The World's Most Famous Golf Holes

From Augusta to St Andrews to Pebble Beach, here we take a look at some of the most famous golf holes from around the world...

Augusta National par-3 12th hole pictured from the tee
Augusta National's iconic 12th - the world's most famous golf hole?
(Image credit: Getty Images)

World's Most Famous Golf Holes

There are a variety of reasons a golf hole has become famous over the years. Great players may have produced great moments on them, they could be famed for their difficulty, they could have huge historical significance, they could be famed for their design and beauty, or they could simply have a great name!

Bearing this in mind there are obviously lots of different golf holes around the world that deserve recognition as the most famous, which is exactly what we have tried to do in the list below...

The Road Hole, 17th, St Andrews

St Andrews Old Course 17th hole

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Perhaps the most famous hole in all of golf, the 17th at St Andrews is called the Road hole and is also one of the hardest golf holes on the Open rota. The tee shot is like no other as you hit over the hotel and if you have been skilled enough to find the fairway you then have to navigate the road, and one of the most intimidating bunkers in the world. The 1st and 18th holes are also perhaps equally as famous thanks to their history and the Swilken Bridge that has been the site of many great pictures.

7th, Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach 7th hole pictured

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One of the most iconic golfing venues in world golf, playing Pebble Beach Golf Links is on the ‘bucket list’ of most enthusiasts of the game. With holes running along Stillwater Cove and then out onto a peninsula jutting into the Pacific, there are some incredible shots to be hit on the way round. The short par-3 7th is one of the most famous – 100 yards from an elevated tee straight out towards the ocean. There are few holes that have been photographed more. The 6th, 8th and 18th all deserve mention too here.

Amen Corner, 11th, 12th, 13th, Augusta National

Augusta National 12th hole general view

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Masters host Augusta National regularly tops lists of the most famous courses in the world and the most famous holes on the course have to be 11, 12 and 13, collectively known as Amen Corner. All three holes have the ability to ruin a players chances at a Green Jacket but if played well, a player can leap up the leaderboard. The long par-4 11th leads down to the iconic par-3 12th before the dogleg-left par-5 13th, named Azalea, closes out Amen Corner.

17th, TPC Sawgrass

The 17th island green at TPC Sawgrass pictured from above

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The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is Pete Dye’s most famous creation as it hosts The Players Championship every year, but its most iconic hole, the island green par-3 17th was actually the handiwork of his wife Alice. The original design was supposed to have water just on the right-hand side but she had other ideas. Indeed the three finishing holes are all spectacular.

The Pit, 13th, North Berwick

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The stretch from the 13th to the 15th at North Berwick, one of the best golf courses in Scotland, contains the course’s most famous holes – The Pit, Perfection and Redan. The 13th is famous as it is stoutly defended by an eminently adjacent wall that takes the links chip and run firmly off the table. The Redan also deserves a mention too as it is one of the most copied par-3s around the world.

18th, Wentworth (West)

Wentworth West course 18th hole pictured

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The 18th hole on the famous West Course at Wentworth has seen many amazing moments in various guises as it, along with the entire course, has been renovated and changed several times. It hosts the BMW PGA Championship every year on the DP World Tour, which regularly attracts many of the world's best players. Wentworth is an historic venue and one of the UK's most exclusive golf clubs.

Postage Stamp, 8th, Royal Troon

Royal Troon 8th hole 'Postage Stamp' pictured

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Martin Ebert may have made changes to the course fairly recently but golfers everywhere will be delighted that the 8th hole – the world-renowned Postage Stamp – remained the shortest on the Open rota. But as many will testify, it’s most definitely not the easiest. It measures just 123 yards from the back tees but the tiny green is surrounded by deep, cavernous bunkers so a par here is a good score!

16th, Cypress Point

Cypress Point golf course pictured from above

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Regularly voted as one of the very best courses in the world, Cypress Point on the Monterrey Peninsula features many incredible holes, chief among which is the par-3 16th. Yes you read that right, it is a par-3. Cypress is one of the world's most incredible golf courses, and it's just down the road from another - Pebble Beach.

Church Pews, 3rd, 4th, Oakmont

Oakmont Church Pews punker pictured

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These two holes are famous because of the presence of the incredible Church Pews bunker that lines both fairways. Oakmont is one of the toughest courses that hosts the US Open and the iconic but devilish Church Pews bunker can lead to bogeys and worse.

The Klondike & The Dell, 4th, 5th, Lahinch

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The two most famous holes at Lahinch are classic Old Tom Morris. The par-5 4th – The Klondyke – at first snakes through the dunes before serving up a blind second shot over them, while the 5th – Dell – takes ‘blind’ to another level, a short par-3 to a long shallow green sandwiched between 30ft dunes front and back.

