My Greatest Par-3s - by Tony Jacklin

Legend names his favourite short holes exclusively for Golfmagic

Bob Warters's picture
Tue, 7 Sep 2010
My Greatest Par-3s - by Tony Jacklin

Tony Jacklin, the last Briton to win both The Open and US Open championship has been telling me about his favourite par-3 holes in the world. The former Ryder Cup captain, who was 66 in July, hosted the recent Farmfoods British Par-3 Championship of the 9-hole Nailcote Hall course near Coventry.

"This was my the third year, involved with the tournament," he told me "and we were delighted to have the chance because conveniently this year it's the 40th anniversary of my US Open win at Hazeltine. And at this time of year it's great to get out of the heat of the Florida summer.

"My best round here is one under par 53 for 18 holes, which I shot this year but really it's a bit like playing Russian roulette on a golf course, " he said.

Cypress Point - 16th

"For me it's the No.1 par-3 hole on the planet and will always be. It has the Pacific Ocean on three sides and it doesn't get any better than that.

"Cypress Point is a very private  and exclusive club though they used to play the Bing Crosby tournament there. You almost can't wait to get to the 16th when you tee off at the first.

"I remember Billy Casper would never go for the green at 16. He played toward the Cypress tree and then wedged in and took his chances of making par. That way, he said, he was never going to make an 8, which of course many did going for the green with a 3-wood over the ocean.

"I've been on the beach with my tee shot a few times and I've also had a two. It all happens there. All the greats have played that hole and had disasters. It's a gamble but it's a spectacular piece of property on the peninsula with a wild, rugged aspect."

Royal Lytham and St Annes 12th

"I won my Open Championship at Lytham and I was always happy to get out of there unscathed. I'd hit 2- or 3-iron from ther tee which was sheltered from the wind and with out of bounds on the right it was always dangerous.

"It wasn't particularly relative to my last round but I was always happy when I'd negotiated it.

"Many years ago Jack Nicklaus filmed a programme featuring his best 18 holes in Britain and he asked me to talk about the 12th at Lytham and I was  very happy to do so. I've never been out of bounds there which, I suppose, it a bit of a result! (Continued on next page...)