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I noticed the yardages of those holes as well, then noticed some of the players hitting irons into them. The course is playing firm and fast, and I think at least one of the holes is downhill if I remember correctly, but I don't think I've ever seen par 3's that long. The 78 yarder was also a nice change up. I'm really enjoying the coverage and the course.
Par 3 7th hole - 283 yardsPar 3 11th hole - 294 yardsWait, what?? I'm not sure I have ever seen a par 3 on the PGA tour play over 280 (#8 at Oakmont maybe?). But TWO over 280 yards for the Walker Cup kids?
I think the Herbert Fowler par 3 you are thinking of is the alternate (old) 17th, which was brought back as part of the recent restoration but is not in regular play.This is the hole that got George Thomas in trouble at the 1926 LA Open due to the difficult setup (shades of Olympic's 18th!). When Thomas did a major re-do of the North in 1927 the hole was eliminated from the routing.I am thinking the par-3 15th was added at that time to replace the old 17th.