You are playing well, hoping to post a score you can brag about and then, out of nowhere, disaster strikes. It’s a nightmare scenario we’ve all confronted, later explaining to buddies how much better our score would’ve been without that dastardly triple bogey and the frustration fueled double that occasionally follows.
Trouble is sometimes found on otherwise “easy” holes (assuming you believe such a thing exists) but more often than not, it’s a challenge players take for granted.
Here are five holes golfers have a tendency to overlook, sometimes with dire consequences. When you step to the tee on these “round-wreckers,” you better be ready to play your best golf.
Glen Dornoch, No. 16, par 4: This is a downhill, 371-yard hole (all distances from the white tees), so the effective distance is shorter. It couldn’t be that hard, right? Think again. This is the beginning of a closing stretch that plays along the Intracoastal Waterway. Holes 17 and 18 attract the cameras, meanwhile No. 16 commands your respect. Unless your drive settles on the plateau, a downhill approach to a green surrounded by the marshy waters of the Intracoastal awaits. It’s not hard for the beauty of the Waterway to be marred by a big number. (top photo)
Pawleys Plantation, No. 17, par 3: The famed 13th hole at Pawleys garners all the attention, but players that let their guard down on this 150-yard one-shotter will play a dear price. Golfers must navigate a long carry over the marsh to a peanut shaped green that is perilously shallow. The scorecard says No. 17 is the second easiest hole on the back nine, don’t buy it. It’s as easy to make double here as it is par. (pictured right)
Dunes Club, No. 3, par 4: Alligator alley attracts all the attention, but the front nine at the famed Dunes Club will test every part of your game. That’s certainly the case with the 390-yard third hole; it’s long, uphill and the green is as slick as it is large. No. 3 is tougher than the par 5 that follows, despite the fact the scorecard ranks No. 4 as the toughest hole on the opening nine. Who are you going to believe? The USGA or me?
The Wizard, No. 18, par 4: This is a course that lends itself to scoring but the final three holes on the links-style design bring water, and along with it danger, into play. According to the scorecard, No. 18 is middle of the pack in difficulty – it’s the fourth toughest hole on the front nine – but that doesn’t reflect reality. The 18th plays 394 yards and there is water on both sides of the fairway. Toss in an approach over the lake and the final hole at the Wizard is certainly the day’s most anxiety-inducing.
Pine Lakes Country Club, No. 12, par 4: Everyone is aware of the difficulty of the 13th and 14th holes at Pine Lakes, but golfers that get caught looking ahead will pay the price on No. 12, which plays a brutish 391 yards. The challenge is straightforward, but water looms on the left. This is a difficult par, though players are less likely to post a big number than they are on some of the other holes on the list. (pictured right)