1. Pebble Beach Golf Links – Hole 7
Perched atop a cliff with the Pacific Ocean as its backdrop, the 7th at Pebble Beach is one of the most picturesque par-3s in the world. Don’t let its beauty distract you; despite being the shortest hole at Pebble Beach, the swirling winds can make club selection a real challenge.
Elevation, wind, and the small green size are the trifecta that define this iconic hole. Golfers must be precise, as the Pacific awaits any errant shots.
The 7th hole is a test of finesse over power, where the right club choice is more valuable than the mightiest of drives.
Here’s a quick glance at what makes this hole a standout:
- Breathtaking ocean views
- Elevation changes that test judgment
- The ever-present coastal winds
- A small green that demands accuracy
While it may be short in distance, the 7th hole at Pebble Beach is long on character and challenge, offering a memorable experience that encapsulates the essence of golf.
2. Augusta National Golf Club – Hole 12
Nestled in the heart of Amen Corner, the 12th hole at Augusta National is a par-3 beauty that demands precision and composure. Known as "Golden Bell," this hole is framed by the blooming azaleas and the tranquil Rae’s Creek, creating a picturesque yet daunting challenge.
The swirling winds and narrow green make club selection paramount, and many Masters tournaments have been won or lost right here. Golfers must navigate the deceptive wind patterns that have confounded even the most seasoned professionals.
Golden Bell is not just a test of skill, but a mental puzzle that requires a strategic approach:
- Assess the wind carefully.
- Choose the right club to avoid the bunkers.
- Trust your swing and commit to the shot.
The true essence of Augusta’s 12th hole is its ability to be both beautiful and treacherous, a place where legends are made and dreams can just as easily be shattered.
3. Old Course at St. Andrews – Hole 17
Known affectionately as the ‘Road Hole,’ the 17th at the Old Course at St. Andrews is steeped in history and infamy. Navigating this par-4 requires a blend of precision and courage, with the infamous road and wall lying in wait for any errant shots. The hole’s quirky layout and unpredictable Scottish winds make it a true test for even the most seasoned golfers.
- Tee off over the corner of the Old Course Hotel, a daunting task for newcomers.
- Avoid the treacherous Road Bunker, which has humbled many champions.
- The approach shot demands respect, with the road and wall perilously close to the green.
The Road Hole has been the scene of many dramatic moments in golf history, shaping the outcome of numerous Open Championships. Its challenge is as much mental as it is physical, asking golfers to rise above the pressure and execute flawlessly.
With a storied past and a reputation for drama, the 17th at St. Andrews is not just a hole; it’s a rite of passage. Completing it with a par or better is a badge of honor that players carry with them long after they’ve left the hallowed grounds.
4. TPC Sawgrass – Hole 17
Welcome to the iconic 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, where the infamous Island Green awaits. This par-3 may be short in distance, but it’s long on drama. Golfers face a heart-pounding tee shot over water to a green that seems to float like a mirage. Miss the green, and you’ll join the countless balls submerged in the surrounding lake.
- Tee distance: 137 yards
- Par: 3
- Average Score: 3.11
The 17th hole is a true test of precision and nerve. It’s not just about the swing; it’s about the mental game.
The hole’s design is deceptively simple, yet it’s one of the most challenging on the PGA TOUR. The psychological pressure is immense as players step up to the tee, knowing that the difference between a birdie and a double-bogey is often just a few yards. With the stands full and the eyes of the world watching, it’s a spectacle that defines the Players Championship.
5. Royal Troon Golf Club – Hole 8
Affectionately known as "The Postage Stamp," the 8th hole at Royal Troon is the shortest par-3 on the Open Championship rota. But don’t let its diminutive length fool you; this is one of the most challenging and iconic holes in the world of golf. Precision is key as players navigate the tiny green, surrounded by deep bunkers.
Characteristics of the Hole 8:
- Par: 3
- Length: 123 yards
- Notable Feature: The Coffin Bunker
The beauty of The Postage Stamp lies in its simplicity and the sheer terror it can instill in even the most seasoned golfers. It’s a true test of accuracy and nerve.
While the hole may be short, the wind off the coast can play havoc with any shot. The green itself is only slightly larger than a postage stamp, hence the name, and is guarded by a collection of bunkers that have ruined many a scorecard. The most infamous of these is the Coffin Bunker, lying in wait for errant shots to the right of the green.