Five Most Aggravating Holes in Golf

By Joe Passov, Senior Editor (Courses/Rankings)
6/28/2014 12:12:35 PM

They seem simple and unassuming, but these holes can ruin your round. I call them "The Aggravators." Be afraid. Be very afraid ...

Spyglass Hill, Pebble Beach, Calif. -- Hole No. 8, 399 yards, par 4

Spyglass features brutes such as the 595-yard 1st and the 476-yard par-4 16th, but No. 1 handicap honors go to its most maddening test, the 8th. The reverse-cambered design doglegs uphill to the left, but the left-to-right slope can send even a decent drive into the right rough. The damp air makes the sidehill approach play 20 yards longer than it looks, and a front-right bunker and dense pines further complicate matters.

Pinehurst No. 2's par-3 15th has broken many hearts over the years. Credit: Larry Lambrecht

Kapalua (Plantation), Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii -- Hole No. 13, 407 yards, par 4

While the fairways are massive at this rolling 1991 Coore/Crenshaw design, the landing area at the 13th never seems roomy enough. The wind that's always in your face makes it hard to keep the ball down, and even the slightest slice spin will balloon your drive to the right, where jungle-like rough awaits. On this former pineapple plantation, even the slightest mis-hit will leave a sour taste on your scorecard.

Pinehurst (No.2), Pinehurst, N.C. -- Hole No. 15, 206 yards, par 3

Does any hole look so easy but play so tough? From more reasonable tees, you face an innocent-looking 175 yards, with no water or front bunkers. But the domed surface that Coore/Crenshaw actually softened in 2011 still repels any less than perfect shot via false fronts and slippery sides. And a slender but hidden trough fronting the green gobbles up short shots. Instead of a mulligan, I ask for more aspirin.

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