Royal Troon's Postage Stamp takes some licking

At just 123 yards, the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon is the shortest hole in Open Championship golf. Here, three of the potential contenders in Ayrshire next week give their thoughts on the iconic hole

The Postage Stamp can bite the best Picture: David Cannon/Getty Images
The Postage Stamp can bite the best Picture: David Cannon/Getty Images

Phil Mickelson

Testing and challenging a player for his precision, as opposed to solely length, is really a lost art. And The Postage stamp is a perfect example of how you can challenge the best players in the world with their precision and their ability to be precise, as opposed to just length all the time.

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I would love to see that implemented more. We see precision being tested at Castle Stuart a lot. The par-3 11th is a wonderful hole, as is the third hole, that drivable par-4 that we see so many big numbers because it’s such a precise hole. I love seeing holes like that.

Colin Montgomerie

It’s always in the back of your mind playing the first seven holes, there’s no question. Playing seven, you look up on the right and notice where the pin is and you’re playing that shot in your mind as you play seven.

It’s a bit like people looking over at Sawgrass’s 17 when they are playing 16. It is a potential cardwrecker if you do miss the green. I’ve never had a hole-in-one but I’ve made 2s and I’ve made 6s and 7s like everyone else. It’s very, very dangerous.

Henrik Stenson

My personal opinion is that most of the good par 3s in golf probably range between 123 to maybe 180 yards, something like that. I’m not a big fan of the new 3 or 4-iron; it’s more of a tee shot than an approach shot on those ones. I don’t think it’s that exciting for the crowd to watch those holes as it’s normally a lot of pars and bogeys.

On these little ones, 17 at Sawgrass, The Postage Stamp, if you hit a good shot, you make a 2; you hit a bad one, you can walk away with a 5. You can have a three-shot swing on a pitching wedge. It was a little dinky 8-iron for me (during a practice round earlier this week).

If you’re kind of a fan that wants to see carnage, I can highly recommend going out to that eighth hole and sitting in that grandstand on a difficult day because that hole will cause a lot of problems, for sure.