Rolling greens, sand dunes and even ocean views. If the sight of the fence at the driving range just isn't enough for you, then here's a guide to the best route in to the 19th.
10th at Turnberry Ailsa Course, Scotland.
Par 4, 457 yards.
The list of famous lighthouses in golf is relatively short; none have provided a more effective backdrop to golfing drama than at Turnberry. The hole is named Dinna Fouter, which is roughly translated as ‘don’t mess about’. Presumably, this is a tip not to smash your tee shot too far left into the Firth of Clyde, although it could just as well be a nudge to those golfers unable to resist the lure of a nice photo opportunity.
11th at Ballybunion, Ireland.
Par 4, 453 yards.
In the late 19th century, when golf courses were laid out rather than designed, people made the most of the natural landscape. This links course perched on the Atlantic coast had the largest range of sand dunes inIreland and a stunning horseshoe bay to play with. Who needs a JCB when nature makes golf this much fun?
12th at Augusta National, Georgia, USA
Par 3, 155 yards
The 12th is an irresistible beauty with the devil in its heart. Glorious pines, azaleas and dogwood, as well as the golden bell, which gives the hole its name, are among the 350 plants fringing the fairways and greens atAugusta. All is wasted on the golfer standing on the tee box worrying about under-hitting the shot into the water, or flushing it into a villainous bunker at the back of the green. Cruel, just plain cruel.
13that Augusta National, Georgia, USA
Par 5, 510 yards.
Ok, so, there are millions of golf holes in the world and to feature consecutive holes from the same course might betray scant research; were it not the fact that Azalea is one of the most challenging and dramatic holes in golf.
Then again, watching your ball drop 459 feet (140 metres) into the crashing waves below is not an experience you have every day of your golfing life.
14th at Royal Portrush Dunluce, Northern Ireland.
Par 3, 213 yards.
Here we are again, stuck amidst giant sand hills, this time on the North Antrim Causeway coast, with the hills of Donegal to the west, the Giant’s Causeway and the Southern Hebrides all providing welcome distraction from that annoying white ball which refuses to travel in the desired direction.
15th at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand.
Par 5, 594 yards.
One word. Ridiculous. A five thousand acre former sheep station in Hawke’s Bay with every hole boasting dramatic ocean views. The Pirate’s Plank demands three strikes straight and true to avoid the drink. Then again, watching your ball drop 459 feet (140 metres) into the crashing waves below is not an experience you have every day of your golfing life.
16th at Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, California.
Par 3, 231 yards.
If I had to play just one par 3 hole for the rest of my life, it would be this rugged brute. It’s just you and the Pacific Ocean for company, as you optimistically bash the ball over open water to a green surrounded by a sadistic ring of bunkers. You might as well take your fishing rod with you…
17th at TPC Sawgrass Stadium, Florida.
Par 3, 137 yards.
An almost accidental piece of man-made drama. The wife of golf course architect Pete Dye suggested the 17th hole would make good use of the earth left over from the construction of the course. Thus an iconic knee-trembler of a golf hole was created.
18th at Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland.
Par 4, 361 yards.
Nobody in his or her right mind would claim that this living monument to golf provides the most picturesque climax to a round of golf. After all, we are in Fyfe. But crossing the Swilcan Bridge and walking towards the venerable clubhouse, knowing that this ground has felt the footsteps of every great golfer in history (and yours) is as dramatic a finale as you could ever hope for.