La Cala Golf Resort, Costa del Sol
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What a round of golf this would be. Here’s the 18 most iconic holes in all of golf, including signature designs at St Andrews, Augusta National, TPC Sawgrass, Royal Troon and other legendary golf courses.
Perhaps the daddy of them all, ‘The Road Hole’, the world famously difficult 495-yard par 4 penultimate hole at the ‘Home of Golf’, St Andrews Old Course. One of the toughest on the Open rota, the tee shot takes you over a hotel and doglegs to the right, with punishing rough on the left. You then have to hit the green, which is only around 13 yards wide, from an awkward angle that either takes you to the right and off the green towards the road and stonewall, or left into the notoriously deep and difficult Road Hole bunker.
Dreams of winning the Masters at Augusta National can either be made or broken at these three consecutive holes, known as Amen Corner. The 11th is a 505-yard par 4 which features a pond guarding the left-front of the green, the 155-yard par 3 12th has a bunker both beyond the green and in front of it, along with Rae’s Creek positioned short of the green. Tiger Woods hit a septuple-bogey 10 here in 2020. Rae’s Creek makes a reappearance in front of the green at the dogleg-left 505-yard par 5 13th which closes out this world famous stretch.
Like Augusta National, the Pete Dye-designed ‘Stadium Course‘, home of the Players Championship, has become one of golf’s iconic venues, with its distinctive stadium concept of grass banks for spectators and one of the world’s most recognizable holes, the treacherous 137-yard, par-3 17th ‘Island Green’. Tiger Woods won his first Players here in 2001, the year of his legendary 60-foot ‘better than most’ putt at this very hole.
The famous West Course at Wentworth is home to the BMW PGA Championship on the DP World Tour. The course has been renovated and changed several times, sometimes controversially, the last of which by Ernie Els. Now, professional players are happier with the course which climaxes at the 18th, a 523-yard par 5. It’s a true risk-reward hole where the approach can be played over water to a sloping green.
Rivalling the 12th at Augusta as the world’s most famous par 3, this hole gets its name ‘The Postage Stamp’ for its small green. Royal Troon is the shortest on the Open rota, but definitely not the easiest. It measures just 123 yards from the back tee but the tiny green is surrounded by deep, cavernous bunkers. A par is a good score here.
The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale has become extremely famous because of its stadium amphitheatre surroundings, where over 16,000 fans go crazy during the WM Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour. Tiger Woods famously made a hole-in-one here early on in his career. The biggest party in golf.
One of the world’s most photographed holes, the par-3 9th hole is played over the edge of the ocean and with the iconic lighthouse as the backdrop, the setting is guaranteed to take your breath away. One of the most dramatic par 3s in golf.
The short par-3 7th rivals hole 8 here at Pebble Beach as the most famous. Just over a 100 yards from an elevated tee straight out towards the ocean. Short, but truly spectacular.
Regularly voted as one of the best courses in the world, Cypress Point on the Monterey Peninsula features many unbelievable holes, the most famous of which is perhaps the stunning 22-yard par-3 16th. Over 200 yards is required to carry the Pacific Ocean to a peninsula green framed by bunkers and rocks.
Harbour Town hosts the RBC Heritage on the PGA Tour. On Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, it’s one of Pete Dye’s most recognisable courses, especially its iconic finishing hole with the famous lighthouse in the scenic background and water down the left.
Get your cameras ready. This is maybe the most stunning hole at the golf course regularly voted in the world’s top 5. It’s a standout among the many unforgettable holes here, which starts with a blind drive towards a hidden rolling fairway some 60 feet below, wonderfully framed by mountains and a church steeple.
Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill course hosts the Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA Tour, and hole 6 presents a temptation. The hole is a 555-yard par 5 that features a massive lake between the tee box and waiting green. To drive it straight over the water from the back tee takes almost 350 yards of carry.
The final hole at perhaps the toughest course on the Open rota, nicknamed ‘Carnasty’. It’s a long, 499-yard par 4 where a straight drive is needed before a mid or long iron over the Barry Burn. The green slopes left to right, protected by three bunkers to the front. Who can forget the watery mishaps of Jean Van De Velde at the 1999 Open Championship at this hole, which cost him the Claret Jug.
The short par-3 7th is world famous too, but the 427-yards par 4 could be even more iconic. It’s probably a hybrid or long iron off the tee and then a mid-iron over the ocean to a tight green. Jack Nicklaus said this was ‘the best second-shot hole in all of golf’. You climb up to your ball and the views are amazing.
The Belfry, Brabazon has hosted the Ryder Cup four times, and the 10th makes it especially memorable. The cautious shot down the left leaves a nervy pitch across the water to a narrow and sloping green. The bold have a go at the 250-yard carry, bending to the right, with water lurking short and all along the left and a wooded bank and a line of bunkers to the right. Seve Ballesteros dramatically drove it in typical charismatic style to within 10 yards in 1985, forever putting this hole on the world golfing map.
Let’s finish with, where else, the final hole at St Andrews, Tiger Woods’ favourite golf course. The walk over the iconic Swilken Bridge is a bucket-list experience for all golf lovers and where Jack Nicklaus decided to sign off on his career. It’s a 361-yard par 4, risk/reward and reachable, towards the famous clubhouse with the green protected by the Valley of Sin. It’s literally the stuff of legends.