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The short par four is the most enjoyable and interesting hole in golf. For the average player, this represents the opportunity to make a par; and for the better player a chance to make a birdie or better. When the hole is well thought out it should offer the greatest opportunity and a huge risk all in the same package.

The joy of the short four is the options a player has at the tee. They should always have the opportunity to play a conventional safe positional lay-up. But the great short fours also offer a risky aggressive line allowing the player to attack the hole. Typically the favorites among golfers are the drivable holes where the possibility of reaching the green begins to cloud the judgment of the player and introduce more risk into the game.

The ideal short par four tempts us to be aggressive despite the fact there is a more prudent option available. What we love about these holes is the average player will almost always plan the best two shot strategy and try to make par with two “good” shots, whereas the strong player gets compelled to take the risk of hitting the “perfect” shot despite the fact that they know this is a poor tactic.

“I love short par-4 holes. If I could do it, I’d have one on each of my courses. A drivable par-4 is among the most exciting hole we play. It gives the player the opportunity for a birdie, but also brings in the notion that a mishit shot can quickly lead to a bogey. And if you make a bogey, you’ll be kicking yourself and feel you’ve lost shots to the field for taking the chance. I think golfers look forward to those holes – places where they have a shot at making an eagle on a par-4.”
 – Mike Weir






1. Options
6. Standards?
2. Playability
7. Greens
3. Fun
8. Craftsmanship
4. Short 4's
9. Environment
5. Minimalism