Six of the toughest holes in golf anywhere in the world

Toughest golf

What makes a hole challenging, hard or downright impossible is often down to the skill of the player or tricky layouts, but these holes take everything out to the maximum.

Usually, these holes have a physical feature that adds an extra challenge, whether that is natural or entirely man-made.

6 The 6th at Royal Melbourne Golf Club (Par 4, 428 yards)

If you struggle with bunkers Royal Melbourne Golf Club’s sixth is probably the hole of your worst nightmares.

Alister MacKenzie’s bunkering of Royal Melbourne is infamous but the sixth has a green guarded by diabolical sandpits.

The bunkers also guard an elevated green with a severe slope that all too often deposits your ball on the fringe or back in another bunker.

5 The 18th at Whistling Straits (Par 4, 500 yards)

Then 18th at Whistling Straits is designed to be a challenge to the best players in the world and Pete Dye has really delivered with a downright filthy design.

The wind at Whistling Straits factors on every hole but it is particularly antagonistic on 18.

Hazards are dotted all over the hole and most of the best players in the world would be delighted to sink a par putt and get off.

4 The 1st at Oakmont Country Club (Par 4, 482 yards)

While Whistling Straits leaves the torture to the last, Oakmont lets you know what you are in for on the very first hole.

Its first fairway is a little slip of a thing that seems like it hasn’t ever had a good dinner at just 24 yards wide. If you miss the fairway there isn’t really a good place to do so with bunkers and rough terrain hemming the tight fairway in.

As challenging as the layout of the hole appears the hardest part can be putting out once you make it to the green which is marked by constant movement and is tough to read.

3 The 12th at Augusta National Golf Club (Par 3, 155 yards)

There won’t be too many hackers who are allowed to even attempt the 12th at Augusta and for your sanity and ego that’s probably a good thing.

It is a postcard-pretty hole but one that will chew you up and spit you out if your concentration falters. It may be fairly short but the hole is notoriously tough to judge distance on at the best of times.

While Augusta’s trees provide some relief from wind on 12 it swirls about to add another element of challenge to one of the trickiest holes in golf and club selection has been known to give even Major winners headaches.

2 The 17th at St Andrew’s – Old Course (Par 4, 495 yards)

Known as ‘The Road Hole’ this one is one of the most famous nightmare holes in the world.

Difficult at the best of times, it has proven a heartbreaking experience for many an Open hopeful.

The hole starts with a blind tee shot and doesn’t get any easier. Most professionals try to carry their opening drive over the replicated railway sheds to reach the fairway’s right edge. The green is guarded by the Road Hole bunker, and missing the green long will give the player an unpleasant shot from the road which is likely to leave a few scratches in your wedge.

1 The 19th at Entabeni Safari Reserve (Par 3, 395 yards)

Unique in the world of golf, the 19th is an ambitious feature hole that serves as a rounding-off experience of the Entabeni Safari Reserve.

There aren’t too many golf holes that require a helicopter ride to reach the tee box and you’ll want to stow the Happy Madison tee shot for this one or face a terrible tumble.

The tee box sits atop the Hanglip mountain and your efforts on the hole are aided by spotters on the ground. The massive change in elevation is most if not all of the challenge but it is considerable. Fortunately the 19th is about the extreme experience and won’t impact your score over 18.