GOLF HOLES A unique collection of some of the ﬁnest holes across the United Kingdom and Continental Europe
SPEC IAL 48 SE -PAG CTIO E N
CREATING A CLASSIC The game’s best designers on how to create a special hole
WHY I LOVE...
Faldo, Bjorn, McLay Kidd, Alliss and more pick their favourites
INCLUDES: BIRKDALE / ST ANDREWS / CATALUNYA / PORTRUSH
in the eye of the beholder...
Golf holes, like people, come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes and personalities. They are made up of a myriad of different shades, colours, features and characteristics. And again like people, some holes evoke feelings of warmth, excitement and expectation while others make you nervous and fearful. The beauty of golf hole design is that it is purely subjective. Our reaction to the courses and holes we play can be inﬂuenced by a variety of factors – from how we are feeling on the day, how well we are playing and striking the ball, the weather conditions, the tee and pin positions,
our preconceived expectations and even our playing partners. So what makes a classic hole? Well, there is no easy answer. After all, there is no objective, empirical or scientiﬁc method of deciding that course a is better than course b. One of the main reasons our established Top-100 course rankings franchise remains so popular is that it is based purely on opinion. Well-considered and researched opinion, but opinion nevertheless. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What I consider a ‘classic’ golf hole might very well not look the slightest bit ‘classic’ to you. The well-known course designer,
Robin Hiseman, who works at European Golf Design, says: “A classic hole is one that stirs your soul. It sends a tingle down your spine and puts a big grin on your face, when you stand on the tee. A ‘classic’ is a mix of great strategy, topography, scenery and presentation in varying quantities.” We hope the collection of what our team of experts have deemed to be classic and inspirational holes stirs your imagination, and makes you want to get out and play golf. JOCK HOWARD
Golf World Contributing Editor
The par-3 15th on Vale do Lobo’s Ocean Course is one of 11 Portuguese holes.
100 Classic Holes Golf World 3
100 classic holes
how we created our list of 100 classic golf holes B
y anybody’s standards, selecting 100 holes from some 90,000 that exist throughout the UK and Continental Europe is no stroll in the park. To make the task a little less onerous, we enlisted the help of a large cross section of architects, designers, golf writers, broadcasters, photographers, administrators and Golf World readers. The only pre-requisites were that they played and understood the game to a reasonable standard; they had a wide experience of playing golf in Great Britain and Ireland and Continental Europe; and their imaginations were stimulated by great or ‘classic’ golf holes. To give the selection a framework and foundation, we asked our panel to consider the following factors when evaluating and presenting their selection of holes.
We took into consideration what strategic and decision making challenge each hole presented as well as how well the hole ﬁtted into the overall pacing of the course and its position within the 18 holes. We also looked to include holes that presented a fair but stern challenge to golfers of all levels. The courses we selected provide a stern test to elite golfers yet remain playable for the players of lesser ability.
In many instances, the lure and appeal of a golf hole is heavily inﬂuenced by its location, setting and ambience as well as the overall topography of the land.
There are many attractive, charming and generally enjoyable holes, but how many remain embedded in your consciousness? One important hallmark of a classic is how well you can recount the detail of the setting and the routing months or even years later?
While not the most important selection factor, the condition of a hole can greatly contribute to a golfer’s overall enjoyment and score. With this in mind, we asked our panel to consider the quality of presentation of the holes they nominated.
The most intangible factor in evaluating a hole – but nevertheless one of the most important – we asked our team to consider holes with noteworthy heritage and historical relevance.
6. buzz factor
With this criteria, we attempted to evaluate how the reputation of a hole generated
excitement and anticipation among golfers. In other words, how many ‘bucket lists’ would a particular hole be on. What follows over the next 40 pages is certainly not intended to be a deﬁnitive list of the best golf holes in the region. There are, of course, plenty of other ‘classic’ holes in Great Britain, Ireland and Continental Europe. Nor is it intended to be a ranking. It is simply a list of fantastic golf holes that will send a tingle down your spine and put a large grin on your face when you stand on the tee. Some of the old familiars you will immediately recognise – like the ‘Road Hole’ at St Andrews, ‘Foxy’ at Royal Dornoch and the ‘Redan’ at North Berwick. Other names and destinations might be less familiar. One thing is for sure – you are unlikely to have played them all. And if you have, please do let us know! But, we hope you have played at least some of them. We also hope you will get in touch with us and let us know about other ‘classic’ holes we may have missed out, so that we can reﬁne the list in years to come. And, perhaps most importantly of all, we hope this list acts as a stepping stone, which encourages you to get out and play more golf in the coming months while exploring some great holes and courses further aﬁeld.
Our Key experts To compile this collection, we solicited the opinions from a wide range of golf course architects and designers, writers, journalists, Tour Professionals and golfers with a deep experience of playing golf throughout the UK and Europe. We are especially grateful for the input we received from the following four expert panellists:
4 Golf World 100 Classic Holes
Involved in golf course architecture for more than 30 years, Alliss ﬁrst worked with Dave Thomas, with whom he created over 50 courses, including The Belfry; and then with Clive Clark, with whom he built over 20 more courses.
Course architect and designer of Trump International Golf Links, Aberdeen. Martin’s client list has included four prestigious Open Championship venues since he took over the family business from his father and grandfather in 1985.
david Mclay Kidd
Opened his own design ﬁrm in 1998. Has been involved in many highend design projects, including Bandon Dunes, Queenwood, Fancourt Hotel & Country Club, the Castle Course at St Andrews and Machrihanish Dunes.
A leading British amateur golfer for many years, and then a Walker Cup captain, Peter has more recently been a golf administrator, and heavily involved in golf course design. His courses include Fota Island near Cork.
100 CLASSIC HOLES
Halmstad’s 16th is regarded as Sweden’s best hole.
16th halmstad (North) Halmstad, Sweden Par 3, 180 yards
Located at Tylosand, on a promontory which juts out into the Kattegat Strait, right on the border of Sweden and Denmark, the North course at Halmstad is one of Europe’s ﬁnest layouts. Steeped in history, there is an amazing feeling of seclusion, as each hole tends to be a long corridor ﬂanked by very tall pines. The 16th has frequently been voted Sweden’s best hole. Known as ‘The Brook’, a creek crosses in front of the tee box, snakes its way all down the hole, and crosses back over, at an angle, in front of the green. What’s more, two deep bunkers prevent the bail left.
6th WesterN Gailes Ayrshire, Scotland Par 5, 498 yards
Luke Donald, Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy have all made detours, while warming up for tournaments, to this unheralded course on the west coast. Like several of the other classic Ayrshire courses, the links is squeezed between the railway and the sea. There are only two par 5s, but what they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality; and the 6th is the best of the two. Known as Lappock, after a rock just of the coast, it claims to be the only links par 5 in the world which is all carry on a direct line. It dog-legs to the right, and the valley which the fairway runs through gets narrower and deeper as you approach the green.
My Top five ClassiC Holes
COURSE DESIGNER & VOICE OF GOLF 1. Par-4 18th, Muirﬁeld 2. Par-3 15th, Sunningdale (Old) 3. Par-3 8th, Royal Troon 4. Par-4 18th, Royal Lytham & St Annes 5. Par-3 11th, St Andrews
6 Golf World 100 Classic Holes
‘Luke Donald, Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy have all detoured, while warming up for events, to play Western Gailes’
The incredible view back down the par-5 6th at Western Gailes.
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his admiration of the place. Tom Watson, Greg Norman and Nick Faldo have also made the pilgrimage, 600 miles north of London. The links is bordered by the Dornoch Firth and a wonderful white sandy beach. You need to land on the green on this short hole, to avoid a tricky chip or bunker shot.
Prestwick’s par-5 3rd is named after its huge Cardinal bunker.
3rd PrestWick Ayrshire, Scotland Par 5, 533 yards
10th la Boulie (Valley) Versailles, France Par 3, 213 yards
Golf de la Boulie is part of one of the biggest sports clubs in France, the Racing Club de France. As well as golf, 16 other sports are played here, and it was one of Europe’s ﬁrst omnisports clubs. There are 45 holes here, but the Valley’s par-3 10th is the most memorable. From an elevated tee, there are terriﬁc views out over the forests and the serene countryside. The green is large and slopes to the front; but it is well defended on the front and the sides by a most impressive and intimidating complex of bunkers.
15th PeVero Sardinia, Italy Par 5, 501 yards
Pevero is one of the most beautiful courses in the world, located on the Costa Smeralda,
which in Italian means “emerald coast”. This Robert Trent Jones layout is set on a hilly peninsula between the gulf of Pevero and the bay of Cala di Volpe. There are extraordinary views all around, and you can even see the turquoise sea of the Mediterranean. Although comparatively short for a modern-day par 5, it plays a lot longer than it says on the scorecard because it is all uphill. Getting up in two may look easy, until you tangle with the thick macchia bushes which line the fairway.
2Nd royal dorNoch Sutherland, Scotland Par 3, 184 yards
Ben Crenshaw went to Royal Dornoch, during a break in his preparation for the 1980 Open Championship. Asked by the Secretary of the R&A how much he enjoyed the course, he replied: “Put it this way, I nearly didn’t come back.” And Crenshaw was not alone in
The birthplace of the Open (it held the ﬁrst 12 Opens, 24 in all) this is a wonderfully oldfashioned and eccentric links. There are blind shots all over the place, with huge, sleeperfaced bunkers, thin fairways and tiny greens. All of these are present on the par-5 3rd, which is unique in so many ways. With the Pow Burn running down the right, you drive short of the huge Cardinal bunker, after which the hole is named. Better players can take on the green with their second, but otherwise you want to stay well left and land on a moonscape of a fairway, with unbelievable humps and hollows.
8th NoordWijkse Noordwijkse, Holland Par 4, 406 yards
Designed by the Englishman Frank Pennink in 1971, this delightful course has hosted the Dutch Open on the European Tour on many occasions. It is a wonderful mixture of holes cut through dense woodland; and pure links, over dunes close to the North Sea. At the 8th you play over a rise, to a narrow fairway, which is lined with heather and naturallyshaped dunes on both sides. Your approach has to negotiate some deep, greenside, pot bunkers. In addition, the putting surface is protected by some large mounds and the inevitable stif breezes, of the sea.
The four pot bunkers make Birkdale’s par-3 3rd look even more intimidating.
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The split fairway on the 7th of Woburn’s Marquess course is a favourite of Justin Rose.
Lancashire, England Par 3, 183 yards
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire Par 5, 538 yards
12th royal Birkdale
7th WoBurN (marquess)
At ﬁrst glance, Royal Birkdale looks to have the most wild and rugged dunes of any course in Britain; and indeed the dunes are the largest and highest in England. And yet a lot of the fairways run along the bottom of the ﬂat valleys, with high dunes on either side. This adds to the feeling of peace and seclusion. Tom Watson has a picture of this spectacular one-shotter on his desk. It is a relatively new hole, which was designed by Fred Hawtree. You play from one high dune to another. In between is a dark valley; and the green looks very small, not least because it has four pot bunkers guarding the front of the green.
