Top 10 Finishing Holes

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 26, 2009, 5:00 pm

harbour town top 10
 
No. 10 ' Harbour Town Golf Links
Verizon Heritage
Par-4, 452 yards
 

Take a video tour of Harbour Town
Pete Dye: I think the out-of-bounds right dominates this hole. Theres plenty of room left but the more left you go, why, there's water so it just works on players minds and that's what the problem is.
 
Jerry Kelly: It's the widest fairway on Tour and it's still a tough drive. Up at the green the only bailout is short right and that's where you find just about everybody. It's still a tough up and down.
 
Nick Faldo: I think it needs a bunker in the middle of the fairway. An 80-yard-wide fairway? That's too easy these days. Id throw a bunker right in the middle so you have to make a choice of going left or right.
 
Woody Austin: The green is such a sliver especially because the wind is never straight in or straight down.
 


kapalua top 10
 
No. 9 ' Plantation Course at Kapalua
Mercedes-Benz Championship
Par-5, 663 yards
 

Take a video tour of Kapalua
Jonathan Byrd: At the Mercedes-Benz Championship it always seems to be close coming down to the last hole. You've got a par-5, you've got a lot that can happen. It's such a big fairway that if you hit it in a 50-yard area it's going to get down that speed slot, so you almost get on that tee and say, Just don't hit a bad shot.
 
Dr. Robert Winters, sports psychologist: Its the longest hole on Tour but it's downwind, downhill most of the time. It's still a great hole though, because you've got to really be thinking that tee shot through.
 
Jerry Foltz, Golf Channel: Everything is an uneven lie ' uphill, downhill, side hill, whatever ' and the wind is always blowing. But if you chunk it or whiff it or you thin it, you're in the drink to the left and you're making at least a bogey. It's one of the top-five finishing holes on Tour in my mind.
 


quail hollow top 10
 
No. 8 ' Quail Hollow Club
Wachovia Championship
Par-4, 478 yards
 
Ken Duke: Sitting on the top of that hill visualizing down the fairway, you can't go left, obviously, and you can't go right because you've got the trees and the bunkers so you really just have to focus on it and hit it down the middle.
 
Woody Austin: You can't get there out of the fairway bunker unless you're one of the Louie-Long-Balls who can hit their 5-iron 220 yards out of the fairway bunker straight up, which I don't have.
 
Sean OHair: It can be one of those holes where you make birdie after hitting a good second shot or it can be one of those holes where you hit two good shots and still 3-putt and walk away scratching your head thinking, What just happened? Its definitely a hole where every single shot demands a 100% focus and concentration.
 


riviera top 10
 
No. 7 ' Riviera Country Club
Northern Trust Open
Par-4, 475 yards
 
Robert Allenby: The year I won, on Friday I hit 9-iron and then in the playoff I hit 3-wood.
 
Brandel Chamblee, Golf Channel: Its been beat up a little bit by technology, but in terms of all the history that has unfolded here and the beauty and the strategy of the hole, it's tough to beat.
 
Scott Verplank: Basically, you have a left-to-right stance and you need to hit a right-to-left shot, and the green slopes away from you.
 
Nick Faldo: Its one of the character holes on Tour.
 
Brian Hewitt, GolfChannel.com: There's something just beguiling about it. There's a mystic there that's very hard to describe.
 
Steve Flesch: For the second shot its just hard to judge the distance because the green sits on an angle at an elevation where it's hard to see how far up there on the green you have to land it. Two long, high, well-struck shots is the only way to play No. 18 at Riviera.
 


valhalla top 10
 
No. 6 ' Valhalla Golf Club
Ryder Cup, PGA Championship
Par-5, 547 yards
 
Dr. Robert Winters: I had the great pleasure of being at Valhalla before they had the clubhouse; they had the golf course all sodded and prepared. I was standing on the 18th tee talking with one of the board of directors and not that Im some 21st century Nostradamus, but I looked at him and I said, Im dead serious, this hole right here is set up for great golf.
 
