a swinging bridge leading to the back portion, is pretty cool. But it’s a box canyon that stretches from there to the front of the green that provides the challenge. And there’s a two-tiered green bordered by some deep bunkers. Good luck.
Stretching a mighty 255 yards from the tips, this beauty (fortunately) plays all downhill. Enjoy the panoramic view, but also take advantage of a contoured fairway that slopes left toward the green, enabling low running shots to [usually!] work out well.
Called “McDowell Vista,” the entrance to the green on this uphill hole is guarded by a substantial bunker, while the rest of the green is framed by boulders on the left and a tall saguaro on the front right.
As if a 90-foot drop isn’t enough to contend with, especially from the 212-yard back tee, a pond right in front of the green also awaits your ball. Just landing your tee shot on this green is worth celebrating.
They call this hole “Aces and 8s.” It’s either feast – hence the ace – or famine, which could mean an infamous Snowman on your scorecard. A large, sloping mound on the left side of the green can both help and hurt your tee shot, depending on the day’s hole location.
Naturally an 18-hole, par 3 course makes this list. But an unforgettable backdrop – in the form of Camelback Mountain looming above in the distance – and a Punchbowl-style green, surrounded and partially obscured by mounds, make this short (100-yard) hole a memorable one.
It’s not so much the greatness of the hole as the improbability of what’s lurking very near and above you on the tee box: Rosie’s Rock, a massive remnant boulder from centuries gone by. At the very least it will take your mind off the tee shot, if only briefly.
Some of the region’s most spectacular par 3s are part of this Ken Kavanagh-designed layout. But the fifth hole on this course is vertigo-inducing: it drops more than 200 feet from tee to green.