Right on the Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire borders, the Marquess was designed in 2000, and has a very diferent feel to its older cousins, the Duke’s and the Duchess. It is bigger and bolder; with pines, sweet chestnuts and oaks creating an intimidating border to the fairways. The splitfairway 7th is Justin Rose’s favourite hole. Questions start on the tee because you must choose whether to play it as a conventional three-shotter up the left or take a gamble up the right. The second option provides the shorter route, but then you have to play over a much more dangerous ravine with your next shot. The green is perched on the top of a hill, with bunkers left and right.
15th Vale do loBo (oceaN)
Vale do Lobo is Portuguese for ‘Valley of the Wolf’ and there is nothing very friendly about this spectacular par 3. The Atlantic Ocean is a natural hazard, which you can see and hear all too clearly, while you stand on the tee. Although the green is large, it is also exposed to the sea breezes (making yardage books redundant), and so the putting surface is deceptively difcult to ﬁnd. The beach (which is out of bounds) is a constant threat, proved by the fact that a short walk down it invariably results in several found balls. This is a pure links one-shotter and it has views to die for.
Home of the Volvo Masters for years (not to mention WGC events and the 1997 Ryder Cup), this beautifully manicured layout which winds through cork forests, also boasts this wickedly clever par 5. Designed by Robert Trent Jones and lovingly tended by the late Jaime Ortiz Patino for years, this risk/reward long hole has you constantly changing your mind. Known as “La Cascada”, the easy layup here still presents a tough chip to a tiny, raised green, with a step in it. On the right of the green is a waterfall, cascading down to the greenside lake. On the left there are trees. Tantalisingly difcult.
The Algarve, Portugal Par 3, 210 yards
Sotogrande, Spain Par 5, 516 yards
WHy i love
the 11th At BAllyBunion old
Co Kerry, Ireland Par 4, 472 yards
By NICk EDmUND, GOLF COURSE DESIGN CONSULTANT “Many believe Ballybunion Old’s back nine features Europe’s ﬁnest stretch of holes. Certainly, a very dramatic sequence begins the moment you step of the green at the tricky drive-and-pitch 10th and walk to a precarious tee on the edge of the Atlantic. In front of you is an extraordinary par 4. Huge sand dunes frame the entire left side, as the fairway cascades in natural terraces down to a windswept green set right next to the Ocean. And there’s not a bunker in sight. It is Ireland’s answer to Pebble Beach – with a dash of Turnberry for good measure. Exhilirating.”
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100 CLASSIC HOLES
Castle Stuart’s par-5 18th.
18th castle stuart Inverness, Scotland Par 5, 595 yards
Mark Parsinen (an American developer who oversaw the creation of Kingsbarns) was the force behind Castle Stuart. It is a spectacular site on the shores of the Moray Firth, with astounding views. The course, and 18th hole, in particular, got rave reviews from the pros, when the Scottish Open came here from 2011-2013. Your drive, on the line of the clubhouse’s Scottish saltire ﬂag, is partially blind. If you have driven well, a shot to the green is not out of the question, partly because it is the biggest of the 18. Anything short-left will kick onto the putting surface.
16th WaterVille County Kerry, Ireland Par 4, 366 yards
This is a stunning par 4, which bends like a banana from right-to-left, with the deserted beach and Atlantic Ocean running all the way down the right, and a big dune ridge down the left. The hole used to be called ‘Round the Bend’ but when the long-time pro, Liam Higgins, played straight over this dune ridge on his way to a hole-in-one here, and a course record 65, its name was changed to ‘Liam’s Ace’. We don’t suggest you copy Higgins! Keep to the right side of the fairway, as close to the beach as you dare, to give an angle into the green.
1st machrihaNish duNes Argyll and Bute, Scotland Par 4, 392 yards
Created on a Site of Special Scientiﬁc Interest, this David McLay Kidd layout is rugged, eccentric and natural. The course runs over some dramatic topography, and huge constraints were placed on the design team. Only seven acres on the 270-acre site were disturbed, and the rough is uncut, kept short by the roaming sheep. The brainchild of Australian businessman Brian Keating, the spectacular opening hole sets the tone for the round. An exhilarating drive towards the Atlantic is followed by a blind approach into a hidden, punchbowl green.
10 Golf World 100 Classic Holes
13th PGa cataluNya
Girona, Spain. Par 4, 399 yards Ever since it opened in 1999, this spectacular layout has been ranked as one of the very best in Europe; and for a course with such a short history, it has held a surprising amount of prestigious tournaments already. Invariably in immaculate condition, the putting surfaces are fast, true and slippery. The 13th ofers spectacular views over the surrounding countryside. It is a shortish par 4, and from an elevated tee, the temptation is to give it everything, as you play to what looks like a forgiving fairway; and yet the fairway is ďŹ‚anked by a lake. Your approach has to cross the water again, to a sliver of green. This green is cleverly sited, with a sharp fall-of on the right of the putting surface, again down towards the water.
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18th trumP iNterNatioNal scotlaNd
Ullna’s 3rd is a beautiful adaptation of the 17th at Sawgrass.
Aberdeen Par 5, 650 yards
Like many modern courses, there are multiple tees at Trump’s new links, and it depends who you talk to, as to which are the best! The designer, Martin Hawtree, says the best place to appreciate the strategy behind some of the holes is from ground level. ‘The Donald’ will lead you pretty high up into the dunes. And Donald’s son will take you right to the top. And there are few higher places than the back tee on the ﬁnal hole, which ofers unbelievable views. You can either go for length down the left, and risk water; or lay up short of the fairway bunkers down the right. In all, there are 18 bunkers; just the sort of loud ﬁnish you’d expect! Dramatic nonetheless.
Akersberga, Sweden Par 3, 160 yards Twelve miles from the centre of Sweden’s capital Stockholm, Sven Tumba built this American target-style course. Many of the holes run alongside Lake Ullna, which ices over in the winter, and is used as a huge skating rink. Many have attempted to adapt Pete Dye’s famous island green at Sawgrass, but few have done it as successfully as Tumba. There are diferences, and rather than a bunker at the front right, there is one at the back right, and the hole is some 25 yards longer. A recent Nicklaus renovation has given Ullna and the 3rd hole new impetus.
17th el saler
Valencia, Spain Par 3, 215 yards
El Saler is located just outside Valencia, within the Albufera Nature Park, and the course was designed by the Spanish architect Javier Arana in 1968. It is a fascinating mixture of pine forest and virgin dunes. Many of the holes weave through thick woodland, but those on the Mediterranean coastline are the most spectacular. The penultimate hole is just one of those, and it has received special acclaim because it poses difcult questions late in the round. The green, which slopes quite dramatically from right-to-left is also protected by deep bunkers, and has played
host to the climax of many Spanish Opens.
East Lothian, Scotland Par 3, 193 yards The fact that it is home of the world’s oldest private golf club, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (formed in 1744), should not distract from the quality of the links. Steeped in Open history, it is no surprise there is more than one Muirﬁeld hole in this listing. The uphill par-3 13th is played to an armchair green, which is neatly wedged between tall dunes on three sides. An extra 32 yards were added to this already
My Top five ClassiC Holes
GOLDEN AGE GOLF ARCHITECTURE 1. Par-4 17th, St Andrews (Old) 2. Par-5 11th, Bearwood Lakes 3. Par-3 8th, Royal Troon 4. Par-4 4th, Woking 5. Par-5 6th, Cruden Bay
Plenty of drama and bunkers on the par-5 18th at Trump International.
difcult hole before the 2013 Championship. Played into the prevailing wind, the bunkers on both sides are deep and cruel, and should be avoided at all costs.
Deep traps protect Muirfield’s par-3 13th hole.
17th hamBurGer (falkeNsteiN) Hamburg, Germany Par 5, 510 yards
This is a Harry Colt design set in a pine and birch forest, which has an uncanny resemblance to many of the Surrey heathland courses which made him so famous. He built it in 1928, and for a short period after the Second World War the course was taken over by the British Army, who couldn’t believe their luck. The penultimate hole is stunning, both in aesthetics and design strategy. The fairway falls to the left, tempting you to hit a faint draw; but anything too far left ﬁnishes in the sand. The green nestles in a bowl, and is framed by a hill of heather.
5th suNNiNGdale (old) Surrey, England Par 4, 407 yards
Site of countless important events, including
European Opens, the Walker Cup (1987) and Open Qualifying (when Bobby Jones shot his astonishing 66 in 1926) Willie Park’s masterpiece is carved out of a deep forest of pine, birch and oak. At this wonderful par 4, you drive downhill over a thick belt of heather, trying to avoid two fairway bunkers on the right. Your approach has to carry water, to the front right of the green, described by the writer Peter Allen as “an absurd little pond which becomes an infuriating great lake when you get in it”. This is also thought to be golf’s ﬁrst man-made water hazard. The green is also protected by four bunkers, and anything less than two pure shots can lead to tears.
7th morfoNtaiNe Senlis, France Par 4, 430 yards
An outstanding hole on an outstanding course, which has narrow fairways, thick forests and heather, and has changed very little from when it was ﬁrst laid out in 1927. Tom Simpson (of Ballybunion and Cruden Bay fame) designed the course at this exclusive club, set in the tranquil countryside. Your drive is played, partially blind, over a hill which slopes from left to right; and keeping your ball in the fairway is no easy task. Then, your approach has to clear a frighteningly deceptive false front, and the green is protected by a bunker on the left.
My favouriTe Hole
the 7th At Muirfield THOmAS BjORN
“This par 3 of 187 yards, is a particular favourite of mine. Played into the teeth of the prevailing westerly wind, a solid strike is the only shot which will ﬁnd this green, which slopes from back to front.”
100 CLASSIC HOLES
Thracian’s par-3 6th requires a pinpoint shot from the tee.
Toreboda, Sweden Par 3, 132 yards
The city of Toreboda is famous for its museums, cafes and cottages, which run alongside the legendary Gota Canal. This canal links Goteborg in the west to Stockholm in the east, and there is plenty of water on the golf course as well. The short ‘short’ hole is an increasingly rare beast in this age when technological advances seem to demand longer and longer holes, and so this delightfully pretty, little par 3 comes as a pleasant surprise. The green is horseshoe shaped, and juts out into Lake Mansarudssjon. At the front there is a long, shallow bunker; and at the back a copse of trees.
13th Praia d’el rey Obidos, Portugal Par 4, 328 yards
Bang next to the medieval village of Obidos, and a 45-minute drive north-west of Lisbon, there is a must-play course with a linksy feel, which hugs the coast. The American designer Cabell B. Robinson created the course, which opened in 1997, and it is built as two loops of nine. The best holes on the course are the stretch from the 13th to the 15th, and the pick of these is the 13th, which has the Atlantic Ocean crashing away on your left. This is a short risk/reward par 4, where the bigger hitters will try to go close to the green, and the rest of us will choose to lay up, in a short neck of land, with big bunkers to the right.
