5 of The Best Challenging Closing Holes

These classic finishing holes offer a fitting finale to a top-quality round

5 of The Best Challenging Closing Holes

These classic finishing holes offer a fitting finale to a top-quality round

5 of The Best Challenging Closing Holes

Portmarnock Links

Bernhard Langer designed this modern links which continues to improve and is a demanding test even on those rare days without wind.

Not the longest of par 4s at just over 400 yards, the closing hole is still a challenge where your drive must avoid bunkers either side of the elbow of this gentle dogleg left to right.

It hugs the dunes all the way to its beautifully sited and well protected green in a natural amphitheatre overlooked by the hotel.


This Harry Colt classic dates back to 1894 and is an uncompromising, traditional, characterful and natural links of the very highest order.

If you’ve managed to keep your score intact to the 18th tee, you are faced with a bunkerless par 4 of 439 yards. Here, your drive should be aimed at the clubhouse, while your second should not!

The green sits a little way beyond and to the right, and a par here will usually feel like a birdie.


5 of The Best Challenging Closing Holes

Without doubt one of the finest inland courses in the country, Hollinwell covers a vast acreage of quite beautiful, gently undulating heathland.

Its 18th hole is a stern, maximum-distance par 4 played from a raised tee down a gentle slope directly towards the clubhouse.

Seven bunkers are perfectly placed, and there is a marshy pond short and left which calls for a well-struck approach. The green is slightly raised making it advisable to take more club.

Trump International, Scotland

Belying the logic that you cannot build an instant classic, Martin Hawtree has devised a fresh-looking links that uses the outstanding dunes to their very best effect and is packed with memorable golf.

Just 8 years old, the bunkering is a key feature throughout, and nowhere more so than on the final hole which has no fewer than 18 to avoid.

It also stretches to a massive 651 yards from the back tee and is usually played into the wind.

West Hill

5 of The Best Challenging Closing Holes

West Hill is the youngest of the three Ws and was designed in 1910 by its professional, Cuthbert Butchart.

Blessed with a handful of lovely par 3s, magnificent specimen trees line many of the holes while heather is also a key feature. It closes with a very demanding two-shotter played up a slightly rumpled fairway toward the clubhouse.

Whether you make it in two or three, there is still a long, triple-tiered green with which to contend.

Don't forget to follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The leading website from the world’s oldest golf magazine, we’re the go-to destination for amateur and keen golfers alike who are keen to up their golfing game. As well as expert course reviews, news and tips to improve your handicap our golf-focused travel content will help you pair teeing off with your travels in some of the best destinations around the globe.