The Most Difficult Hole on the PGA Tour: A Closer Look at the Toughest Challenge

Choose the hole you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 12, 2024 05:38
Welcome to StrawPoll, your one-stop destination for the most exhilarating and engaging polls and rankings! Today, we present a challenge to all you golf enthusiasts out there: help us determine the most difficult hole on the prestigious PGA Tour. From the treacherous island greens to the tight doglegs lined with thick rough, the PGA Tour is home to some of the most notorious and unforgiving holes in the world of golf. Cast your vote, share your thoughts, and even suggest a missing option to make this ranking the ultimate showdown between these formidable foes. So, grab your clubs and let's tee off on this thrilling journey to uncover the true test of skill, strategy, and mental fortitude in professional golf. Swing by StrawPoll now and make your mark on this epic debate!

What Is the Most Difficult Hole on the PGA Tour?

  1. 1
    Par 3, 155 yards
    The Augusta National Golf Club, Hole 12 is a stunning par 3 hole located in Augusta, Georgia. It is famously known as 'Golden Bell' due to the bell-shaped flower that surrounds the green. The hole is situated near Rae's Creek, with a picturesque stone bridge leading to the green.
    • Par: 3
    • Yardage: 155 yards
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Hazards: Rae's Creek, bunkers
    • Green Size: 5,600 square feet
    Augusta National Golf Club, Hole 12 in other rankings
  2. 2
    Par 3, 137 yards
    The TPC Sawgrass, Hole 17, also known as the 'Island Green', is one of the most iconic and challenging holes in golf. It is located at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The hole is renowned for its unique design and the level of difficulty it poses to golfers.
    • Location: TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
    • Par: 3
    • Yardage: 137 yards
    • Surrounding: Water hazard
    • Green Shape: Island
    TPC Sawgrass, Hole 17 in other rankings
  3. 3
    Par 4, 426 yards
    Oakmont Country Club, Hole 3 is renowned as one of the most challenging holes in golf. It is a par 4 hole that demands accuracy and strategic shot placement throughout. The hole features numerous hazards and unforgiving rough, making it a real test for even the most skilled golfers.
    • Par: 4
    • Yardage: 426 yards
    • Fairway Width: 26 yards
    • Bunkers: 7
    • Green Size: 5,500 square feet
    Oakmont Country Club, Hole 3 in other rankings
  4. 4
    Par 4, 494 yards
    Quail Hollow Club, Hole 18 is widely regarded as one of the most difficult holes on the PGA Tour. It is a long par 4 that measures approximately 494 yards from the championship tees. The hole features a narrow fairway that is guarded by bunkers on both sides, making it crucially important to hit a precise and accurate tee shot. The green is elevated and well-protected by bunkers, adding further challenge to the approach shot. The undulating green surface makes putting extremely challenging, with many subtle breaks that require careful reading. Overall, Hole 18 presents a formidable test of skill, strategy, and nerves for professional golfers.
    • Par: 4
    • Yardage: Approximately 494 yards
    • Fairway Width: Narrow
    • Bunkers: Guarded by bunkers on both sides of the fairway and around the green
    • Green: Elevated and well-protected by bunkers
  5. 5
    Par 3, 199 yards
    Riviera Country Club, Hole 6 is widely regarded as one of the most challenging holes on the PGA Tour. This par 4 hole demands accuracy and strategy from the players.
    • Location: Pacific Palisades, California
    • Par: 4
    • Yardage: 471 yards
    • Golf Course: Riviera Country Club
    • Designer: George C. Thomas Jr.
  6. 6
    Par 4, 460 yards
    Bethpage Black Course, Hole 15 is widely regarded as one of the most difficult holes on the PGA Tour. This par 4 hole, named 'Edgewood,' demands accuracy and strategic thinking to navigate its challenging layout. The hole is part of the Bethpage State Park golf complex located in Farmingdale, New York, USA.
    • Par: 4
    • Yardage: 429 yards
    • Handicap: 3
    • Fairway Width: 28 yards
    • Fairway Bunkers: 2
  7. 7
    Par 3, 179 yards
    The PGA National Resort & Spa, Hole 15, also known as 'Bear Trap', is one of the most challenging holes on the PGA Tour. This par-3 hole is a pivotal point during the Honda Classic tournament played on the Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
    • Location: PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
    • Par: 3
    • Yardage: 179 yards
    • Terrain: Water hazard, bunkers, and undulating green
    • Difficulty level: Extremely challenging
  8. 8
    Par 4, 494 yards
    The TPC San Antonio, Hole 18 is renowned as one of the most challenging holes on the PGA Tour. It is a par-4 hole that requires precision and strategy to navigate successfully. The hole is set against a backdrop of water, with the fairway curving left towards a narrow green surrounded by bunkers and a lake on the right side. The hole offers a stunning yet intimidating view to golfers.
    • Par: 4
    • Yardage: 471 yards
    • Fairway: Curves left
    • Green: Narrow with bunkers and water hazards
    • Water Hazard: Lake on the right side of the green
  9. 9
    Torrey Pines Golf Course (South)
    Bernard Gagnon · CC BY-SA 3.0
    9. Torrey Pines Golf Course (South), Hole 12 - Par 4, 504 yards
    The Torrey Pines Golf Course (South) is a championship golf course located in San Diego, California. It is widely regarded as one of the most challenging courses on the PGA Tour.
    • Location: San Diego, California
    • Par: 72
    • Yardage: 7,698 yards
    • Slope Rating: 138
    • Course Rating: 77.5
  10. 10
    Par 4, 519 yards
    Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Hole 14 is considered one of the most difficult holes in golf. It is a par 4 hole located at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York.
    • Par: 4
    • Yardage: 501 yards
    • Handicap: 1
    • Fairway: Narrow, sloping right-to-left
    • Greens: Small and undulating
    Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Hole 14 in other rankings