16th quiNta da ria Algarve, Portugal Par 5, 495 yards
The adventurous sounding Rocky Roquemore built this ﬂattish parkland layout in 2002; and it enjoys wonderful views over the Atlantic Ocean and the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. The 16th is a short par 5, where it’s comparatively easy to make a par, but try for anything lower, and you might end up with something very high. The drive has out of bounds on the left and water right.
At about 290 yards the fairway dog-legs right, and then it dog-legs back left, after your lay-up shot. So the ambitious and foolhardy will not lay-up, but instead go for the green, which is tucked behind a lake.
which is wide but not deep. You need to play a great drive (with a touch of draw) and then a pure second (with a touch of fade) to achieve a good score!
14th royal dorNoch
Balchik, Bulgaria Par 3, 230 yards
Sutherland, Scotland Par 4, 445 yards
Dornoch may be a long way from anywhere, but many have travelled to this far-ﬂung outpost, just to play this hole. The 14th was described by Harry Vardon as “the greatest natural hole I have ever played”; and by James W. Finegan as “surely one of the greatest par 4s in the world”. Known as ‘Foxy’ this famous hole is the only one on the course without a bunker, for the simple reason, it doesn’t need one. It is a double dog-leg, with the hole breaking sharply left at driving distance, and then back to the right at the end. The green is on a plateau
6th thraciaN cliffs This Gary Player Signature course sits on the clifs on the north side of the Black Sea. It is a wonderfully spectacular setting, and you are able to see the sea from every hole. The course hosted the Volvo World Matchplay in 2013, which Graeme McDowell won. This is the most photographed hole on the course, and you play to a green, which is cut out of the clif edge. It’s all too obvious on the tee that anything pushed even slightly right or long will end up in the sea, far down below. But, because the green is over 100 feet below the tee, it doesn’t play anything like its 230 yards.
Praia D’El Rey’s par-4 13th tempts you to go for the green.
Set on the north Norfolk coast, nothing much has changed at Royal West Norfolk, or Brancaster as it is better known, over the past century or so. Make sure you ﬁnd out the tide times before you pay a visit, because the sea cuts of the access to and from the course for several hours every day. One of the holes afected by the tide is the beautiful 9th, which dog-legs to the right. You have to carry a salt marsh from the tee (which might not be marsh at all, but rather sea depending on the time you choose to visit!) and you cut of as much of the corner as you dare. The green is protected by Brancaster’s famous bunkers which have railway sleepers in their faces, and short of the green there is also a burn to trip you up.
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Norfolk, England Par 4, 400 yards
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9th royal West Norfolk
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The 9th at Royal West Norfolk with the tide in.
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WHy i love
the 1st At MAchrihAnish Campbelltown, Scotland. Par 4, 436 yards
By DAVID mCLAy kIDD, COURSE DESIGNER “As well as one of the most unforgettable opening tee shots in the game, the strategy of the hole is as brilliant as it is simple. If you feel daring, you can take a bigger than prudent bite across the beach. That way, you can hug the left side of the fairway to open up your approach to the green. The more conservative will bail out across the shortest stretch of beach, leaving a very long approach shot over a greenside bunker.”
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100 CLASSIC HOLES
Hillsideâ€™s par-5 11th runs in a valley through the dunes.
Lancashire, England Par 5, 509 yards Right next to Royal Birkdale, Hillside really is a game of two halves. The front nine is laid out over comparatively level land next to the railway, and then the second nine is carved out of the much more dramatic and monstrous sandhills by the sea. From the tee on this sensational par 5 you can see not only many of the holes at Birkdale, but also those at Southport & Ainsdale. The fairway runs in a valley, with dunes on either side, and bunkers each side; and it dog-legs from right-to-left, up to a plateau green, which has a very deep bunker at the front right.
13th Notts (holliNWell) Nottinghamshire, England Par 3, 241 yards
Better known as Hollinwell (holy well) this fabulous heathland course was designed by Willie Park Jnr, and opened in 1901. Some years ago, the club embarked on an ambitious Heathland Restoration project; and their attempts to return to the glory days have undoubtedly succeeded. The par-3 13th is such a simple one-shotter, with extraordinary views from the tee over the countryside. You play from an elevated tee, through a v-shaped valley, to a green waydown below you. This is protected by six bunkers, and the oval-shaped green is set at an angle, dropping away at the back.
My Top five ClassiC Holes
DESIGNER OF FOTA ISLAND, CORk 1. Par-4 18th, Valderrama 2. Par-3 6th, Painswick 3. Par-4 7th, Sotogrande (Old) 4. Par-4 17th, Barseback (Masters) 5. Par-4 18th, Royal Lytham & St Annes
16 Golf World 100 Classic Holes
‘Hollinwell’s attempts to return the course to its glory days have undoubtedly proved a success’ xxxxxxxxxxx 2014 Golf World
100 CLASSIC HOLES
4th old head
County Cork, Ireland Par 4, 427 yards Few golf courses are blessed with such an astonishing landform. Old Head is built on a diamond-shaped headland, connected to the mainland by a narrow neck of land. The peninsula, on the top of clifs, juts out into the sea, at the extreme south-west of Ireland. It is exhilarating and spectacular in the same breath. The 4th is known as Razor’s Edge, and is an extraordinary par 4, which runs right along the craggy cliftop. With the Atlantic Ocean crashing on clifs some 300 feet below you, the hole dog-legs from right to left, and you cut of as much as you dare.
7th castelcoNturBia (yelloW) Conturbia, Italy Par 4, 383 yards
One hour north of Milan, and frequently playing host to the Italian Open, Castelconturbia is an impressive 27-hole Robert Trent Jones Snr layout. There are spectacular views over the Monta Rosa mountains; and the holes traverse gently rolling hills, with small lakes coming into play. The 7th is the best of all 27 holes, a dog-leg left, where the longer you drive it, the easier your second shot. Your approach is played to an island green, with the Monta Rosa massif providing a backdrop. The putting surface is shallow, so judging distance is a priority.
6th royal North deVoN Devon, England Par 4, 410 yards
Laid out by Old Tom Morris, Royal North Devon (or Westward Ho!) is the oldest
There are few more spectacular holes in world golf than the 4th at Old Head of Kinsale.
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continuously active golf club in England; and it has a rich history, with both Horace Hutchinson and JH Taylor coming from nearby Northam. At this exceptional index 1 hole, you play from a high tee, from which you can see Lundy Island for practically the only time. It is a breathtaking tee shot, and there are bunkers down the left for the short hitters, and cross bunkers for the longer ones. Too far right though, and you are in the rushes. You approach needs to stay left, to avoid the big drop of to the right.
6th diNard Brittany, Farance Par 4, 339 yards
Just beside the delightful ﬁshing village of Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, this is France’s second oldest club (behind Pau). Dating back to 1887, it is a classic links, built by the Scotsman Tom Dunn, with tight lies on sandy turf, pot bunkers, gorse and heather. The 6th provides extraordinary views, but then when you see where you need to drive the ball, your mood may change. This is a scary tee shot, to a frighteningly narrow fairway, where mounds and bumps make it look as though it’s impossible to hold the fairway. The second you play uphill to a green where it is easy to roll of the front.
17th carNoustie Angus, Scotland Par 4, 433 yards
Golf has been played in Carnoustie since the 16th century. The famous links has hosted seven Open Championships, and will hold its next one in 2018. The course is known for its fearsome ﬁnish, and – despite what Jean Van de Velde might say – the penultimate hole is arguably the most fearsome. Played into the
prevailing wind, it is called the Island because you have to land your tee shot on a tiny piece of land, as the Barry Burn snakes its way across the fairway, not that you can see much of this from the tee. They put new mounds in on the right, before the 2007 Open, which toughens things up even more.
Portimao, Portugal Par 3, 202 yards If three-time Open Champion Henry Cotton could see the huge array of golf courses in the Algarve now, he would be a proud man; because he started it all in 1966, when he built his championship course at the Meridien Penina. The 13th is a devilishly difcult par 3, and Cotton’s favourite hole in the world. The tee is set at an angle to the green, and there is water all down the right. Recent renovations have extended the water around the back of the green, and so the putting surface now has an island feel. With wind of the left, only well-struck shots ﬁnd the green.
1st Berkshire (Blue) Berkshire, England Par 3, 217 yards
Built on Crown land at the end of the 1920s by Herbert Fowler, the Blue unusually starts with a short hole; although it’s not that short! From the tee, you can see the green sitting on a hillock, over 200 yards away. The problem is, between you and the putting surface, is a carpet of purple heather. The par-3 1st at Lytham jolts you awake because of the bunkers surrounding the green, but this is even more dramatic and capable of wrecking a round before it’s really begun.
100 CLASSIC HOLES
Co Clare, Ireland. Par 5, 567 yards Properly designed by Greg Norman (he made nearly 30 site visits) and now owned by Donald Trump, Doonbeg has one of the best opening holes anywhere in the world. It is a quite brilliant start, where you play from an elevated tee to a distant green, which nestles in an amphitheatre of massive dunes. And these dunes really are big; they could house 5,000 people – a bit like the green on the 5th at Turnberry – if they had to. On the way to the green are strategicallyplaced, deep, pot bunkers; but it’s not too hard, and is a real ‘feel good’ hole. The signature hole at Doonbeg may be the 111-yard 13th; but the best hole on the course is this opener.
‘Doonbeg boasts one of the best opening holes you will find anywhere in world golf’ Golf World xxxxxxxxxxx 2014
It’s not hard to find pictures of Vale do Lobo’s 16th hole.
16th Vale do loBo (royal) The Algarve, Portugal Par 3, 215 yards
This is one of the most photographed short holes in the world, running along a precarious slither of crumbling red cliftop, with the beach and the Algarve coastline all along the left. A bunker and a sandy waste area stop you from bailing out to the right, and the green is shallow, with signiﬁcant movement in it. Like all great holes, it plays with your head when you stand on the tee, as the ravine and the thought of your ball going over the clif come into your mind.
7th the euroPeaN cluB County Wicklow, Ireland Par 4, 470 yards
Former golf writer Pat Ruddy’s dream of building a golf course became a reality in the early 1990s when he found this extraordinary piece of linksland at Brittas Bay, 35 miles south of Dublin. It’s a pure links, and Padraig Harrington reckons he may well not have won either of his Opens, if he hadn’t played here the week before. The 7th plays from a tee, set back in the dunes, to a slither of a fairway which runs through a marsh to a green balanced precariously along the bank of a stream, just of the right fringe.
18th fraNkfurter Frankfurt, Germany Par 4, 432 yards
You can often tell a lot about a course from the names of the players who win over it, and Henry Cotton, Tony Jacklin and Seve Ballesteros have all come of this ﬁnal green victorious. A Harry Colt design, it is built on sandy soil, south-west of Frankfurt. The 18th is a terriﬁc ﬁnishing hole, where you ﬁnally get to look out over Frankfurt’s skyline. You drive to a fairway, trying to avoid a deep bunker left and then face a precise second shot to an elevated green, which has a huge, deep bunker protecting the front right.
