I cannot ever remember seeing a PGA championship course with a par-3 18th hole.

For sake of discussion, let's limit to courses that have been the site of a Major Championship or WGC championship since 1960. Does anyone know of one with a par-3 18th hole?

I am asking this a part of a reference for a question on Game Development regarding the distinction between skill and luck in various games (and by extension sports).

  • FYI: WGC has been in existence since 1999.
    – user527
    Sep 1, 2013 at 2:12
  • 1
    I appreciate the background, but what is your reasoning behind how skill/luck relates to the par of the final hole of a golf course?
    – user527
    Sep 1, 2013 at 2:14
  • @edmastermind29: In this case, the impression of skill/luck in the public's eye. The watching public, particularly on TV, wants last-hole drama and that generally plays better on longer holes. (Though East Lake's 18th is a par 3, it is near the limits of the yardage for that par.) But it is really a bit of an aside in regards to (a discussion on) the luck/skill element for holes-in-one scored by top players. Sep 1, 2013 at 2:57
  • I would agree with that. I would also include factors on a final hole to add to drama, such as water hazards, needing a birdie to tie/win, being out of position, etc. The 72nd hole at the 2008 US Open is as dramatic as it ever gets. As far as skill/luck, any shot outside of 60 yards have a similarly slim chance of going in, but to hit a club for the approximate yardage (let alone wind, conditions of greens, spin, etc.) to give yourself a chance to make the shot is skill.
    – user527
    Sep 1, 2013 at 3:04
  • @edmastermind29: Certainly it takes considerable skill to place the ball close. However, in regards to a Par 3 where the location of tee box and pin placement are well controlled, few tour pros ever aim for the pin on most par 3's. The shape the ball to give themselves a putt for birdie, while minimizing the risk of bogie. Sergio amply demonstrated earlier this summer the foolishness of aiming directly at a difficult pin placement. Sep 1, 2013 at 3:09

3 Answers 3


The Tour Championship, final event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, has been held at East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia since 2004.

It currently plays as a par 72 course and the 18th hole is a long par 3:

image of 18th hole
Image source

At anywhere between 220 to 245 yards, the final hole is a stout par-3 that will give players in the Tour Championship fits even if they don't have to pull a head cover off a club for the tee shot. Thought it's not the standard length — or par, for that matter — for the final hole of a golf course, East Lake's closer, with deep bunkers guarding both sides of a slick, firm, two-tiered green, is as difficult as it is distinctive.

Source: USA Today, 2010


1997 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club

During the 1995 U.S. Senior Open, it was decided to use the existing par-three 18th for the time, but it was played out of order as the 10th. However, this proved to be logistically difficult, as there was a rather long walk around the lake to get from the 9th green to the 10th tee, followed by another as the players had to double back to get to the 11th tee following completion of the 10th. The USGA broke with tradition for the 1997 U.S. Open, and played the entire Blue Course in its original order and finished with the par-3 18th, which was the first time in history that the tournament had finished on a par-three. [My emphasis.]

The USGA was unsatisfied with their experiment, as most of the drama surrounding the 1997 Open had been decided at the 17th hole. With the creation of the new tour event in 2007 as well as the upcoming 2011 U.S. Open, it was decided to solve the problem once and for all. The club voted to permanently reverse the direction of the 18th hole, and Rees Jones was brought in to design a new par-3, which now plays in the opposite direction to the old 18th. The new hole now plays as the 10th, with the rest of the routing shifted so that the original par-four 17th hole now plays as the permanent 18th. A long walk from the new 10th green to the 11th tee remains, but not nearly as far as the old configuration.

Wikipedia: Congressional Country Club

  • This is also the current site of the AT&T National.
    – user527
    Sep 1, 2013 at 2:05
  • @edmastermind29 I suppose that the AT&T National is "the new tour event in 2007" referred to in the answer, meaning that no AT&T National at Congressional did have a par-3 18th.
    – user1564
    Sep 1, 2013 at 10:37
  • Correct. Just thought I'd mention that this golf course is being used for a regular season tour event (2007-2009, 2012-present; was also the site of the 2011 US Open -- the 18th was not a par-3).
    – user527
    Sep 1, 2013 at 16:20

Greenbrier, old white tpc ends with a par 3. Hosted ryder cup.


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