Small Is Beautiful (And Rather Hard)

Greetings one and all and welcome to another humble blog offering. I want to start by asking a question. If I said par 3 course, what is your first thought? Is it a local pitch and putt, or an easy game with no need to go for the driver and long clubs? I bet many of you wouldn’t think of a course with a hole that 2005 US Open champion Michael Campbell describes as one of the hardest he’s played. That is the size of the challenge that awaits when you play the Cromwell Course at Nailcote Hall which is also the venue of the annual British Par 3 event.

I have been lucky enough to attend this fantastic event for a number of years and it was so nice to see the public back in this year and able to get up close to a host of celebrities and professional golfers. It is covered by Sky Sports Golf and if you check their listings should be on, if not now then very soon.

I was up there nice and early on the Monday to do some filming as always even though play doesn’t get under way until the Tuesday where there is a celebrity team event. Wednesday and Thursday is the professional event with a £50,000 first prize up for grabs and the week concludes with another celebrity event on the Friday.

For the first time ever, I got to play the course on the Monday which was a huge thrill but also very daunting. It is one thing watching the famous faces take on the course and another to stand there and have to do it yourself. I managed to capture my nine holes on camera which you can watch here - Hacking It Round (Maybe) Some may say it’s an idiots guide to playing it and in my defence it was one of the hottest days of the year, I was extremely nervous and wasn’t in great form at my home club. As you can see there was some good stuff in there as well as getting well and truly bitten on some holes. I did actually play a couple more loops of nine off camera and was invited to play a few holes with former world darts champion Keith Deller and former European tour winner and Ryder Cup player Jarmo Sandelin which did nothing to soothe the nerves. I don’t think I disgraced myself.

Your host letting one fly at the first

Aside from playing the course I have also produced two videos giving you a far more in depth hole by hole guide to the Cromwell Course which you can see here. I hope it shows just how tight and difficult this course really is and some of the pit falls awaiting.

You can see the guides below

An aerial view of the Cromwell Course at Nailcote Hall

This year as in the past I had a media pass courtesy of Champions (UK) plc. My thanks once again to them as it makes a real difference to a tiny youtube channel and blog to get some very privileged access to the famous faces on show. See what the likes of Dan Walker, Trish Johnson, Amy Boulden, Peter Baker and many others had to say about the course and the event, and what they are up to at the moment. There are some really interesting insights. You can see them here (Famous Faces) and (Some Famous Faces)

Solheim Cup Legend Trish Johnson

The Farmfoods British Par 3 is very similar to the Masters Par 3 in regards to the relaxed yet competitive atmosphere. It holds a special place in the history of British golf and played long before it became tradition in the Masters. The championship had its origins in the old short course professional championship which was played at the Palace Hotel in Torquay from 1933 to 1973. Professional Sid Mouland who won in Torquay in the 1960’s was the inspiration behind the tournament’s resurgence. He was the professional attached to Nailcote Hall before his son, and European Tour winner Mark inherited his position and was forever regaling Rick Cressman, owner of Nailcote Hall with tales of the old event at the Palace Hotel. In 1996 Sid thought Nailcote Hall was in good enough shape to take over the championship and since then Rick and his dedicated team have worked tirelessly year on year to make the event bigger and better.

TV personality and Strictly dancer Dan Walker

As I’ve alluded to, I’ve been lucky to have been attending the British Par 3 since 2018 and have enjoyed meeting some famous faces over the years who have been kind enough to come and have a chat with me year on year (no your honour I wasn’t stalking). As a real nobody in social media terms this is always a big privilege and I’ve got to meet a few of my heroes, especially the likes of Tony Jacklin who is always the host of this event each year.

Three-time European Tour winner Phillip Price was been crowned the 2022 Farmfoods’ British Par 3 champion after coming through a play-off at Nailcote Hall in Warwickshire. The 55-year-old Welshman, who played in the 2002 Ryder Cup, picked up the coveted title and the £50,000 first prize after beating Sunningdale Heath Golf Club PGA Professional Tom Reid in a play-off. Both players finished tied on 101 (7-under), forcing the tournament into over-time before Price secured the win at the second extra hole.

Buzzing off the back of his spectacular win, Price said: “I was fortunate to win the play off really, as Tom gave it to me a bit, but I’ve got a beautiful trophy, a wheelbarrow full of cash and a happy family!” This year’s trophy was a replica of Tony Jacklin, in honour of him hosting the tournament.

Played in extremely hot conditions, and with the greens firming up throughout the week, Nailcote’s course proved a real challenge to the 62-strong professional field, with only nine players managing to finish under par. Matt Cort took third place on six under, and then there was a three-shot gap to fourth, which saw a three-way tie between Fraser Mann, Clark Dennis and 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie. Attracting a host of stars from across the professional game, Ian Woosnam finished in a share of tenth with Simon Khan, Costantino Rocca and Gary Wolstenholme, while Charley Hull was the highest placed of a strong female contingent, finishing on +4 in tied 20th.

As always, it was another fabulous experience and is definitely the highlight of my golfing year. I am very proud of my growing association with the event and my continuing presence and the content I can provide. If you go over to Youtube and check out the Three Off The Tee channel here (Three Off The Tee Youtube Channel) and see my content from previous years. There is some good stuff on there and as you’ll see I’ve managed to meet a host of famous faces along the way. While you are there check out my other content especially the product reviews and don’t forget to subscribe while you are there. Your support really make a difference.

I hope you enjoyed this blog and it has whetted your appetite for the British Par 3 Championship and you’ll keep an eye out for it in the future. If you get the chance to attend in 2023 I really encourage you to do so and if you leave a comment on my social media it would be nice to meet up with a few of you. I will be back for another blog soon but in the meantime keep safe and keep golfing.

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