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100 CLASSIC HOLES
Bob Taylor made aces on Hunstanton’s 16th on three consecutive days.
2Nd aloha Malaga, Spain Par 4, 331 yards
One of the best-known courses on the Costa del Sol, Aloha started the explosion of golf courses in this area, after it opened in 1975. Javier Arana designed the course, but sadly died before completion; and Enrique Canales completed the layout. Set amongst beautiful eucalyptus groves and olive trees, the 2nd is known as ‘Uresandi’, a Basque word meaning lots of water. Anything left or right will ﬁnd water of the tee, and then the fairway bends
My favouriTe Hole
the 18th At Muirfield SIR NICk FALDO
“Not surprisingly really, given that this was where I won two Opens, I would love to play this hole every day, for the rest of my life. It demands a great tee shot and a very solid approach. Anything less, and you are in trouble.”
22 Golf World 100 Classic Holes
slightly left, towards a green featuring some elaborate humps and bumps. Two-putting is never a formality.
17th seiGNosse Seignosse, France Par 4, 401 yards
Close to the beautiful coastal city of Biarritz, on France’s south-west coast, Robert Von Hagge has worked his magic in a hilly estate which winds through corks, pines and oaks. The 17th is the only par 4 on the course without a bunker and it dog-legs left, around a huge lake, which runs along the left of the hole. The green is long and thin. On the right, the over-hanging trees push your second towards the lake. Jose Maria Olazabal loves the accuracy required on this hole and often warmed up for the Masters here.
16th huNstaNtoN Norfolk, England Par 3, 189 yards
An old, traditional club, which has been around since 1891, this is a classic out-andback links which has been tinkered with over
the years, mostly by James Braid. It runs between a huge and beautiful beach on one side, and the little River Hun on the other with some shaggy dunes down the middle. This is a classic one-shotter, made famous by Bob Taylor, who made three holes-in-one on three consecutive days here. The green is surrounded by seven bunkers, and you play down from the ridge on the seaward side, with majestic views over the Wash.
17th BarseBack (NeW) Landskrona, Sweden Par 4, 440 yards
As early as the 1980s, Jack Nicklaus was extolling the virtues of golf in this part of the world; and so it’s not that surprising that since then this fabulous course has hosted numerous European Tour events as well as the 2003 Solheim Cup. All have been a huge success; and now Barseback is established as one of the great European golf resorts. One of the most challenging holes on the course is the 17th, which plays directly into the prevailing wind. You need a long, wellplaced tee shot to set up a testing second. The only problem is the breezes of the Baltic Sea are very unpredictable.
100 CLASSIC HOLES
Turnberry’s 10th is considered one of golf’s greatest holes.
16th cluB zur Vahr
Designed by August Weyhausen and Bernhard Von Limburger, the Garlstedter Heide championship layout has been considered for some time to be one of Germany’s best courses. The course runs through thick forests and heathland; and has a very natural feel to it, with very few artiﬁcial hazards. The 16th is living proof that you don’t need bunkers to create a classic hole; and the major hazard of the tee is a lone tree on the right side of the fairway, which catches the eye and stays in your mind as you prepare to hit. Your approach cannot be short as it needs to carry a stream, which cuts in front of the green.
Known as “Dinna Fouter” (Don’t falter) this is an exceptional par 4, which has made the very top of some rankings of greatest holes. A new tee right out on a rocky outcrop was built before the 2009 Open Championship, and with the iconic lighthouse behind you, you play over a rocky beach to a fairway with two horribly deep, pot bunkers in the middle, almost urging you to ﬁnd them. Your approach has to carry the famous island bunker, with a grassy mound in the middle of it. New owner Donald Trump has talked of putting the green on the high ground at the back, where the 11th tee now is.
Bremen, Germany Par 4, 434 yards
Ayrshire, Scotland Par 4, 457 yards
18th chaNtilly ViNeuil
WHy i love
the 11th At st Andrews Fife, Scotland Par 3, 174 yards
By PETER ALLISS, COURSE DESIGNER “A classic short hole. It makes you really think on the tee. There will be plenty of people who don’t; and they will stand there, see a big green, and a nothing sort of hole. What they won’t appreciate is the bunker’s depth and how the green slopes towards it. If the pin is close to the bunker, it is almost impossible to get close.”
24 Golf World 100 Classic Holes
Chantilly, France Par 4, 403 yards
The British aristocrat, Tom Simpson, designed this masterpiece over a century ago; and many of the questions he asks are as relevant today as they ever were. The course still relies more on strategy and skill than strength and length. On the ﬁnal hole, for example, you are much better of ﬁnding the short grass with a 3-wood, than you are the trees with a driver. To set up the best angle to approach this rolling green you need to try to be down the right-centre. This green has a bit of a history of witnessing three-putts at crucial moments.
two, and all sorts of other dangers, not least a copse of trees, rear their ugly heads.
18th saN loreNzo
8th las Brisas Malaga, Spain Par 5, 530 yards
Robert Trent Jones Senior was one of the most proliﬁc designers of the 20th century. His philosophy was that every hole should be a difcult par and an easy bogey; and his par 5s were especially memorable. This is a terriﬁc example of that, a dog-leg left-toright, of an elevated tee. You play your tee shot over a stream, which babbles down the right of the fairway, and then with your second you need to stay close to the water on the right if you are to give yourself the best angle into the green. Try and reach in
The Algarve, Portugal Par 4, 382 yards
Opened in 1968, bordering the Ria Formosa Estuary and situated in the south-east corner of the Quinta do Lago estate, San Lorenzo is a spectacularly beautiful golf course. Joe Lee, the designer, has created a very demanding climax to the round, despite the fact that the hole is under 400 yards long. It is a dog-leg left, where you drive over water, before having to hit your approach again across water, to a green protected by bunkers and water. This hole stands the test of time, and is living proof that a hole doesn’t need to be long to be difcult.
Royal County Down’s par-4 9th hole proved Tom Watson’s favourite when he visited.
14th royal Portrush Co Antrim, Northern Ireland Par 3, 210 yards
Bernard Darwin described Harry Colt’s masterpiece, which will soon hold an Open Championship, as “a monument to Colt which is more enduring than brass”. The
Portrush’s 14th has claimed many a victim.
signature hole on the Dunluce course is one of golf’s most famous. Known as ‘Calamity Corner’, it requires a very solidly hit long-iron or fairway wood for most, just to ﬁnd the putting area. There is a huge, grassy gully or ravine, just of the front right of the green. Given that most amateurs favour a weak slice, that’s where they invariably end up. The green is perched delicately on top of the 100 foot precipice, and is no-easy two-putt.
9th royal couNty doWN County Down, Northern Ireland Par 4, 486 yards
Many consider RCD one of golf’s toughest courses; behind perhaps only Pine Valley. Tom Watson called the front nine “as ﬁne a nine as I have ever played” with the 9th impressing him most. It is one of golf’s most
spectacular and dramatic holes. You drive uphill over a marker-post towards the peak of Slieve Donard in the Mountains of Mourne, and if it’s straight your ball dives over a precipice, into the valley below. From here, you face long-iron or fairway wood, into the prevailing wind, to a plateau green. Tough.
My Top five ClassiC Holes
DESIGNER OF TRUmP, ABERDEEN
1. Par-4 18th, Leven Links 2. Par-3 12th, Royal Birkdale 3. Par-3 17th, Swinley Forest 4. Par-4 7th, Sunningdale (Old) 5. Par-4 7th, The Island
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What makes a ‘great’ golf hole? Golf holes come in all shapes and sizes; so what separates the good from the bad and the truly great from the great? Jock Howard spoke to some of the world’s top course designers to find out.
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hilip Mackenzie Ross, the man behind Turnberry’s Ailsa course, hit the nail on the head, when he famously remarked: “A great golf hole is one which puts a question mark into the player’s mind when he arrives on the tee to play it.” There is, of course, a slight ﬂaw in the Scotsman’s argument. Quite often, handicap golfers don’t think much at all while playing golf; so the concept of any sort of question registering with them is a totally alien one. Perhaps even worse, there are so many question marks in their heads already, when they arrive on a tee, that trying to put an extra one in, is nearly impossible. Peter Alliss, as always, puts it more
succinctly. “Anyone who has a handicap of 18 or over, is not really a thinking golfer, in my opinion, because they hit too many bad shots. There is no room for them to think about anything else but hitting the ball!” One of the most difﬁcult things about golf course design is that you have to cater for everyone. You have to design a hole that can be played by both Rory McIlroy and the guy in P.G.Wodehouse who wielded his mid-iron as if he were trying to kill a snake. If you can make it enjoyable for both types of player, you have hit the jackpot, and you are a genius. Golf course architecture is not, of course, an exact science. One man’s iconic hole is a rather dull and tedious affair to someone else. Like all
The par-4 10th on Turnberry’s Philip Mackenzie Ross-designed Ailsa course is every bit a classic.
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100 classic holes
arts, all golf architecture is a matter of opinion. There is no ‘right way’ to design a golf hole. Instead, there are methods and ways that have proved more popular and successful over time. Despite this, we can make some assumptions. For a golf hole to be considered ‘great’, it must have three basic ingredients; a sense of place, design elements (the bunkering, the green complex, etc) and great conditioning. “What is surprising,” says Peter McEvoy, who has been involved in design for over 20 years, “is that the most important of these is the conditioning, even though people don’t appreciate this at ﬁrst. If I took you to Augusta National, and it was in appalling condition, you wouldn’t think much of it. But, if I then took you to any fairly nondescript course in Augusta National condition, you’d love it. “The sense of place is the next most important thing. Golf courses are built in all sorts of places; in the desert, by the sea, on moorland, by a lake, in woodland, or in the mountains. Wherever they are, that’s what deﬁnes them; unlike say a tennis court or a football pitch, which looks pretty similar whether it’s in Arizona or Abergavenny. “Finally you come to the actual design; where the bunkers are, what the slopes are on the greens, how long the hole is and all those other aspects. This is the element people tend to concentrate on; but surprisingly it is the least important. Look at the 10th hole at Turnberry, for example. It matters very little what the shape of that green is, or where the bunkers are. Assuming it is in great condition, you are going to love it, even if a chimpanzee designs that hole. The beauty and the condition overpower any design shortcomings.” As a designer, you are usually aiming to create a hole which is playable for the high-handicapper, while at the same time being very demanding for the better player. You are trying to make the hole both easy and hard; which sounds counter-intuitive, but it is possible. The easiest way to achieve this is through length, and with multiple tee boxes; and most modern designers do this in spades. Then, there are the
hazards. As a designer, you might be trying to make these reachable for those trying to overpower the hole, but not for the high-handicapper. Finally, there are the green complexes, the shapes and slopes around the approaches to the greens and on the greens themselves. This is the area which a designer needs to focus on, as these green complexes open up all sorts of possibilities. “Imagine there is a lake, all down the left-hand side of a hole,” says McEvoy. “I would want that hole to have a pin tucked behind a bunker on the right, which is only really accessible from the left side of the fairway. In other words, the better player will have to risk hitting towards the hazard on the left, if he wants to get into the best position to play his second shot. But, the club player can easily just not take any risks, aim for the middle of the fairway, and then the middle of the green with his second.” Strategic golf course design is important in making a ‘classic’ hole; but aesthetics are probably more important.
