At some point or another, we’ve all been standing on some tee, peering out at the green, and thinking to ourselves “I have no chance.”
There’s also a strong possibility you’re not a professional golfer. PGA Tour players have a knack for blocking out the trouble on any given hole, but there are a few holes out there that make even the best in the world cringe with fear.
Here is a list of 10 of the most terrifying holes on the PGA Tour.
17th at TPC Sawgrass
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This 137-yard par-3 tee shot is one of the most visually daunting shots on Tour today. It gets its fame from The Players Championship. The green on this par-3 is completely surrounded by water and suspended by railroad ties. A lone pot-bunker protects the surface of the front of the green, but wind and shot trajectory are what you really need to worry about. A high shot is preferred so it doesn’t bounce and roll off when it lands, but higher winds can push you completely off target as well.
12 at Augusta National
They call this hole the “Golden Bell” and it is the meat of Amen Corner. Rae’s Creek guards the green as the bank slopes steeply downward, carrying short shots to a watery demise. The small green leaves no room for error when aiming for the pin. While the azaleas to the back of the green may look stunning, hitting long into those will cause equally enough trouble as you have to hit back towards the creek with no barrier in between.
#4 on the South Course at Torrey Pines
This long, 488-yard par-4 is a staple of the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines each year. The two-tiered green is perched on the very edge of the course, with cliffs hanging over the back edge. Wind is usually a factor as it gusts in off the open coast, causing the tee shot to be a cause for much anxiety. The views, however, are phenomenal. Not to mention numerous gliders flying by trying to catch a bird’s eye view of the action.
18th at the Golf Club of Houston
The host of the Shell Houston Open, the Golf Club of Houston, flexes its muscles on the 18th in Texas. A massive body of water lines the entire left side of the fairway and even makes its way up to the edge of the green. While the fountain in the middle adorned with flowers in the shape of Shell’s logo looks appealing, most players are focused on keeping their tee shot far enough to the right to miss the water. This can also lead to issues, as bunkers protect the right side of the fairway as well as the green.
18th at PGA National (Championship Course)
This behemoth of a par-5 maxes out at 604-yards. It is a double dogleg, first bending left as it serpentines back to the right with a body of water on the right side of the fairway the entire way. Most of the time, water comes into play only on the second and third shots, but the threat of bunkers off the tee doesn’t let up at all.
14th at Glen Abbey Golf Club
The host of the RBC Canadian Open, Glen Abbey Golf Club offers up quite the challenge on their 14th hole. It doglegs sharply to the right to begin. Golfers who attempt to cut some of that off very well could end up in the creek pictured above. The sloping green sits quite high up, with elevation changes adding up to two clubs to reach it.
18th at Harbour Town Golf Links
The red and white striped lighthouse and the yacht-filled marina deceptively perch themselves at the back of the hole. An intricate ecosystem of marshes run alongside the fairway, requiring players to hit their tee shot to the right in order to stay dry. The Calibogue Sound of South Carolina crashes away in the back of your ear as you try and take in the beauty of this whole without wanting to send your clubs into the gaping marsh out of frustration.
#8 at Pebble Beach
#8 at Pebble Beach shows off the largest water hazard in golf – the Pacific Ocean. With ocean winds whipping off the ocean, each shot makes you hold your breath as soon as it is in the air. The green is protected by a squadron of long and deep bunkers that seem like the place to be when you consider the rest of the green is sitting on top of jagged cliff faces that give way to the crashing waves below.
18th at Quail Hollow
This whole, aptly nicknamed, “The Green Mile,” ranked as the fifth hardest hole on Tour back during the 2013-14 season, with an average score of 4.452. The fairway is shrouded by a long, jagged creek on one side and dense trees on the other. The truly scary shot on this hole is the uphill second shot. Smart players must avoid the water to the left while also taking note of the bunkers to right. This hole always makes the Wells Fargo Championship (and the 2017 PGA Championship) very interesting on Sundays.
18th at Trump National Doral
Before the PGA Tour moved the WGC-Cadillac to Mexico, Doral used to be a staple on the schedule, with the 18th hole being one of the most notorious. Water lines the entire left side of the hole and comes to a crescent moon shape in two places. This 473 yard par-4 has been giving pros trouble since its inception. You need to keep your tee shot to the right of the fairway to avoid the water, then also keep your approach to the right to avoid rolling off into the drink. “It’s an impossible hole,” said Bubba Watson when he played there in 2012. The 18th is pictured above with the five palm trees jutting out and the four bunkers leading up the right side of the hole to the green and gallery.