Things are forever changing in determining the length of hole
conditioned by a
value. I guess that any golf hole where its green can be
reasonably reached by many (most?) players in one fine stroke
registers as a par-3. Thus, a 270 metre strongly downhill golf
hole with a fairly open approach alignment could be deemed a
par-3? (Probably extremely boring, however, and the designer
would be asked hard questions). The development of ever-stronger
golf equipment, the distance players can confidently hit the
ball, has changed ‘par’ ratings on holes over
history. (And bear in mind the
on par per hole is an American attitude, the result of their
preoccupation with statistics and comparisons. Think of
‘shot values’ and ‘slope’, for example!).
I can recall scorecards for the original Kew Golf Club, for
example, where a 235 yard (213 metre) hole was a par-4, and rated
15 on the card! And Mackenzie etc never used par as a useful
distinguishing tool – he spoke of a course yielding
“even fours” – i.e. about 72 strokes for the 18
holes, but called holes “3½” or
“4½” values, and knew, as we should too, that
any hole might be one or more strokes harder or easier, on any
one day, than its labeled ‘par!
A key point from my viewpoint anyway is that there is far too
much emphasis with most designers today with very long
‘par-3’s’ – I guess they think this is
about the only way to exercise long iron play with modern
equipment on the hands of strong players. They’re wrong.
And the delicious short par-3 is still a tantalizing thing, not
only for all players, but for the designer too.