“If the 18th hole at Pebble Beach was lifted up and plonked five miles inland, I wouldn’t bother to play it! Without the magnificent cliffs and the wonderful beach, it’s got bugger all going for it!” Peter Alliss 28 Golf World 100 Classic Holes
“If you took the buildings and sheds away from the 17th on the Old Course at St Andrews,” says Alliss, “it wouldn’t be half the hole it is now. And the same with the 18th at Pebble Beach. Imagine that hole being ﬁve miles inland. I wouldn’t bother playing it! Without the magniﬁcent cliffs and the wonderful beach, it’s got bugger all going for it.” ‘Classic’ is not a term you can buy, either. It often takes time before a hole is considered to be such. It is much easier, for instance, to call a Harry Colt hole a ‘classic’ than it is a hole built by a modern designer. Every designer worth his salt wants to design ‘classic’ holes, but the uncomfortable truth is that designers often need to die ﬁrst, before any of their holes are considered classics! “A classic hole must have one of the following,” says David McLay Kidd, whose designs include Bandon Dunes, Machrihanish Dunes and Queenwood. “It must be steeped in history and golﬁng lore; have been instrumental in a tournament; be incredibly memorable; be often copied; or just simple, uncontrived and timeless. Some will call the 17th at TPC Sawgrass a ‘classic’. Others will use the same term about the 17th on the Old Course. They share nothing in design terms; but both are ‘classic’.” For Steve Smyers, who built Chart Hills with Nick Faldo, and also designed
the art of design
Designing the perfect golf hole
How does a course designer’s way of thinking differ between creating a 110-yard short hole, a 390-yard par 4 and a 600-yard-plus monster?
The perfect par 3 Unique, because the architect decides exactly from where a player approaches the green. It’s important to have a variety of diferent length short holes along with a mix of uphill and downhill. Often, unique, attractive, aesthetically interesting landforms (little dells or punchbowls) can be best used on par 3s. great example: 3rd hole, Dukes Course, Woburn G&CC
Isleworth and Old Memorial in Florida, a hole must ﬁt its surroundings. “An ideal golf hole,” he says, “is one that sets up a dynamic dialogue between the features of the hole itself and the movements and shapes of the surrounding landscape. Architects use tree lines, grass lines, bunkers, water features, wetlands, and topography to focus and guide a person through the golf hole. People’s perception is extremely sensitive to contrast, motion and repeated patterns in the landscape. The communication between the golf hole and the golfer stems from the architect’s ability to properly position those features and hazards to concentrate the eye and allow the body to react and embrace the strategy. An ideal hole provides options and choices, and confounds yet stimulates the mental aspect of the game. In essence, it will ask the golfer to study his lie, read the ground, feel the wind, then imagine and execute a great shot.” Remember that Mackenzie Ross quote about making a player think? Peter McEvoy improves on it when he says: “The best holes ask questions, and give you choices and options. The even better ones are those with almost a bit of illusion to them; ones where you can’t quite see where the danger is, or what you have to guard against comes from an unexpected place.”
The perfect par 4 Again, a variety of length is crucial in par-4 design, not least because they make up the majority of a course’s holes. If all of the par 4s are 410 yards long, a course is unlikely to live long in the memory. Given that par 3s can be under 250 yards and par 5s can be over 600 yards, par 4s have enormous potential for variety. great example: 17th hole, Old Course, St Andrews
Above: The par-3
17th at TPC Sawgrass – memorable, often copied and always instrumental in the Players Championship – making it a classic in most people’s eyes.
The perfect par 5 The toughest to design because the variety of ways to play the hole will be multiplied. It’s good to design risk/reward into as many as possible. The design also has to relate the middle of the hole to the beginning and the end. One key is to make the player decide at what stage he plays his difcult shot – ﬁrst, second or third. great example: 18th hole, Pebble Beach, California
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100 CLASSIC HOLES
The par-5 12th at Barseback is tight and tree-protected.
12th BarseBack (Masters) Scania, Sweden Par 5, 541 yards
Situated on Sweden’s west coast, and originally designed by Ture Bruce in 1969, the Barseback course has hosted numerous Scandinavian Masters on the European Tour as well as the 2003 Solheim Cup. The 12th is a cleverly designed risk/reward par 5, which goes back into the woodland, after you tee of close to the sea. Many of the professionals can get home in two shots, as long as they ﬁrst ﬁnd the narrow landing strip of the tee, but it’s a big if. The green is small and slippery; and tucked away on the left, in the trees.
8th cruden Bay
Aberdeenshire, Scotland Par 4, 257 yards Originally designed by Tom Morris and Archie Simpson, it is actually Tom Simpson (who used to travel around in a chaufeurdriven Rolls Royce) who should take much of the praise for the current holes. The 8th has huge shaggy sandhills, and the green is set in an amphitheatre of high walled dunes. Simpson named this hole (together with the 1st and 18th) in his Best 18 Holes in Great Britain & Ireland. “It is an outstanding jewel of a hole; mischievous, subtle and provocative.” If you go for the green, danger awaits. If you lay up, you face a tricky chip.
18th Monte rei (north) Algarve, Portugal Par 5, 501 yards
Overlooking the Serra do Caldeirao mountains to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south, this is a Signature Jack Nicklaus course in the Eastern Algarve, close to the Spanish border. The Golden Bear’s ﬁnal hole on this rugged land is a classic risk/ reward par 5. There are ingeniously shaped bunkers down the left, but that’s the best side if you want the contours of the fairway to kick your ball forward. If you go for the green in two, it is all carry, over a lake, to a green protected by more bunkers.
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18th Le GoLf nationaL (aLBatros) Paris, France. Par 4, 470 yards
In four years’ time this beautiful course on the outskirts of Versailles (which has hosted the French Open for the past two decades) is going to be where the 2018 Ryder Cup is decided. . Designed by Hubert Chesneau and Robert von Hagge, the course took three years to build, and is sited on a former rubbish dump. At the last, with water threatening both your tee shot and your approach, there is no hiding place. We can only hope plenty of the 2018 matches make it down the last.
‘There are few more spectacular theatres in the game than Le Golf National’s final four holes and the 18th is the best of the lot’ xxxxxxxxxxx 2014 Golf World
100 CLASSIC HOLES
The daunting dune and bunkerprotected three-tiered green of Royal St George’s par-3 6th.
Why I love
the 7th at Sunningdale Berkshire, England Par 4, 406 yards
By MArTIn HAwTrEE, rEnOwnED DESIGnEr “This is the pick of a wonderful stretch of two-shotters that begins on the Old’s 5th. There is an amazing feeling of isolation and tranquillity. I love the boldness of the older architects, who were unfazed by a huge hill, right in the hole’s path! The blind drives produce wonderful excitement and expectation. Colt’s new green is beautifully nestled into the foot of a heathy slope. It is a wonderful symphony of colour and topography.”
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6th royaL antWerp Kapellan, Belgium Par 4, 424 yards
This is one of the ﬁnest wooded heathland courses in north-west Europe, set on sandy soil, with lots of heather and mature pine trees. It is a Tom Simpson design, over ground which originally had a Willie Park Jnr course running over it. The dog-legs are the primary feature which leave their mark when you play Royal Antwerp. Most of them turn left, but the best is the 6th, which goes the other way. Tree growth means that you have to be pin-point accurate with your tee shot; and also drive it far enough to get around the corner to leave a shot at the green.
6th royaL st GeorGe’s Kent, England Par 3, 176 yards
Royal St George’s has held the Open 14 times and, despite recent criticism by some pros who ﬁnd it too ‘unfair’ and ‘eccentric’, it is easy for most to see why Bernard Darwin wrote: “This is as nearly my idea of heaven as is to be attained on any earthly links.” The dunes tower above the 6th green on all sides. With the sea at your back, you play to a daunting three-tiered putting surface, which is situated in a wonderfully natural setting, in the shadow of the great ‘Maiden’ dune. Tom Watson, at the age of 61, had a hole-in-one here in the second round of the 2011 Open
Championship; his ball bouncing just once, before disappearing down the hole like a frightened rabbit.
7th crans-sur-sierre Crans Montana, Switzerland Par 4, 330 yards
There is a reason the European Masters is one of the most popular tournaments of the year on the European Tour, and much of that has to do with the charm of the resort town and the magniﬁcent course. Classic holes do not necessarily need to be tough. The 7th at Crans-sur-Sierre is a very inviting, downhill hole, which then goes uphill for the ﬁnal 60 yards. Bunkers lie in wait short of the green, and there is often heavy rough around the putting surface, which is perched out on a ledge. All around there are breath-taking snow-capped mountains; and all seems well with the world.
3rd reaL cLuB de seviLLe Alcala de Guadaira, Spain Par 3, 154 yards
Built 20 years ago by two-times Masters Champion and the 2012 European Ryder Cup captain José María Olazábal, the topography is basically plains, and so the course is relatively ﬂat. Olazábal used a lot of water and sand, and planted some 12,000 trees. This is a short par 3, where you play from an
elevated tee box to quite a narrow green. This green is almost totally surrounded by water, with a small bail-out area on the right, but also a deep bunker at the front right. The putting surface has some very subtle breaks but is invariably in immaculate condition.
4th WoodhaLL spa (hotchkin) Lincolnshire, England Par 4, 414 yards
Golf has been played in this little Lincolnshire town since 1891, but the famous course is the result of nine holes being laid out by Harry Vardon, another nine by Harry Colt, and a major overhaul of all of them by Colonel Hotchkin in the 1920s, after whom the course is named. It is a spectacular heathland course, with heather, gorse and silver birch; but the most memorable thing about it are the bunkers. The 4th is a classic dog-leg, where you must avoid a fairway bunker on the left, before playing a medium iron into a green, surrounded by more of those cavernous holes.
and the green itself is protected by bunkers and contours. An ace here is such a rare event that they recently played a tournament where €1 million was ofered as a prize.
2nd royaL aBerdeen Aberdeen, Scotland Par 5, 558 yards
Royal Aberdeen is the sixth oldest club in the world, and the links – known as Balgownie – can be said to be the work of Willie Park Snr, and three Simpsons – Robert, Archie and Tom. It is pure links at its splendid best, and no surprise at all that the Scottish Open was played there earlier this year. The par-5 2nd is a wonderfully natural hole, where you drive over grassy mounds to a fairway which is set in a valley. Huge dunes tower over you on the right, while gorse awaits anything left. But these are no ﬂat Birkdale fairways. Far from it. And to get to the green in two requires you to play two brilliantly solid shots of uneven lies.
slightly elevated green. Even the putting surface is protected by a couple of very nasty bunkers.
