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Spooky Shots: The Top 9 Scariest Holes in Golf

The best courses aren’t all sweet treats—some of them are hiding a scary challenge right around the next dogleg. Whether it’s a misty, gray morning or a sunny afternoon, the nine holes we’ve discovered below offer some chills and thrills for a Halloween round (or any day). Take a look at our choices and let us know if we missed a few of your favorite frightful hazards.


Mauna Kea in Kamuela was Hawaii’s first great golf course and now #27 of America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses in Golf Digest 2015-2016 Listing. Photo by Mauna Kea Golf Course – 3rd

1. Mauna Kea Golf Course – 3rd

Ocean breezes and clear views of the Pacific? There’s nothing scary about that. Except for the par-3 third hole that requires a good shot over part of that beautiful ocean, that is. And potentially playing at 272 yards can lead to quite a spooky shot.

Hole 18 Harbour Town

The Sea Pines Resort’s world-famous and newly re-opened Harbour Town Golf Links is home to the PGA TOUR’s RBC Heritage golf tournament. Photo by The Sea Pines Resort – 18th

2. Harbour Town Golf Links – 18th

At just a shade over 470 yards, the par-4 18th at Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina is a legend on the PGA Tour and one of the toughest holes to play. The approach starts out fairly well, but with marshes on the left, a narrow fairway and a tiny green with water surrounding, it’s enough to test anyone’s short game.

The 17th hole of THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Photo by: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR 2007 - PGA TOUR - TPC Sawgrass - Completed Clubhouse and THE PLAYERS Stadium Course scenics TPC Sawgrass Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida United States June 14, 2007 Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR/ To license this image (14335783), contact PGATOURimages: (e-mail) or (web site)

The 17th hole of THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL is famous in all its own. Photo by TPC Sawgrass – 17th Island green

3. TPC Sawgrass THE PLAYERS Stadium Course – 17th Island green

Sure, a par-3 137-yard hole doesn’t sound bad on paper—until you find out that the green is entirely surrounded by water. Make sure you bring a few extra golf balls with you for this one.

Golf Club of Houston is a fun 0 hole regulation course located at the Golf Club of Houston facility in Humble, TX. Photo by Golf Club of Houston – 18th

4. Tournament Course at the Golf Club of Houston – 18th

Sure, that fairway may look wide and inviting, but a long water hazard and some serious sand are lurking on either side waiting to wreak havoc on your scorecard.


5. PGA National Resort & Spa Champion Course – 15th Bear Trap

Named after the Golden Bear himself (Jack Nicklaus, of course), the PGA National Resort & Spa Champion Course’s 15th, 16th, and 17th holes are collectively known as “The Bear Trap.” The approach to all three holes plays over water, and on a windy day the challenge is even greater.


The Ko’ olau Golf Club is considered to be “The World’s Most Challenging Golf Course” from the back tees and is rated in Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 Courses to Play.” Photo by Ko’olau Golf Club – 18th

6. Ko’olau Golf Club – 18th

Hills and valleys are one thing, but ravines of 100 feet or more? That makes for some seriously challenging shots, especially when you’ve got 200 yards to shoot over one of those ravines just to get on the green.


Designed by Jack Nicklaus himself, the Ocean Course of Kauai Lagoons Golf Club in Lihue, HI gives every golfer a challenge with water on all sides. Photo by Kauai Lagoons Golf Club – 16th to 18th

7. Kauai Lagoons Golf Club – 16th to 18th

Don’t let the gorgeous views fool you—there are some ghoulish challenges waiting on the course, especially the closing three holes. With water all around and some difficult-to-land approaches, shoot straight or your scorecard might be lost at sea.


8. Pasatiempo Golf Club (supposedly haunted by designer as well!) – 16th

Generally you like to see where you’re shooting, but that’s not really an option on the 16th hole at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif. A blind shot from the tee (over a bunker and through some trees) opens up to a good-sized fairway, but getting onto the elevated, three-tiered green will take some wizardry with your iron.


9. Cypress Point Country Club – 16th

Rocky cliffs, a narrow landing, and a forced carry over the Pacific? This one has it all. The legendary 16th hole at Cypress Point in Pebble Beach, Calif. has got all the elements to make a challenging, fun, and spooky shot to play.

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