The best short holes on the planet
- Island green 17th is highlight of TPC Sawgrass
- Augusta’s 12th is known for its swirling winds
Of the thousands of golf holes in all the world, a handful of treacherous tiddlers stand out.
One of the best, the iconic island-green 17th at TPC Sawgrass, lies in wait for pros at the Players Championship this week
From Augusta to New Zealand, CNN Sport has scoured the world for 12 of the best par threes on the planet.
17th hole, Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass, Florida
Think Players Championship, think the island green 17th. This 137-yard flick on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass looks innocent enough but the water befuddles tired minds and acts as magnet to balls.
During the 2015 Players, 45 balls found the drink — but there was a different kind of hazard in 1998 when a seagull picked up Steve Lowery’s ball and flew off before dropping it in the water.
“It tricks you into thinking it’s a real difficult hole when it’s just a short iron. But we’re human, so we think about the bad stuff,” Bubba Watson told reporters in 2011.
7th hole, Pebble Beach Golf Links, California
Intimate but intimidating, the 106-yard seventh at Pebble Beach is one of golf’s most iconic holes. This California classic plunges from an elevated tee down to a green perched above the crashing waves of Monterey Bay and the Pacific Ocean beyond.
“If I had only one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach,” says Jack Nicklaus.
“I’ve loved this course from the first time I saw it. It’s possibly the best in the world.”
Actor Bill Murray thought it a good idea to follow his ball with his club at the seventh in the Pebble Beach pro-am event in February.
New 9th hole, Trump Turnberry, Scotland
US President Donald Trump bought famous old Turnberry in 2014 and set about a major redevelopment of the revered Ailsa Course.
One of his most notable changes is a new par-three ninth, from the old ninth tee across the bay to a green nearer the foot of the lighthouse.
Could Trump’s new version be even better?
8th hole, Royal Troon, Scotland
The venue for the 2016 British Open features one of the most well-known holes in golf — the Postage Stamp, the 123-yard par-three eighth.
As the shortest hole in Open Championship golf, Troon’s signature hole is no pushover, with cavernous bunkers protecting a small green.
“You can run up a big score in a hurry there if you’re not careful,” says former European Tour star and Troon local Colin Montgomerie.
“You’ve got to be very, very careful and treat that little hole with an awful lot of respect.”
16th hole, Port Royal, Bermuda
Paradise or purgatory? Port Royal is one of Bermuda’s best tracks and its signature hole is the sea-hugging 16th across the cliffs.
The bewitching backdrop of azure Atlantic waters could be a distraction, though.
“The interesting thing on that hole is you don’t feel the breeze on the tee box that much,” said English pro Justin Rose when the PGA Grand Slam of Golf was held here in 2013.
“You just never allow for enough when the wind is coming from the right.”
12th hole, Augusta National, Georgia
Oh, Jordan. An instant after this picture was snapped, Spieth’s dream of back-to-back Masters drowned in Rae’s Creek in April 2016.
Augusta’s treacherous 12th hole at the heart of Amen Corner added a new layer of notoriety when the defending champion — leading by five with nine holes to play — ran up a quadruple-bogey seven with two shots in the water.
Tom Weiskopf put five in the water en route to a 13 at the 1980 Masters.