East Sussex, England Par 3, 159 yards Rye is a place of tweed, tradition, plus fours and the Presidents Putter – a bizarre competition, played in January, between the golﬁng societies of Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Unless you know a member, there is very little chance of being able to play; it is that exclusive. It is pure links, with two ridges of sandhills running the length of the course. The 7th is a relatively new hole, and you play from a tee cut beautifully into the side of a hill, to a plateau green. This putting surface is guarded on all sides by bunkers and fall-of areas.
6th st noM La Breteche (red)
6th pine cLiffs
Lazio, Italy Par 4, 411 yards
St Nom La Breteche, France Par 4, 439 yards
This may be a nine-hole course with a kidfriendly hotel, but the 6th hole is right up there with the best one-shotters in the world. Known as ‘The Devil’s Parlour’ you tee of from a tiny tee on top of the red clifs, and have to hit over a huge chasm. The teeing ground itself is so precarious that it makes the 9th at Turnberry look like a football ﬁeld. Anything short is lost in the depth’s below,
Fifteen miles south-east of Rome and sited next to the medieval town of Castel Gandolfo (which was where Popes of the past used to spend the summers) this amazing course is set in lush, fertile land in the proximity of an extinct volcano. The 4th hole is extremely tough, and consistently wins awards for being one of the world’s great holes. You drive to a fairway, which gradually narrows. Lakes right and left mean that eventually only a narrow neck of land leads up to the
This club is set in the grounds of what was once a 17th century chateau, and gently winds its way among secluded forests and fruit orchards. Designed in 1950 by Fred Hawtree and opened in 1959 it has held the World Cup of Golf and numerous Lancome Trophies. At the latter, the nines are reversed, and this 6th hole becomes the 15th. You need to thread your drive between two bunkers, and it also needs to be long enough to get past the hole’s shoulder on the right. The green is long and narrow, and protected by deep bunkers, devilish rough and pine trees.
The Algarve, Portugal Par 3, 225 yards
‘The 7th at Rye is a relatively new hole, and you play from a tee cut beautifully into the side of a hill, to a plateau green’ xxxxxxxxxxx 2014 Golf World
100 CLASSIC HOLES
‘Willie Park was the first to call Troon’s 17th the Postage Stamp, because that’s how big he thought the putting surface looked from the tee’ Golf World 100 Classic Holes
8th royaL troon
Ayrshire, Scotland. Par 3, 123 yards The shortest hole on the Open rota is also arguably the greatest; and it has been described as being “as full of wickedness as it is of beauty”. Willie Park was the ﬁrst to call it the Postage Stamp, while writing about the hole in Golf Illustrated, because that’s how big he thought the putting surface looked from the tee. You play from an elevated hillock over a gully, to a green set at an angle, set into the side of a hill. The green is surrounded by bunkers (it’s rumoured some of these were made by soldiers using this area for hand grenade practice during the Second World War) with faces which are ﬁerce and vertical. A German amateur, Herman Tissies, made a 15 here in the 1950 Open, by repeatedly extricating himself from a bunker one side, only to fall into one on the other. At the other extreme, at the age of 71, during the 1973 Open Championship, the great Gene Sarazen made a hole-in-one here; and what’s more the television cameras were there to record it. Sarazen was the ﬁrst man to win all four of golf’s major championships, and he announced after his ace that he was having a copy of the ﬁlm made “to take with me to heaven so that I can show Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones”.
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100 CLASSIC HOLES
18th Les Bordes
The brainchild of Baron Marcel Bich (of Bic biros fame) Les Bordes is an extraordinary exclusive course in the Loire valley. Set in incredibly peaceful and tranquil surroundings, the Texan Robert von Hagge has created a course, which has an American feel in both design and conditioning. There are many great holes, but he leaves his best until last, where you drive over water, and then hit a long-iron or fairway wood over another lake fronted with railway sleepers. The green has a ridge running right down the middle of it, meaning putting is no easy task.
This Robert Trent Jones masterpiece was the ﬁrst course he built in mainland Europe, exactly 50 years ago. It has just undergone a major restoration, but the brilliance of Trent Jones’ design is still very much intact. The fairway narrows into a neck at driving length, with two deep bunkers protecting the corner of this right-to-left dog-leg. Your second shot needs to be right of centre as well, because everything falls left. The green is shallow, well-protected by bunkers, and slopes from back-to-front. There are few more impressive risk/reward examinations.
St Laurent, France Par 4, 414 yards
17th st andreWs (oLd) Fife, Scotland Par 4, 495 yards
Known as the Road Hole because of the eponymous track running down the right of the green, with the infamous wall, no Open Championship at the auld grey toon is over until you are through this beast. Just ask Tom Watson, who was up against the wall in 1984. You drive blind over where the old railway
My Top FIve ClassIC holes
daVid MClaY Kidd
THE MAn BEHInD BAnDOn DunES 1. Par-4 1st, Machrihanish (Old) 2. Par-4 17th, St Andrews (Old) 3. Par-3 14th, Royal Portrush (Dunluce) 4. Par-4 10th, Sunningdale (Old) 5. Par-4 11th, Ballybunion (Old)
Golf World 100 Classic Holes
Cadiz, Spain Par 5, 517 yards
The par-4 18th at Les Bordes brings water into play twice.
sheds used to be. The right line is over the ‘u’ on the ‘Old Course Hotel’ sign, but you have to take into account an angled fairway and the impact the big hotel on the right has on the wind. Your approach has to land right of the unbelievably deep Road Hole bunker, but must stop before the road. World No.1 Rory McIlroy saw the hazard end his hopes at the Dunhill Links earlier this month and did the same to Tommy Nakajima’s during the third round of the 1978 Open Championship. The Japanese qualiﬁer was tied for the lead before famously making quintuple-bogey 9.
18th royaL LythaM & st annes Lancashire, England Par 4, 410 yards
Some holes rely more on the brilliance of their design than aesthetics, when it comes to greatness, and this is one of them. Two lines of bunkers cross the fairway, in a diagonal line from the tee, making it seem impossibly difcult to land the ball on the
fairway, though Tony Jacklin didn’t think so on his way to winning the 1969 Open. Two new fairway bunkers were added to the right of the hole to test the longest hitters before the 2012 Open, meaning that there are now 17 bunkers in all, on this hole. The pear-shaped green has a really narrow entrance, which makes running it on from the front a dangerous option.
The par-4 18th at Royal Lytham & St Annes with its 17 bunkers.
18th san roQue (oLd) San Roque, Spain Par 4, 428 yards
In between Jerez and Marbella, in the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja, and very near the tip of the Iberian peninsula, is one of Spain’s truly great courses. Designed originally by Dave Thomas, many of the bunkers were re-designed by the late, great Seve Ballesteros. The 18th is the signature hole, a dog-leg right-to-left, with water all down the left. You can cut of as much as you dare, but you still have to play your second over a stream. And that’s not the end of the danger! The green itself is sandwiched between a deep bunker on the left, and another small lake on the right.
‘No Open Championship at the auld grey toon is over until you are through the 17, the famous Road Hole’ xxxxxxxxxxx 2014 Golf World
100 CLASSIC HOLES
North Berwick, Scotland. Par 4, 473 yards If you need a par at the last to win the Open (and many have been in that situation) this is one of the last holes on earth you would choose. The drive is beset with danger, with bunkers down the left, where the fairway pinches in, and one down the right. Invariably there is a stif cross wind from right-to-left. Your approach has to ﬂy the bunkers 30 yards in front of the green, which foreshorten the hole (a Colt design feature). And the long, rising green has the famous bunker right, with the island of grass in the middle of it; and the one on the left, where Els made a sand save to win in 2002. Phil Mickelson’s birdie on this hole to win in 2013 was a moment of pure golﬁng genius.
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The daunting valley of heather from Hankley’s par-3 7th tee.
7Th hANKLEY COMMON Surrey, England Par 3, 183 yards
Laid out by James Braid on a magniﬁcent, open, sandy heath, Bobby Locke described the inland course as “the closest resemblance to a seaside links I have ever seen”. The 7th plays from a raised tee, across a valley, which has a sea of heather in it. In fact, to get to the green, which is quite a bit higher up, perched on a hill top, it is all carry. At the front of the green, on both sides, are two big angry bunkers. The green itself has two tiers, and so to get to a pin at the back requires a substantial hit. With the views, it’s not surprising this was a particular favourite of both Locke and Henry Cotton.
1sT KENNEMEr Zandvoort, Holland Par 4, 452 yards
This pure, classic links, which is 20 miles west of Amsterdam, was designed by the legendary Englishman Harry Colt in 1928. Set alongside the dunes on the North Sea, your ﬁrst shot is enticing, rather than intimidating. You play into a valley, where the dunes on either side slope back into the middle, and encourage your ball back into the fairway. Things get a bit tougher on the second shot, however, where you have to ﬁnd a green, which – although large and ﬂat – is surrounded by thick and unforgiving gorse.
My Top FIVE ClassIC HolEs
CourSE dESIgn ConSuLTanT 1. Par-3 17th, El Saler 2. Par-3 2nd, Morfontaine 3. Par-5 16th, Walton Heath (Old) 4. Par-4 11th, Ballybunion 5. Par-4 5th, Royal Dornoch
100 Classic Holes Golf World 39
100 CLASSIC HOLES
2nd GoLf deL sur (south)
1st GoLf naZionaLe
This Tenerife course, which has frequently held European Tour events and had Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els competing here in Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, was designed by Pepe Gancedo. It is a truly terriﬁc layout, full of palm trees and giant cactus plants. There are some great holes, but the 2nd is undoubtedly the best, where you play from an elevated tee to a large green with subtle borrows. There is a huge bunker at the back of the green, which like all the sand traps here, is full of black, volcanic sand; to be avoided at all costs.
Forty miles north-west of Rome, this beautiful course which used to be known as Le Querce (or ‘the Oaks’ in English) is set in rolling hills, with wonderfully mature oak trees lining the fairways. The course opened in 1990. Jim Fazio (nephew of George) was the designer, and he sets the tone for the round by demanding your ﬁrst shot of the day is straight, and must avoid a deep bunker on the right of the landing area. Water on the left and trees on the right threaten your second shot; before you must play a wedge to an elevated green, protected by three more, big, deep bunkers.
Bordered on the north by the English Channel and to the south by the Bay of Biscay, this is an exceptionally pretty course right on the coast. It is more cliftop than pure links, and the par-5 11th is truly breathtaking. This hole, which frequently gets into lists of the top 100 holes in the world, has a tee which is perched high up on a rocky outcrop. A lonely stone house and a single tree sit on the left side of the hole, and anything too far left of these will end up on the beach. Best favour the right side all the way, because a dune ridge, covered in rough and gorse, runs down the left.
