Short par fours can be great fun for spectating and the best of them are confounding to play. They give players a chance to reach the green with a long tee shot but they promise a bogey for those making an unwise gamble or hitting a poor shot.
The opener at Royal Sydney has a championship high tee right next to the club’s dining room but it is not a tee one could trust the members to use with any confidence. From up there it’s about 300 meters to reach the green, guarded by sand on the left and right and as far as the longer hitters fly the ball in the modern age it’s a tempting target.
The green is shallow but wide and the position of the pin determines where best to place the tee shot. When the pin is right, those laying back from the tee with a long iron ought to be aiming down the left half of the hole. Conversely, when the flag is in the back left corner of the green those playing safely from the tee will need to play right, over by the deep bunkers that leave those trapped with one of the most difficult shots in the game.