Missing your favorite hole?


Ranking factors for difficult hole

  1. Course difficulty
    Consider the overall difficulty and reputation of the golf course. Some courses are known for being more challenging than others, and a difficult hole on a high-ranked course might have more significance.
  2. Hole length
    Longer holes generally present more challenges and require more precise tee shots and longer approach shots.
  3. Hazard placement
    The number and strategic placement of hazards, like bunkers, water hazards, and out of bounds areas, can add to the difficulty of the hole.
  4. Green complexity
    The size, slope, and speed of the greens are essential factors to consider. Smaller, faster greens with significant undulations, slopes, or numerous tiers can make approach shots and putting much more difficult.
  5. Fairway width and shape
    Fairways that are narrower, have significant doglegs, or require a blind tee shot can be especially tough for players to navigate.
  6. Rough and surrounding areas
    The thickness and length of the rough, as well as the presence of trees, shrubs, and other obstacles around the fairway and green, can make it more difficult for players to recover from errant shots.
  7. Weather conditions
    Some holes can become more challenging depending on wind speed and direction, rain, or other weather conditions.
  8. Scoring averages
    Analyze historical scoring data from past tournaments to see how difficult the hole has played for PGA Tour professionals. A higher scoring average indicates a more challenging hole.
  9. Player feedback
    Consider feedback from professional golfers who have played the hole. Players' opinions of a hole's difficulty can help provide context and insight into the factors that make it challenging.
  10. Visual intimidation
    A hole's appearance, from the tee box or the fairway, can psychologically affect a golfer's performance, making it seem more difficult than it actually is. Obstacles or hazards can make holes visually intimidating, possibly causing golfers to make errors.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult hole on the PGA Tour. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or hole is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 157 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each hole once every 24 hours. The rank of each hole is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


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More information on most difficult hole on the pga tour

The PGA Tour is home to some of the most challenging golf courses in the world. Each course presents its own unique set of challenges, and the players must navigate them to secure a win. One aspect that adds to the difficulty of a golf course is the holes themselves. Some holes are notoriously difficult, causing even the best golfers to struggle. From narrow fairways to tricky greens, each hole presents a different challenge. In this article, we will explore the most difficult hole on the PGA Tour and what makes it so challenging for the players.

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