Most of the 10 best golf holes in the world can be found in the U.S., but links golf across the pond is just as pressing, with a rare combination of pot bunkers and punishing winds just waiting to blemish your scorecard.
- No. 17 at Sawgrass. Simply put, there is not a more intimidating golf shot in the world. This 140-yard, par 3 17th at Sawgress features an island green and the water surrounding it takes more than 100,000 balls a year. If you can keep it dry, it's the best golf hole in the world.
- No. 13 at Augusta. This 510-yard, par 5 is more beautiful than it is challenging. Bobby Jones' prized hole features pine straw off the fairway and budding azaleas at every turn. It is reachable in two for most of the Tour's big hitters.
- No. 9 at Royal County Down. This could be the best links golf hole in the world. Steeples, mountains and the Irish sea are the backdrop for this 486-yard, par 4 that features more than 90 feet of elevation in Newcastle, Northern Ireland.
- No. 13 at Muirfield. Outside of Augusta this hole in Dublin, Ohio may be the best golf hole in the world to stare at during competition. It's only a 363-yard, par 4 but a creek runs downhill along the fairway up to the slender green.
- No. 13 at Pacific Dunes. This Oregon course is gaining steam as one of the best courses in the world — the 444-yard, par 4 13th is already considered one of the best holes in golf. The terrain is unmatched with the Pacific waves crashing on the left and giant dunes staring you down off the right side of the fairway. The bunkers look like more like sand filled craters and the elevated green just mocks you.
- No. 17 at St. Andrews. This 455-yard, par 4 at the birthplace of golf may be the most famous hole in golf. The hole features pot bunkers, a road bunker, a hotel sign and a stone wall. The Road Hole is truly one of the best golf holes in the world.
- No. 12 at Southern Hills. Clear blue water and massive bunkers dominate this 460-yard, par 4 at Tulsa's signature course. You have to hit your approach shot to a tiered green that is protected by a creek in front and three bunkers.
- No. 16 at Cypress Point. Good luck trying to play this all-exclusive Pebble Beach course, let alone parring this 231-yard, par 3. Even some of the pros have to take driver out of the bag to rip across the whipping winds, as the hole is sandwiched between Pacific cliffs. Bring a poncho, you're likely to feel some splashes from the waves crashing ashore just feet off the green.
- No. 18 at Pebble Beach. This 543-yard, par 5 is easily the most difficult closing golf hole in the world. Players must drive dangerously close to the ocean cliffs to avoid the big tree off the fairway. An approach calls for a laser cutting through the ocean breeze but most either end up in deep bunkers or tangled in a a Monterey tree just in front of the green.
- No. 12 at Augusta. The featured hole at Amen Corner, this 155-yard, par 3 was once called the most demanding hole in the world by Jack Nicklaus. A small sloping green is bordered by front and back bunkers making par one of the most rewarding scores on the course.
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