9th st eurach Bavaria, Germany Par 4, 434 yards
1st onyria paLMares Beach & GoLf resort (praia)
A 40-minute drive south of Munich in Iﬄedorf, this wonderful course sits in a tranquil woodland setting, and ofers spectacular views over the Bavarian Alps. Opened in 1973, the 9th was often played as the 18th when the BMW International Open visited. It is a slight dog-leg right, but you need to keep your tee shot left of centre if you are to avoid being blocked out by some trees on the corner of the dog-leg. Your second shot is played uphill to a green, guarded on the left and right by bunkers.
Close to the town of Lagos, Robert Trent Jones Jnr has built a brand new course, with three loops of nine holes, over the old Palmares layout. It opened under four years ago, but it is already making its mark as one of the ﬁnest courses in the area. This is a spectacular opener to the Beach nine, a dogleg right which tumbles downhill. It’s the classic risk/reward hole, where you cut of as much of the corner as you dare. From the
Tenerife, Spain Par 3, 211 yards
6th st enodoc Cornwall, England Par 4, 378 yards
Near the village of Rock on the north coast of Cornwall, St Enodoc has a delightful links, which is not long, but wonderfully memorable. The best and most famous hole is the 6th, called ‘Himalayas’ because of the huge sandhill, which you have to carry with your second shot (Bernard Darwin thought this was the highest sandhill he had ever seen on a golf course). The hole kinks left about where your drive will land. And it’s no use trying to sneak around the left of the hill, because there are pot bunkers and rough to catch you. Don’t forget to take a picture.
My Top FIve ClassIC holes
SKy SPOrTS GOLF COMMEnTATOr 1. Par-5 6th, Carnoustie 2. Par-3 15th, Portmarnock 3. Par-4 18th, The Belfry 4. Par-5 18th, Liphook 5. Par-3 10th, Sunningdale (Old)
Lazio, Italy Par 5, 595 yards
Brittany, France Par 5, 535 yards
Algarve, Portugal Par 4, 409 yards
elevated tee however, it is a hugely inviting shot, and anything right half of the fairway will kick down the hill into the middle.
The key to a good score on the 14th of the Old Course at St Andrews is avoiding the many bunkers.
15th north BerWick East Lothian, Scotland Par 3, 191 yards
The famous ‘Redan’ hole has probably been copied more often than any other hole in golf. The term comes from the Crimean War, when the British captured a Russian-held fort or redan; and an ofcer returned and said this golf hole reminded him of the formidable fortress in Sebastopol. The hole is a difcult par 3, where you play to a large, but steeply sloping green. The putting surface is very difcult to hold, because it not only slopes from right-to-left, but also front-to-back – and it is set at an angle to the tee. The designer Charles Macdonald, built many such holes.
5th parQue da fLoresta Algarve, Portugal Par 3, 123 yards
The signature hole of this very impressive course in the Algarve is the 5th. It measures exactly the same length as the Postage Stamp at Troon, and the green is just as tantalisingly difcult to ﬁnd. You play to a tiny green far below you, so your tee shot is no more than a ﬂick with a wedge, but
because the green is perched on a hill, anything which is too long or wide tumbles down a very steep slope. Fortunately, four huge bunkers, with white sand in them, surround the green; and strangely it is a relief to go in these, given that the alternative is a lost ball.
14th st andreWs (oLd) Fife, Scotland Par 5, 618 yards
Because there are only two par 5s on the Old
Course, there is added pressure to be aggressive here, but there is danger everywhere for the foolhardy. You need to try to carry the Beardies, a group of pot bunkers on the left of the fairway, avoiding the out of bounds on the right. By doing so, you will have landed in the Elysian Fields. From there, your next shot needs to carry the infamous Hell bunker; and there are plenty more hellish bunkers nearer the green. Two-time Open champion, Padraig Harrington, reckons that into the wind, this is one of the toughest tee shots they play all year.
‘The 11th at Pleneuf-Val -Andre regularly features in lists of the top 100 golf holes in the world’
100 CLASSIC HOLES
‘Spain’s most prestigious club is often dubbed the ‘Augusta of Europe’ – its finishing hole is a classic in every sense’
Sotogrande, Spain. Par 4, 453 yards The ﬁnishing hole on Spain’s most prestigious club (often dubbed ‘the Augusta of Europe’) is a classic in every sense. You have to start thinking on the tee box, because it’s either a 3-wood straight or a driver with a bit of draw; and a driver straight equals trees. The fairway is not difcult to ﬁnd for the short hitter, but the longer you go, the narrower it gets. The second shot is also uphill, to a green with a false front, with bunkers left, right and at the back. If the pin is at the back, it is a brave player who hits it far enough to give himself a birdie putt.
Why I love
the 18th at ValdeRRaMa
By PETEr MCEVOy, COurSE DESIGnEr
“This hole has the huge advantage of always being immaculate. Set in a cork forest, the natural beauty of the surroundings is breathtaking. It’s a particularly difcult hole because the trees are so close to the fairway. Miss by a couple of feet and you’re playing from under a branch to a fast surface. There is a strong element of risk/ reward. You can hit a conservative tee shot, but you’ll be left with a long and devilishly difcult second shot. Hit a bold, long drive, with a touch of draw on it, into a narrow and slightly blind area and you leave yourself a lofted iron into a green, which is quite tricky to hit, guarded by a greenside bunker.”
100 CLASSIC HOLES
County Kerry, Ireland Par 4, 361 yards
Water swallows long drives on Castro Marim’s par-5 4th.
Tralee was the ﬁrst course the legendary Arnold Palmer built in Europe. It was opened in the 1980s and is now regarded as one of Ireland’s best. This magazine’s very own Peter Dobereiner described the backdrop to the penultimate hole as “the most magniﬁcent I have ever encountered”. With the mountains in the distance, and the beach on the right, where David Lean’s awardwinning ﬁlm Ryan’s Daughter was shot and where a ship from the Spanish Armada sank, you play to a fairway which dog-legs left-toright. If your drive can avoid the pot bunkers, you then have to play an approach over a gorge, to a green perched high up on a hill.
10th antaLya (pGa suLtan) Belek, Turkey Par 4, 394 yards
Built by European Golf Design and the now Senior tour pro, David Jones, the Sultan course opened in September 2003, and has become one of the most popular courses in the Belek region. It is usually in immaculate condition, and the 10th hole epitomises how well thought out the design is. Named ‘Keyhole’ because of how precise you need to be, you drive to a fairway, with water on the left, and two fairway bunkers on the right. The hole then dog-legs to the right, but your drive needs to be long enough, to give yourself some sort of view of the green.
Sperone’s par-5 16th has drawn comparison with Pebble Beach’s 18th.
44 Golf World 100 Classic Holes
17th Loch LoMond
Tom Weiskopf’s hugely impressive design at the very exclusive Loch Lomond Club has a number of holes worthy of consideration; but the penultimate hole sticks in the memorybanks. Played slightly uphill, this one-shotter over reeds and water is a wonderfully tranquil spot. With the loch on your left eating into your line, you play to an elevated green, protected by bunkers at the front, and framed by trees at the back. It was here, of course, that the Swede, Carin Koch holed a 10-foot birdie, which clinched the 2000 Solheim Cup for Europe.
Set within the old pine forest of Les Landes, which was laid out during the 18th century to stop erosion in the Bay of Gascogne, the Moliets Golf Club has played host to the European Challenge Tour on several occasions. The course, which is right next to the Atlantic Ocean, was designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr, and the 16th is the last of a sequence of ﬁve holes which run alongside the sand dunes. It is a terriﬁc uphill par 3, with a green which is both shallow and ﬁrm; meaning that it is all too easy to ﬁnd the gorse at the back, if you are too bold.
Dunbartonshire, Scotland Par 3, 205 yards
Biarritz, France Par 3, 145 yards
17th LittLestone Kent, England Par 3, 182 yards
Littlestone is an authentic links, right on the coast, where – on a bright, cloudless day – you might even see the French coast. The course architect was Dr Laidlaw Purves (who laid out Royal St George’s) but in 1924 the club asked Alister MacKenzie (of Augusta National fame) to suggest improvements. One was the creation of this terriﬁc hole, which has been compared to Donald Ross’ outstanding 17th at Seminole. From a slightly elevated tee you play to a green, set in the shadow of a low hill on the left. “It can play anything from driver to wedge, depending on the wind,” says pro Andrew Jones.
4th castro MariM Algarve, Portugal Par 5, 493 yards
Just next to the medieval town with the same name, the course is three loops of nine, the Grouse, the Guadiana and the Atlantic. Close to the Spanish border, the course is about 15 years old, and is usually in very good condition. Undoubtedly, the best hole on the property is the 4th on the Grouse, a clever risk/reward par 5, with lots of danger. Here, you drive to a fairway below you, with water waiting, expectantly, if you go too far through the fairway. From there, you turn left and go uphill, to an elevated green, which is protected by a bunker and pine trees.
14th doonBeG County Clare, Ireland Par 3, 111 yards
This is the signature hole on Greg Norman’s masterpiece on the west coast of Ireland, now owned by Donald Trump. It is a little
ﬂick with a wedge normally, albeit into the prevailing wind, but anything not landing on the green is likely to be lost down a precipice, or in a deep gully. The backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean is unforgettable. The two best scores on this hole were a ‘1’ by one of Norman’s guests on the day the course was opened. And a ‘0’ by Swedish visitor, who was so struck by the beauty of the hole, that he didn’t want to play it; for fear it would ruin his memory!
11th royaL ashdoWn forest East Sussex, England Par 3, 249 yards
The club was founded in 1888 by a group of golf enthusiasts from Tunbridge Wells. The Conservators decreed many years ago that the club couldn’t alter the terrain or dig any holes; and so there are no bunkers anywhere on the course. This long short hole ofers breathtaking views from the tee, out over towards the North Downs. From an elevated tee, you play over a hog’s back approach which is likely to kick anything not straight further of line. It’s a very difcult hole, but the current pro, Martyn Landsborough, had two holes-in-one (both with a 1-iron) within six months of each other.
13th royaL LiverpooL Lancashire, England Par 3, 198 yards
Hoylake doesn’t have the instant appeal of a Turnberry or Birkdale; and the links are comparatively open and ﬂat; but the old club demands a pilgrimage, and once you get to know it, the quality of the golf is undeniable. At the toughest of the short holes, the 13th (11th for the members) you play to a long elevated green, down by the shore and the
sands of Dee. There is only one bunker on the hole, but it is small and deep, positioned at the front right of the green, just where you might aim, if it wasn’t there. The green is at an angle, and with the wind coming of the sea on the left, devilishly difcult to ﬁnd.
