The Mohs Holes: What Are the Hardest Holes in the FedExCup Playoffs?

Kathy BissellCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2012

TPC Blue Monster at Doral
TPC Blue Monster at DoralDavid Cannon/Getty Images

Of the 774 holes played so far this season on the PGA Tour, there’s a top 10 toughest and bottom 10 not so much. Not that any of the holes on the PGA Tour are easy for mere mortals. They are just relatively easy for touring professionals.

In science, the Mohs scale measures hardness of materials. It was invented by Fredrich Mohs in 1812 and rates rocks and minerals by what material can scratch another one. Talc is the low end and diamond is the high end. However, in golf, it’s more about a number related to scratch or par.

Conditions can affect how hard a hole plays: firm greens, wind, rain and rough as well as hole length. Mohs is less arbitrary and not affected the same way by capricious outside forces. Nevertheless, what are the Mohs Holes of the Playoff and of the PGA Tour?

Many assume that with Bethpage State Park’s Black in the playoffs, it would surely rise to top of the difficulty level this season. But in fact, the hardest holes this year, the top 10, were in the major championships except for two. 

The bottom 10—easiest holes so far this year—included two courses from the FedExCup Playoffs. Of course, with the Tour Championship remaining, some standings could change a little bit, but it is not likely there will be much movement at the top.  

Holding down the top spot this year is the sixth hole at The Olympic Club, for the US Open, a par-four, 489 yard hole that played to an average of 4.544. There were 15 birdies, 214 pars, 194 bogeys, 30 doubles and three “others.” 



The second toughest was the 18th at TPC Doral, the 467-yard par four, which played to an average of 4.467. They don’t call it the Blue Monster for nothing. 

However, when it comes to the 10 toughest holes in the FedExCup Playoffs, Bethpage State Park Black Course for The Barclays leads the way with the third hole, a 230-yard par three, which averaged 3.287.  There were 23 birdies, 242 pars, 122 bogeys, 7 doubles. However, it is 55th on the list of hard holes on the PGA Tour in 2012. 

Next in FedEx Playoffs tough holes is the 14th at Crooked Stick, a 497-yard par four that played at an average of 4.279.  It yielded 24 birdies, 168 pars, 75 bogeys, 12 doubles and one “other.”  It was ranked 57th for the year.

The rest in order are:

No. 3 in Playoff holes.

No. 69 for 2012.

Bethpage Black, 10th hole: Par 4, 502 yards, played to four: 261. 

24 birdies, 251 pars, 111 bogeys, eight doubles.


No. 4 in Playoff holes.


No. 136  for 2012.


Crooked Stick, fourth hole: Par 4. 483 yards, played to four: 196.

26 birdies,181 pars, 66 bogeys, six doubles and one “other.”


No. 5 in Playoff holes.

No. 146 for 2012.

Bethpage Black, fifth hole:  Par 4, 478 yards, played to four: 188.          

37 birdies, 258 pars, 88 bogeys, 10 doubles, one “other.”


No. 6 in Playoff holes.

No. 178 for 2012.

Bethpage Black, 17th hole: Par 3,  207 yards, played to three: 168. 

One eagle, 26 birdies, 280 pars, 80 bogeys, seven doubles.        



No. 7 in Playoff holes.


No. 192 for 2012.

TPC Boston, 14th hole: Par 4 , 495 yards, played to four: 157.

43 birdies, 223 pars, 75 bogeys, seven doubles, three “others.”         


No. 8 in Playoff holes.  

No. 210 for 2012.

TPC Boston, fifth hole: Par 4 , 466 yards, played to four: 148. 

33 birdies, 241 pars, 69 bogeys, eight doubles.


No. 9 in Playoff holes.

No. 215 for 2012.

Bethpage Black, eighth hole: Par 3, 210 yards, played to  3: 145. 

44 birdies, 272 pars, 60 bogeys, 15 doubles, three “others.”



No. 10 in Playoff holes

No. 215 for 2012.

Bethpage Black, ninth hole: Par 4, 460 yards, played to 4: 145. 

50 birdies, 244 pars, 94 bogeys, five doubles, one “other.”


And finally, the easiest hole in 2012 on the PGA Tour so far is the first hole at the TPC Blue Monster at Doral, a par five playing to a scoring average of 4.16.  

Statistics courtesy of media-only documents from the PGA Tour. 


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