Par 3s with severe elevation change

par 3
Jeremy Friedman,
A north Georgia course features this tough par 3 downhill.
By Michael Benzie
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, February 02, 2015 | 1:44 p.m.

A week ago, we asked our Facebook fans to share their experiences playing on the most dramatic elevation changes and asked how they handled the shot. We got some great answers (see below) and more than 200 responses. You can post yours here.

Meanwhile, we asked for advice on these shots from Billy Ore, teaching professional and technology specialist at The Learning Center at PGA Village. He gave three simple tips.

1. One rule of thumb is for every yard of elevation change, up or down, add to or subtract from the distance. 

2. Remember on uphills, you'll get more skip because the angle of the ball coming down will not be as steep. On downhills, it will of course be very steep.

3. Ore suggests trying lower trajectory shots on steep downhills.

Here are some of the most popular comments from readers on steep elevation holes:

  • Alan Toll -- No. 15. Lake Ridge Golf Course in Reno. Close my eyes and hope! 140-foot drop.
  • Shayne Barnes -- Sugarloaf Golf Club Maine. 11th hole. I hit it in the river to the left of the hole.
  • Danny Pates -- No. 14 at Stonehenge, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. Was about 100 feet ... dropped 3 clubs and swung easy. So nerve rattling waiting and waiting and waiting for it to land.
  • Jamesy Law -- I would approach this the same way I approach most shots ... check yardage, choose appropriate club, allow for wind, then hook it 30 yards into the nearest tree.
  • Erik Watson -- The par-3 12th hole at Gatlinburg Community Golf Club is 194 yards long with a 200-foot drop from tee to green. Called “Sky Hi" I have no idea what club to use on this very deceiving hole.
  • Colin Davis -- Gold Canyon Country Club Dinosaur Mountain course. Hole 5 par 3. 210 yds about a 110-foot drop. Solid 7 Iron and aim for middle of green.
  • Bruce Lambert -- Mountain View in Boring, Ore. Signature hole No. 12 will challenge your ability to accurately place your tee shot to this downhill par 3 with an elevation change of 180 feet – “This is a hole that you will never forget”.
  • Chris Wolford -- Apple Mountain in Camino CA. #2 hole from green looking up to tee box. Full swing 60° and hope it doesn't plug in the green! Lol

See all the responses below.


Mike Benzie is director of content of