16th sperone Corsica, France Par 5, 495 yards
There are those who believe that not only Napoleon, but also Christopher Columbus, were born not too far from this course. Built by the great Robert Trent Jones Snr, Sperone was opened in 1990. The best holes are the 11th to 16th, which run along the white cliftops. The 16th is a not overly long par 5, where you tee of on a narrow strip of ground adjacent to the sea. If you want to get home in two, you have to play two very solid shots, both of which have to dice with death and cross the water. Many, including the designer, have compared this hole to the 18th at Pebble Beach.
5th royaL WorLinGton & neWMarket Cambridgeshire, England Par 3, 155 yards
Lying seven miles north of Newmarket, many have suggested this classic course built in 1893, is the best nine-hole layout in Britain. It is the home course of Cambridge University, and runs over gently undulating sandy soil. The wonderfully beautiful short 5th has a ditch and out of bounds to gobble up anything pushed to the right, a large hollow to the left (‘Mug’s Hole’), and a backdrop of pines. The narrow green is three-tiered and has lots of movement in it, so much in fact that a club captain once seven-putted – while still sober apparently!
The wind off the sea makes Hoylake’s par-3 13th a real challenge.
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100 classic holes
COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY GUIDE TO THE HOLES 17th tralee
County Kerry, Ireland Par-4, 361 yards
Tralee was the ﬁrst course the legendary The complete breakdown, from England and Scotland’s 40 to the Portuguese 11.
Arnold Palmer built in Europe. It was opened in the 1980s and is now regarded as one of Ireland’s best. This magazine’s very own belGiuM 16th Club Zur Vahr, par 4 The par-4 4th at Ireland’s Peter 6th Royal Dobereiner Antwerp, described par 4 the backdrop 17th Hamburger to (Falkenstein), par 5 Old Head of Kinsale. the penultimate hole as “the most 18th Frankfurter, par 4 bulGaria hollanD magniﬁcent 6th Thracianbackdrop Clifs, parfor 3 a golf course I have 1st in Kennemer, par 4 ever encountered”. With the mountains enGlanD 8th Noodwijkse, par 4 theBerkshire 1st distance, (Blue), and thepar beach 3 on the right, irelanD where 4th Woodhall David Lean’s Spa (Hotchkin), award-winning ﬁlm Doonbeg, par 5 Ryan’s par 4 Daughter was shot and where1st a ship 4th Old fromRoyal 5th the Spanish Worlington Armada & sank, you play to a Head of Kinsale, par 4 9th Royal County Down, par 4 fairway which Newmarket, par dog-legs 3 from left to right. If yourSunningdale 5th drive can avoid (Old), thepar pot4bunkers,7th youEuropean Club, par 4 Ballybunion, par 4 and water is a wonderfully thenSthave 6th Enodoch, to playpar an 4approach over a11th gorge, over reeds coast, where – on a bright and cloudless day par 3spot. With the loch on your left to a Royal 6th greenSt perched George’s, highpar up3on a hill. 14th Doonbeg, tranquil – you might even be able to see the French 14th Royal Portrush, paryour 3 line, you play to an elevated Royal North Devon 6th eating into coast. The course architect was Dr Laidlaw 16th Waterville, parprotected 4 (Westwood Ho!), par 3 green, by bunkers at the front, and Purves (who also laid out Royal St George’s) The par-5 16th at 17th Tralee, par 4 by trees at the back. It was here, of 7th Marquess 10th antalya Woburn, par (PGa 5 framed but in 1924 the club asked Alister Mackenzie Sperone, France. sultan) italy 7th Rye, par 3 course, that the Swede, Carin Koch holed a (of Augusta National and Cypress Point 1st Golf Nazionale, 5 which clinched the 2000 7th Hankley Belek, Turkey Common, par 3 10-footpar birdie, fame) to suggest improvements. One was Par-4, 394 yards 4th Castelgandolfo, 7th Sunningdale (Old), par 4 Solheimpar Cup4for Europe. the creation of this terriﬁc hole, which has 7th Castelconturbia (Yellow), 9th Royal West Norfolk been compared to Donald Ross’s par 4 Built by European (Brancaster), par 4Golf Design and the now outstanding 17th hole at Seminole. From a 15th Pevero,16th par 5 Moliets Senior 11th Royal tourAshdown pro, David Forest, Jones,par the3Sultan slightly elevated tee you play to a green, set PortuGal course 11th Hillside, opened parin5September 2003, and has Biarritz, France in the shadow of a low hill on the left. “It can Par-3, 145 1st Onyria Palmares, paryards 4 become 12th Royal one Birkdale, of the most par 3popular courses in play anything from a driver to a wedge, 4th Castro Marim, par 5 the Belek 13th Royalregion. Liverpool, It is usually par 3 in immaculate depending on the wind,” says pro Andrew 5thhow Parque da condition, 13th Nottsand GC (Hollinwell), the 10th holepar epitomises 3 SetFloresta, with thepar old3pine forest of Les Landes, Jones. 6th Pine Clifs, par was 3 laid out during the 18th century to well thought 16th Hunstanton, out the pardesign 3 is. which 13th Penina, stop par 3erosion in the Bay of Gascogne, the Named 17th Littlestone, ‘Keyhole’par because 3 of how precise 13th Praia D’El Rey, par 4th Castro MariM you need 18th RoyaltoLytham be, you&drive St Annes, to a fairway, with Moliets Golf4Club has played host to the 15th Vale doEuropean Lobo (Ocean), par 3 Tour13th Muirﬁeld, par 3 Algarve, Portugal water par 4 on the left, and two fairway bunkers Challenge on several 13th PGA Catalunya, par 4 49317th yards 16th Lobo (Royal), 3 which 14th is Royal 4 on the right. The hole then dog-legs to FranCe theVale dooccasions. The par course rightDornoch, next to par Par-5, El Saler, par 3 par 5Ocean was designed 14th St Andrews (Old), par 5 right, 6th Stbut Nom your La drive Breteche needs (Red), to be long16th Quinta da theRia, Atlantic by Robert 18th San Roque (Old), par 4 (North), Berwick, the medieval town with enough, par 4 to give yourself some sort of18th viewMonte of Rei Trent Jonespar Snr,5and the 15th 16th North is the last of a par 3Just next to18th Valderrama, par 4 the 18th San Lorenzo, par 4of ﬁve holes which 17th St (Old), par same 4 name,sWeDen the course is three loops of nine, the green. 6th Dinard, par 4 sequence runAndrews alongside sCotlanDthe sand dunes. It is a terriﬁc 17th Carnoustie, the Ullna, Guadiana par 3and the Atlantic. Morfontaine, par 4 7th uphill par-3, par 4 the Grouse, 3rd 1st Machrihanish, 4 which is both 17th Loch Lomond, Spanish Toreboda, border,par the3course is 10th La Boulie (Valley), par 3 with apar green shallow and ﬁrm; par 3Close to the10th 1st Machrihanish Dunes, 4 all too 18th about par 5 15 years 12thold, Barseback and is usually (Masters), in very par 5 11th Pleneuf-Val 17th loCh-Andre, loMonD par 5 meaning thatpar it is easy Trump to ﬁnd International, the 2nd Royal Aberdeen, parback, 5 Castle 16th Undoubtedly, Halmstad, parthe 3 best hole 16th Moliets, par 3 Scotland Dunbartonshire, gorse at the if you 18th are too bold.Stuart, par 5 good condition. Par-3 205 yards 2nd Dornoch, 18th Muirﬁeld, par 4 on the property 17th is Barseback the 4th on (New), the Grouse, par 4 a 16th Sperone, par 5 par 3 3rd Prestwick, par 5 clever risk/reward par-5, with lots of danger 17th Seignosse, par 4 sPain sWitzerlanD 6th Western Gailes, par 5 foolhardy. Here, youpar drive Tom Weiskopf’s 18th Le Golf National, hugely par impressive 4 design at 17th littlestone 2nd Sotogrande, par 5 awaiting the7th Crans-sur-Sierre, 4 down Troon, 3 to a fairwayteneriFe below you, with water waiting, the very 18th Les exclusive Bordes, par Loch 4 Lomond Club8th hasRoyal a Kent,par England 2nd Aloha, par 4 Par-3, 8th Cruden par182 4 yards if you godel tooSur far(South), throughpar the3 number 18th Chantilly of holes Vineuil, worthy parof4consideration; but Bay, 3rd Real Club de Seville, expectantly, par 3 2nd Golf 10th Turnberry, par 4 there, you turn left and go the penultimate hole sticks in the memoryGerMany 4th Valderrama, par 5 fairway. From turkey 11th St Andrews (Old), par 3 authentic uphill, to an10th elevated green, which is par 4 banks. 9th St Eurach, Played slightly par 4 uphill, this one-shotter Littlestone is an 8th links, Lasright Brisas, onpar the5 Antalya (PGA Sultan), protected by a bunker and pine trees.
14th DoonbeG County Clare, Ireland Par-3, 111 yards
This is the signature hole on Greg Norman’s masterpiece on the west coast of Ireland, now owned by Donald Trump. It is a little ﬂick with a wedge normally, albeit into the prevailing wind, but anything not landing on the green is likely to be lost down a precipice, or in a deep gully. The backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean is unforgettable. The two best scores on this hole were a ‘1’ by one of 13th was hole at Norman’s guests on the dayThe thepar-4 course Portugal’s Praiawho D’El Rey. opened. And a ‘0’ by Swedish visitor,
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Set amidst the Catalonia backdrop that inspired Dali and Gaudi, PGA Catalunya Resort is tucked amongst the beauty of mature pines, majestic mountain tops and two world-class golf courses ranked No.1* in Spain and No.3 in Continental Europe. Our new outstanding practice facilities now include, a 2,000 square-metre putting green with ¿ve bunkers containing dĭerent sand types, chipping areas, driving range, target greens and a PGA Tour Course grass bunker. All this just minutes from Girona and the beaches of Costa Brava, a quick drive from Barcelona and an hour from the Pyrenees. With the infrastructure and amenities in place, the resort has become Spain’s premier residential resort community. *www.top100golfcourses.co.uk www.pgacatalunya.com .pgacatalunya.com
+34 972 472 577
When Will You Experience the Magic of Machrihanish Dunes?
Scotland’s Best Experience
Resort Experience of the Year
Bunkered Magazine Readers
Golf Tourism Scotland
hat makes Machrihanish Dunes so magical isn’t simply its GB&I Top 100 links golf course, with jaw-dropping ocean views at
every step. Nor is it the 4-star accommodation choices, including two lovingly restored historic hotels and luxury cottages. It’s not even the resort’s spa, elegant restaurants or lively pubs. Or the natural beauty of the scenic walks and beaches of Machrihanish. In
truth, the magic of Mach Dunes doesn’t derive from any single one of those things – it comes from all of them together. Together, they are why Machrihanish Dunes was named Scotland’s best resort experience twice in the past year. In all the world of golf, very few places are as magical as this one. It would be our pleasure to share the magic with you.
Be sure to check our website for special offers and great rates on group/society visits!
Visit www.MachDunes.com The Village at Machrihanish Dunes | tel: +44 (0) 1586 810 000 | e-mail: email@example.com
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