Ray Floyd: To reach this green in two you've got to drive the ball in the fairway. Left is bad, right's worse.
 
Kenny Perry: The first match [of the Ryder Cup] I hit it in the water on 18. There's history with me on the 18th hole. For some reason it hates me.
 
Hunter Mahan: You can make birdie, you can make eagle, and you can make a bogey. A lot of things can happen. I think it's a great match play hole.
 


doral top 10
 
No. 5 ' Doral Golf Resort & Spa
WGC CA Championship
Par-4, 467 yards
 

Take a video tour of Doral
Scott Hoch: I have fond memories of this hole and it's also bit me a number of times too.
 
Steve Flesch: It's a great par-5 as far as Im concerned. Going into that hole if I made two 5s and two 4s Id be totally happy.
 
Tom Abbott, Golf Channel: We've seen the best player in the world play that as a par-5. That tells you how difficult it really is.
 
Curtis Strange: When you think about a hole before you get to that tee it shows me there's something other than, Its a tough golf hole. It gets in your psyche. I hate to admit this but when I was playing well my strategy on how to play 18 would dictate how well I was playing in the round.
 
Ken Duke: It's just plain intimidating. You've got to pop it pretty good to get on that left side. Then you've got another 210 or so into the green.
 


bay hill top 10
 
No. 4 ' Bay Hill Club
Arnold Palmer Invitational
Par-4, 441 yards
 
Mike Johnson, Golf Digest: For some reason the tournament always seems to come down to this hole. A lot of it has to do with the fact that it's Arnie's tournament and you know Arnies there watching the finish.
 
Rex Hoggard, GolfChannel.com: Give the best player in the world three chances to make par on that hole and he may get it one time. That, to me, is a tough hole.
 
Brandel Chamblee: It's a brutal hole. That green back there is no wider than two or three coffee table lengths.
 
Steve Flesch: Knowing how they always set up Bay Hill with the four-to-five-inch rye grass rough, getting it in the fairway off the 18th tee is paramount.
 
Bubba Watson: When that pin's tucked back right, it looks like a divot. You're trying to hit to a divot!
 


sawgrass top 10
 
No. 3 ' TPC Sawgrass
The Players Championship
Par-4, 462 yards
 

Take a video tour of TPC Sawgrass
Ryan Herrington, Golf Digest: Everyone talks about the par-5 16th because of the risk-reward and because of the ability to make an eagle or make a double bogey, and everyone obviously talks about the island green on the 17th. The 18th hole is as challenging a hole as there is on that golf course.
 
Stephen Ames: When you stand up on that tee and the wind's blowing hard off the left it's tough to slide it over the water and bring it back into the fairway. Sometimes it comes, sometimes it doesn't. There's one particular little tree that sits out there about 290 yards. That's usually the only thing that I see when Im standing on that tee. That's the only thing you should be looking at.
 
Hal Sutton: At all costs youve got to hit the fairway. It's a tough, demanding second shot. A par's golden on this hole and if you get a birdie you got away with something.
 
Ryan Herrington: A par on this hole to win the Players Championship is as impressive a score as you're going to find in any big-time event.
 


carnoustie top 10
 
No. 2 ' Carnoustie Golf Links
The Open Championship
Par-4, 487 yards
 
Steve Sands, Golf Channel: The craziness thats happened on this hole validates how great it is. Its the best hole in the world with 18 on the tee box.
 
Brandel Chamblee: In terms of rating finishing holes, it might be the toughest hole in all of golf.
 
Alex Miceli, Golf Channel: Anyone who doesnt know what Barry Burn is, just ask Jean Van de Velde.
 
Rex Hoggard: In 08 we saw Padraig Harrington try to stick with his game plan and hit driver and see how that worked out. We had Sergio trying to lay back and give himself a chance just to put it in play. You had two of the best players at the time in the world and neither one of them could make a par.
 


pebble beach top 10
 
No. 1 ' Pebble Beach Golf Links
U.S. Open, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Par-5, 543 yards
 

Take a video tour of Pebble Beach
Kay Cockrell, Golf Channel: When you're out there you feel the magic. You cannot not feel the magic.
 
