Golf Life: Five famous TV holes that every golfer should play

Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

Golf Life: Five famous TV holes that every golfer should play

Digital Edition

Golf Life: Five famous TV holes that every golfer should play

By

Sure, there are plenty of great golf holes on the PGA Tour. But there are a handful of holes on public-access courses – mostly resorts – that jump off the television screen each year, screaming out for every golfer to give them a shot.

These are the holes that, when a player might describe their dream round at a famous destination to their golf buddies, friends will ask, “What did you do on No. 17?” As in, did you keep it dry on the famous island green of the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass?

There are plenty of other great holes that stand out each year, but many of them are locked behind private gates. Who wouldn’t want to play No. 12 at Augusta National? Good luck finding a tee time with an online booking site. No. 10 at Riviera? Awesome hole, but that tee sheet is closed, as well.

One other track with a very memorable hole on TV each year, Kapalua’s Plantation Course and its downhill 18th, is closed for much of 2019 for a renovation.

For this list, these holes are the calling cards for every golfer to compare themselves to the pros while enjoying epic scenery and nerves generated by the knowledge that the player is on a truly special hole that anyone with a credit card can play. Not to say these courses are inexpensive, and thousands of miles of travel would be required to play them all, but the players who get the chance to stick a peg in the ground on these courses will never forget how they did on these holes.

(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

No. 17 at Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass

Where: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Tournament: Players Championship
Tournament yardage: 137
Par: 3
Architect: Pete Dye (with advice from wife Alice)
Buzz: The green isn’t terribly small – it’s 26 yards from front to back – and it’s only 121 yards from the middle of the championship tee to the front of the green. But you’ve seen it ¬– it’s an island.

The nerves fire up on the walk over to the tee from No. 16 green, a tromp around the lake before hitting one of the most famous shots in golf. They should have a graffiti wall there for amateurs to sign if they manage to find the green. If you sink a ball – or two, or more – don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Even for the Tour pros, it can be overwhelming: 45 Tour players, most hitting nothing more than an 8-iron and some as little as a wedge, found the water in the 2019 Players. That was actually down from 2018 and 2017, when 54 and 69 balls splashed, respectively.

Architect Pete Dye originally planned a much more mundane hole in that spot, but he took the advice of his wife, Alice, and created a hole that draws tens of thousands of fans each year and is a staple of television coverage. Alice passed away in February, but fans of the PGA Tour can rejoice in how her most famous idea still makes the pros nervous.

Latest

More Digital Edition
Home