16th, TPC Scottsdale

TPC Scottsdale stadium 16th hole pictured

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The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale, one of the best golf courses in Arizona, has become incredibly famous because of its amphitheatre surroundings, which houses thousands of fans during the WM Phoenix Open each February. Tiger Woods famously made a hole-in-one here early on in his career while a number of PGA Tour players have made aces here through the years. 

Calamity Corner, 16th, Royal Portush

Royal Portrush Calamity Corner par-3 16th pictured from the tee

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The golfing world was wowed by the 230+ yard 16th hole at Royal Portrush at the 2019 Open Championship. It had previously been the 14th hole before MacKenzie and Ebert made changes to the layout, which is one of the best golf courses in Northern Ireland, and the hole known as Calamity Corner shot to prominence because of the huge, cavernous hole short and right of the green. Certainly don't go right! Pictures don't quite do justice as to just how steep the drop off is.

9th, Royal County Down

Royal County Down golf course pictured

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One of the standout holes on the beautiful Royal County Down is the par-4 9th, which is one of the most photographed golf holes in the world. The stunning Championship Course is top of the Golf Monthly UK and Ireland top 100 golf course rankings.

18th, Le Golf National

Le Golf National 18th hole pictured from behind

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The closing few holes at the 2018 Ryder Cup course are iconic thanks to the watery design with the 18th being the best of the bunch. It's a brutally difficult 471 yard par-4 with bunkers and rough to the right and water left off the tee before a mid-to-long iron is required into the green, which is the second-largest on the golf course.

16th, Vale Do Lobo

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The par-72 Royal course at Vale do Lobo features one of the most photographed holes in the world, the cliff-top par-3 16th, which plays over the Algarve clifftops and plays into the prevailing wind. It's both beautiful and scary.

Devil's A-hole, 10th, Pine Valley

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A legend of a golf course that few really know all that much about due to its exclusivity, Pine Valley regularly tops lists of the best golf courses in the world. Perhaps the most famous has an iconic name, the Devils A-hole which is named as such because of the small, incredibly deep bunker short of the green as you can see above.

18th, Harbour Town

Harbour Town Golf Links 18th hole general view

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The course that hosts the RBC Heritage every year on the PGA Tour, Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina is one of Dye’s most recognisable designs, especially its finishing hole with the famous lighthouse in the background.

18th, Merion

Merion Golf Club 18th hole pictured

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The demanding 18th hole at Merion was the site of Ben Hogan's legendary 1-iron approach shot that set up his victory at the 1950 US Open, which came just 16 months after his near fatal car crash. It was also where Justin Rose sealed his maiden Major title at the 2013 US Open.

10th, The Belfry (Brabazon)

The Belfry Brabazon 10th hole pictured

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Designed by Dave Thomas and Peter Alliss, The Belfry Brabazon Course is known as one of Britain’s premier tournament courses and has a long history in the Ryder Cup too. The 18th deserves a mention but the most famous hole on the course is the drivable par-4 10th where the bold may attempt to drive over the water to the narrow green in the style of Seve Ballesteros.

18th, Carnoustie

Carnoustie 18th hole pictured

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Famous for being one of the most difficult finishing holes, not just on the Open rota, but in golf, the 18th at Carnoustie is perhaps best known for the mishaps of Jean Van De Velde at the 1999 Open Championship. It's a long, demanding par-4 where a straight drive is required before a mid-or-long iron over Barry Burn into a very well protected green.

Old Head Golf Links

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

This incredible layout is one of the best golf courses in Ireland and has a number of truly spectacular golf holes. The pick of the bunch, and most famous, comes at the dogleg-left par-4 4th hole that plays around the cliff edge with the lighthouse in the background. It's certainly one of Ireland's most photographed golf holes on what is one of the world's true bucket list golf courses.

Extreme 19th, Legend Golf Course

Legend Golf Course extreme 19th hole pictured

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The Legend Golf and Safari Resort is one of the world's most extreme golf courses and has holes designed by the likes of Justin Rose, Colin Montgomerie, Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington. However the extreme 19th is where the course is unlike any other. The tee sits on top of Hangklip Mountain and requires a helicopter ride to it before you hit down to a green shaped like the continent of Africa. It sits 1,300 feet below and measures 395 yards.

Sam Tremlett
E-commerce Editor

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is Golf Monthly's E-commerce Editor.

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

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Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a single-figure handicap. 

Sam's What's In The Bag: 

Driver: Cobra LTDxLS (9 degrees) 

Fairway Wood: Ping G430 Max (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees) 

Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚ 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 

Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond

Shoes: G/FORE Gallivanter/Nike Air Zoom Victory Tour 3/Cuater The Ringer (For off the course he goes for Nike Jordan 1 Low G shoes as well)