Steve Burkowski, Golf Channel: There are definitely more difficult finishing holes but, seeing the Pacific crashing up on the left and the tree, it's one of those holes that really puts the exclamation point on one of the great golf courses in the entire world.
 
Ryan Herrington: It's very underrated as a closing hole because you have the ability to make a birdie, but youve got to come through in the clutch.
 
Pete Dye: If you take the ocean away, its a good golf hole. But what makes it a great hole is that the next thing thats out of bounds is Japan.
Getty Images

Spieth reflects on Masters run: 'I could have shot 59'

By Ryan LavnerApril 25, 2018, 4:21 pm

AVONDALE, La. – After he nearly staged a historic comeback at the Masters, Jordan Spieth rewatched the final-round coverage to see what he could learn.

His biggest takeaway?

“I look back on it and I actually thought that I truly could have shot 59 without doing much more other than making a few more putts,” he said Wednesday at the Zurich Classic, where he’ll team up with Ryan Palmer for the second consecutive year. “I put myself in opportunities on each hole to shoot 59 that day, which is really, really cool.”

Spieth roared from nine shots back Sunday to eventually tie Patrick Reed’s lead. He went out in 31 and added four more birdies, but his tee shot on 18 clipped a tree, leading to a long second shot and a bogey. He settled for a 64 and solo third.


Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos


“I felt like Houston, but really at Augusta was the best my swing has ever held up under the gun, especially my driving,” he said. “I wanted to see what that looked like compared to other times.”

Spieth said he developed a good feeling with the last six or seven balls he hit on the range before the final round, and that he noticed on the coverage that he was more stable and patience during his swing.

“In all honestly, I made a couple putts, but it wasn’t really a hot day with the putter,” he said. “I just put myself in position to birdie just about every hole.”

Big picture, Spieth said that after his Masters week he “got on the right path.”

“I was working on things throughout the year, thinking I was doing the right things, and I feel like I got the short game back on track in Houston and Augusta," he said. 

“And to hit some of those putts under pressure and see some go in, I think that will be very beneficial going forward this year. It very well could be a spark for a really solid year.”

Tiger Woods and Kelli Kuehne at the 1996 JCPenney Classic. Getty Images

Another team event? Sure, and do it with the LPGA

By Ryan LavnerApril 25, 2018, 4:07 pm

AVONDALE, La. – The revamped Zurich Classic is already such a smashing success that it naturally leads to another question: Is there room for one more team event on the PGA Tour schedule?

“It’d have to be something unique and not really out there already,” Billy Horschel said.

Agreed, so it’s time for the PGA and LPGA tours to bring back a mixed-team event.

The two tours previously sponsored a team event for nearly 30 years, the JCPenney Classic, but it hasn’t been played since 1999. When the PGA Tour announced a “strategic alliance” with the LPGA two years ago, one of its core missions was to showcase the deep talent pool and lift both tours to new heights. There’s no better way to do that than to combine forces for an event – especially with the PGA Tour about to unveil a major schedule shakeup and reduce a portion of the fall season.

The field here at the Zurich is proof that there’s a willingness among the players to try something new.

The New Orleans-area stop has never been a must-play for Tour types; the tournament is hosted on a nondescript TPC course and sandwiched between the Masters and The Players during a slow part of the schedule. And yet this is the first time in seven months that all four reigning major champions are in the same event. It’s the strongest field the Zurich has ever had, and if the tournament offered world-ranking points – more on that later – the strength of field would be identical to the Genesis Open, which anchors the West Coast swing.

There’d be a few issues to iron out, of course, including the timing and how the field is assembled.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said last year that there’s a “realistic” chance that the men and women could compete at the same time at Kapalua, for the Sentry Tournament of Champions, but that option won’t be quite as appealing when the season is condensed. Players who tee it up in paradise are not only looking forward to a working vacation but also trying to get a head start in the FedExCup race.


Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos


If the Tour targets Kapalua for its mixed event, the idea of a “tournament of champions” might also need adjusting. The LPGA (34) has 10 fewer events than the PGA Tour (44), which means fewer opportunities for the players to earn their way into a winners-only event. The simplest solution is to create more of an all-star showcase, filling out the rest of the women’s field with the leading LPGA money earners who didn’t win.

The format is another question. Fourballs and foursomes are familiar to most players, but at the Zurich there’s a growing interest in a third format.

“I’m waiting on a scramble,” said William McGirt, echoing the sentiments of a few other players interviewed. “I don’t care who I’m playing with – I want to play a scramble, just one time.”

And the final piece is the stakes. The Zurich offers Ryder Cup points, (reduced) FedExCup points and a two-year exemption to the winners, but there are no world-ranking points available. For some, that’s a lost week, especially with the top-60 cutoff for the U.S. Open looming. But for others, like Jordan Spieth, who likely won’t have to worry about his world ranking for the next two decades, it’s a chance to “be in a different space than you usually are,” with more emphasis on fun than the result.

Men and women already compete together at the Oates Vic Open in Australia. Co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Australian Ladies Professional Golf and Ladies European Tour, the two events are held concurrently, on the same course, with the men’s and women’s tee times staggered throughout the day. The prize money is split evenly.

More impactful, however, would be mixed teams, competing for a title together.

Steve Stricker still has fond memories of playing in old JCPenny Classic, alongside Vicki Goetze. Last week, at the PGA Tour Champions event, he talked to Davis Love III about how today’s players would gravitate toward another tournament like that.

“We’re in the position to do it again for sure,” he said. “I know I personally respect and look up to those female golfers, and to interact with them would be a lot of fun.”

Horschel, who has played alongside big-hitting Lexi Thompson during the CVS Charity Classic, said he would sign up for a mixed team event on Tour “in a heartbeat.”

“I’d take Lexi or Brooke Henderson or another top girl right now,” he said. “I’ll make a call right now. I don’t care if it’s two years in advance. I’ll reserve them, put down a down payment for their partnership. It’d be really cool. It’s time for someone else to step up and do it.”

Getty Images

Cancer patient who fulfilled dream of meeting Woods dies

By Will GrayApril 25, 2018, 2:55 pm

Shane Caldwell, who fulfilled a dream of meeting Tiger Woods earlier this month at the Masters, died Monday after multiple bouts with cancer. He was 52.

Caldwell's stepdaughter, Jordan Miller, gained national attention with her social media campaign to get Caldwell to Augusta National to meet Woods. That dream became a reality Thursday of tournament week, when Caldwell was greeted by Woods behind the practice area and offered a signed glove. Caldwell, from Columbia, S.C., also attended the tournament during the final round.

Caldwell had twice beaten colon cancer and was battling Stage 4 lung cancer. According to a report from The State (S.C.), Caldwell's family was told two weeks ago that the cancer had become "too aggressive to fight," and Caldwell opted to stop treatment rather than face further radiation. His oncologist reportedly told his wife he had two or three months to live, but Caldwell died just 13 days later.

According to the report, Caldwell was still showcasing the glove bearing Woods' autograph up until the day he died.

"It gave him hope to see the love that was shown to him," Miller said.

Getty Images

Golf Channel Ramps Up Six Weeks of Comprehensive College Golf Coverage Culminating With The NCAA Women's and Men's Golf Championships, May 18-30

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 24, 2018, 9:00 pm

Golf Channel to Announce NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships Regional Selections on Wednesday, April 25 and Wednesday, May 2

 Golf Channel to Expand Coverage of NCAA Women’s and Men’s Regional Championships  

Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys, a Four-Part Docu-Series Executive Produced by Rickie Fowler, Premieres on Golf Channel Monday, May 7

 More than 100 News and Tournament Hours Planned for Women’s and Men’s Championships, Back-to-Back Weeks at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

 

ORLANDO, Fla., April 24, 2018 – With conference championships underway, golf fans will be able to follow their favorite college golf programs and alma maters as they attempt to qualify and compete in the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships in May at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., as Golf Channel expands its comprehensive on-air and digital collegiate golf coverage the next six weeks.

