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15 Hardest Holes in Golf

John BurkeContributor IJanuary 7, 2017

15 Hardest Holes in Golf

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    Golf is a strange game.

    Just when you think you want to quit, it treats you great and makes you realize why you love the game. But when you think all is well, you suddenly can't find the hole to save your life. 

    The following 15 holes are the types of holes that make you want to quit the game. 

    Sure, many of them are beautiful and famous, but their difficulty is through the roof! 

Cypress Point Country Club: 16th Hole

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    Cypress Point Country Club is an ultra-private course near Pebble Beach, Calif.

    The 16th hole requires a 230-yard carry over the Pacific Ocean, made more difficult by the crosswinds that often plague the hole.  

TPC Sawgrass: 17th Hole

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    The 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass is an absolutely brutal hole. 

    Every year during the Players Championship, at least one player's dreams die as their ball plunges into the water surrounding this "island green." 

    The hole is only 132 yards long, but there is absolutely no place to miss here.

St. Andrews Old Course: 17th Hole

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    The 17th hole at St. Andrews, also known at the "Road Hole," is one of the most famous holes in all of golf. 

    Fronting the green is fairly small, but extremely deep bunker that often leaves players the inability to make any play for the pin. 

    To make matters worse, the tee shot is completely blind and anything right of the fairway will put the ball out of bounds. 

Doral Golf Resort Blue Monster Course: 18th Hole

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    Originally, the "Blue Monster" nickname was only given to the 18th hole on this course. The name took on such a meaning, however, that the entire course soon became known as the Blue Monster Course.

    The hole is 443 yards long, which considering how far the professionals hit the ball isn't much of a "monster." 

    But water guards the entire left side of the hole, and the frequent winds make the hole very difficult.  

Augusta National Golf Club: 12th Hole

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    Jack Nicklaus believes that this hole, part of famed Amen Corner, may be the hardest hole in tournament golf. 

    The 12th hole at Augusta National Golf Club is the shortest on the entire course. So it should be easy, right?

    Think again. 

    If you find yourself short, you will be in Rae's Creek. But if you go long, you will find yourself with a tricky bunker shot that puts the creek back into play. 

Whistling Straits: 18th Hole

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    The 18th hole at Whistling Straits has been nicknamed "Dyeabolical," after designer Pete Dye. 

    And in just a short time, the 489-yard par four has developed quite the reputation. The hole requires player to hit short off the tee and play a long shot into the green or hit an aggressively long tee shot, leaving a shorter approach but risking hitting tricky dunes and bunkers. 

    It was also the hole during the 2010 PGA Championship that saw Dustin Johnson's dreams die after grounding his club in a "bunker." The hole also took another victim in Bubba Watson after he landed short of the green during the playoff eventually won by Martin Kaymer. 

Bay Hill Golf Club and Lodge: 18th Hole

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    I absolutely love the 18th hole at Bay Hill. The main reason for this is it has been the location of some of Tiger Woods' best celebrations. 

    The hole is a par four that plays 441 yards from the tips. The difficulty in the hole lies in the approach to the green that is fronted by a pond.

    Hit the ball short, and you better grab your scuba gear, Hit the ball long, and you will have to navigate a tricky bunker or some gnarly long grass. 

Ko'olau Golf Club: 18th Hole

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    Ko'olau Golf Club is one of the hardest golf courses in the entire world. So it only makes sense that the closing hole is one of the hardest in golf. 

    The 476-yard par four is an absolutely brutal hole. In order to navigate the last hole successfully, golfers must avoid massive ravines on both the drive and the approach shot. 

Pebble Beach Golf Links: 9th Hole

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    The 462-yard par four at Pebble Beach provides the most spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean that no one talks about. 

    The hole isn't as famous as the 8th and it isn't as historic as the 18th. However, the 9th does have the distinction of being the hardest on the course.

    The fairway slopes left-to-right into the Pacific Ocean, causing a terrifying drive and approach shot. 

PGA National Resort and Spa Champion Course: 15th Hole

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    The 179-yard par three at PGA National is the first of three holes that create the "Bear Trap" on the course.

    The hole is difficult because the green sticks out into a lake and a pot bunker awaits left, leaving no bail out. To make matters worse, the wind is often playing dead into the face of the golfer. 

Royal Troon: 8th Hole

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    The 8th hole at Royal Troon Golf Club, nicknamed "The Postage Stamp," is the shortest hole in Open Championship golf at only 123 yards long. 

    That means most players are hitting wedge into the hole. 

    The difficultly lies in the hitting the tiny green, hence the nickname. And with the only bailout being the bunker short right, you better hope you hit the green. 

Oakmont Country Club: 1st Hole

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    If you are ever fortunate enough to play Oakmont Country Club, you better show up the first tee with your "A" game. 

    The fairway is only 24 yards wide, and any miss left or right will find itself in a bunker. The drive will leave an uphill approach shot to a green that slopes front to back. 

    Hopefully, you have time to catch your breath on the way to the second tee. 

Carnoustie Golf Links: 18th Hole

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    The 499-yard par four is the scene of perhaps the most famous major collapse in history: Jean Van De Velde's demise in the 1999 Open Championship. In 2007, Padraig Harrington also tried to throw away his championship here with a double bogey.

    To play this hole successfully, a healthy dose of confidence is needed. The hazards on the hole are hard to escape, with each shot's distance being critical.

Bethpage State Park Black Course: 5th Hole

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    An accurate drive and a green that is very hard to hold make for one hard hole. 

    When the U.S. Open was held at Bethpage Black in 2009, the 445-yard par four gave the professionals all sorts of trouble.

    Players need to avoid the waste bunker that runs the length of the hole if they hope to sneak away with a par. 

Pebble Beach Golf Links: 8th Hole

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    The par-four 8th hole provides one of the best views in all of golf. 

    The fairway slopes off into the Pacific Ocean, making it a very difficult hole. And considering the wind rarely blows in a friendly manner, you may be playing multiple balls on this hole. 

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