No one is enjoying the lack of golf being played on the game’s professional circuits right now, or the restrictions – potentially to become stricter – on our own playing. We all get it, sure, but we don’t have to like it.
Australian Golf Digest is intent on continuing to bring you all the happenings from our sport. The game never really stops, despite how it might appear at present.
We also want to keep things interesting and keep you engaged with golf. So with help from course architecture author and critic-turned architect himself, Darius Oliver, we have devised three separate matchplay brackets of the best par 3s, par 4s and par 5s in Australia. Each bracket of 32 features 16 seeded holes – the absolute can’t-miss greatest holes in the land – and 16 more gems added and drawn into the bracket at random.
Each day, we will stage a poll, or ‘match’, on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GolfDigestAU) for you to vote on, starting with our finest par 3s. Each match will begin at the same time each morning and last 24 hours. With 31 matches to be played per bracket, the par 3s contest will run until April 30 with the par 4s bracket spanning all of May and the par 5s one beginning on June 1 and ending with the final match on July 1. It would be nice to think we all might be out and playing golf as normal by then.
For course-architecture aficionados, the 96 holes put up for consideration will probably be familiar to you. As for how to determine which hole ‘wins’ each ‘match’, that is entirely up to you to decide. While each hole’s architecture should be at the forefront of your thinking, ultimately it is your call to choose which is the superior golf hole. These are your contests.
UPDATE [July 2]: All three contests are now complete!
New South Wales’ majestic fifth hole is the king of par 5s in this country – and was the only top seed from the three contests to advance past the second round. It narrowly pipped Brookwater’s 13th hole to be crowned Australia’s best three-shotter.
Earlier, the two victorious holes from the par 3s and par 4s contests wound up sitting only a few hundred metres apart. Barnbougle Dunes’ glorious and devious seventh hole is our par 3 champion. It narrowly edged out New South Wales’ iconic sixth hole in the quarter-final, but was untroubled most of the way.
And in a second all-Barnbougle final, the Dunes course’s short fourth hole pipped the long and dramatic fifth at Lost Farm to be crowned the nation’s best par 4.