Halloween is about ghouls, goblins and ghosts, but there’s scary golf holes out there just as tormenting. Here’s a list of the 12 scariest golf holes I’ve played up until Halloween, 2019.
-Hole 1, Devil’s Pulpit, 478 yards, par 4
On your first spin around Devil’s Pulpit outside Toronto, the 1st tee shot, at the base of the expansive clubhouse, to a split fairway with a water hazard right and short of the green, and what feels like a thousand bunkers, is certainly the opposite of easy.
-Hole 4, Pacific Dunes, 463 yards, par 4
Not much is to be said about this hole, other than the fact the Pacific Ocean plays all down the right. Scary stuff!
-Hole 4, Inverness Club, 516 yards, par 4
An absolute monster of a hole, this par 4 at Inverness plays into the prevailing wind with a hazard up the left, crossing the fairway about 90 yards off the tee. Everything short of the green, which plays uphill from the fairway, runs back to the fairway about 60 yards back, and the usual Donald Ross contouring here makes even putting a challenge.
-Hole 4, The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Club (Championship), 192 yards
Yardage is not an issue as Banff sits at a cool 4500 feet above sea level, but over a glacier lake, with the Rocky Mountains staring down at you, thousands of years of faces watching you take on this Stanley Thompson hole, it’s not an easy mid-iron to a small green complex surrounded by some nasty bunkering.
-Hole 7, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, 189 yards, par 3
Maybe the scariest golf hole in America, the “redan” par 3 at Shinnecock Hills is the hardest iron shot I’ve hit. Playing to a green running to the back left, this green has about a 7 x 7 foot square that is required to place the ball on to not run off the back. Short, right, long right, and short left are all death, while the only miss is long-left.
-Hole 9, Sahalee Country Club (South), 213 yards, par 3
There’s a few choices at sahallway, thanks to how tight the golf course is makes for some intimidating shots, but the 9th hole on the championship loop is my vote. In the thick Seattle air, the 213 yardage plays quite long to a heavily contoured green. A scary long iron!
-Hole 12, Sand Hollow Resort (Championship), 443 yards, par 4
There’s no golf on the moon, but I imagine this is what it’d look like, with the right being some of the massive desert rock outcroppings, and left feels like the edge of the planet, all while playing uphill.
-Hole 14, Öviinbyrd, 229 yards, par 3
Similar to Banff Springs, Thomas McBroom’s version is longer, and to a skinny green, bunkered in the front over a pond. Some of the contours here are quite intense, too, making the entire hole, start to finish, spooky.
-Hole 16, Merion Golf Club (East), 429 yards, par 4
While not overly long, the entire hole is so difficult, with the tee shot playing down into the lower portion of the property, and then an iron over the quarry to a two-tiered green. The stuff you see on TV, but it’s way bigger (like WAY BIGGER) than you expect in person. Terrifying.
-Hole 16, Streamsong Resort (Red), 208 yards, par 3
Sure, a longer par 3 to a bigger green over water is fairly standard, but the fact that this is a Biarritz template adds to the complexity, with the typical huge swale affecting every shot.
-Hole 18, Calgary Golf & Country Club, 483 yards, par 4
With the Elbow River drawing your attention to the right, the finishing hole at Willie Park Jr.’s Calgary Golf & Country Club is a monster at 483 yards. The green, with a pseudo-fingerprint on the right, challenges even the best iron players. Bring your best to finish the round at one of Alberta’s best.
-Hole 18, The National Golf Club of Canada, 460 yards, par 4
This old par-5-turned-4 is a beast, with a tee shot playing down to a fairway protected on the right by water and bunkering left. As you approach the green, it plays uphill to the base of the clubhouse, with some rare deep bunkering for a Fazio. A meaty finish to the self-proclaimed hardest golf course in Canada.
What’s the scariest golf hole you’ve played? Let me know in the comments below!