“Through our new long-term partnership, the NCAA and Golf Channel are successfully raising the profile of college golf by shining a spotlight on the game’s future stars and the passion these programs have in competing for national championships,” said Molly Solomon, Golf Channel executive vice president of content and executive producer. “With our expanded coverage of the regional championships and partnering with OSU alum Rickie Fowler for Driven, our viewers will be treated to the most college golf coverage in network history leading into the NCAA Golf National Championships.”

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS SELECTION ANNOUNCEMENTS: On Wednesday, April 25 at 5:30 p.m. ET (women) and continuing Wednesday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET (men), Golf Channel will announce the teams and individuals selected by the NCAA to participate in the women’s and men’s regional championships, the first step on the road to the NCAA Golf Championships. Live streaming coverage of selection shows will be available through the Golf Channel Mobile App or GolfChannel.com, and Golf Channel will aggregate social content for the shows using the hashtag #NCAAGolf. 

  • Women’s Golf Championships Regional Selections, Wednesday, April 25, 5:30 p.m. ET: Golf Central will announce (live) the 72 teams and24 individuals selected to compete in the four NCAA Women’s Regional Championships, May 7-9 (18 teams and six individuals per regional). 24 teams and 12 individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.
  • Men’s Golf Championships Regional Selections, Wednesday, May 2, 5:30 p.m. ET: Golf Central will announce the 81 teams and 45 individuals selected to compete in the six NCAA Men’s Regional Championships, May 14-16 (13 teams and 10 individuals at three regionals and 14 teams and five individuals at three regionals). 30 teams and six individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.

GOLF CHANNEL TO EXPAND REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE: New for 2018, Golf Channel will feature expanded coverage of the final day of the NCAA women’s and men’s regional championships, Wednesday May 9 and Wednesday, May 16, respectively. Beginning within Morning Drive, Golf Channel’s daily lifestyle news show, and continuing hourly throughout the day via live Golf Central news updates from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. ET that will be published to Golf Channel Digital and Golf Channel’s social media handles. Coverage will conclude with live news segments, featuring highlights and interviews, announcing the teams and individuals who qualified for the women’s and men’s national championships.

RICKIE FOWLER AND NBC SPORTS COLLABORATE ON FOUR-PART DOCU-SERIES DRIVEN: OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS: NBC Sports Group is teaming up with PGA TOUR superstar Rickie Fowler to give viewers a dramatic behind-the-scenes look into Fowler’s alma mater in a four-part documentary series – Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys. Driven, executive produced by Fowler, will premiere Monday, May 7 at 10 p.m. ET and continue Monday, May 14 (10 p.m. ET) and Monday, May 21 (8 p.m. ET). The finale will air on NBC on Saturday, June 16, recapping their season that culminates with a run at a potential 11th national championship, taking place on their home turf.

NCAA GOLF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE: Contested in back-to-back weeks, May 18-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., Golf Channel will dedicate its full suite of production resources to the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships, featuring nearly 30 combined hours of live tournament coverage. In addition, Golf Central will feature nearly 30 hours of combined pre-and post-event live news coverage produced on location, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and Golf Channel Digital.                                             

Golf Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Coverage

Monday, May   21       

Individual National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May   22          

Quarterfinals, Team   Match Play  

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET   (Live)

Tuesday, May   22                 

Semifinals, Team Match   Play 

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, May   23            

Team National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

 

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage

Monday, May   28      

Individual National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May   29          

Quarterfinals, Team   Match Play  

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET   (Live)

Tuesday, May   29                 

Semifinals, Team Match   Play 

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, May   30            

Team National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

 

COLLEGE CENTRAL – GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL COVERAGE: Golf Channel is providing comprehensive coverage leading up to and during the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships as part of College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, Ryan Lavner and Steve Burkowski, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel will cover the conference championships with scores and analysis across its on-air news platforms - Morning Drive and Golf Central – and online within College Central.