Like Torrey Pines' 18th hole at U.S. Open? 2010 Ryder Cup host Celtic Manor closer of similar drama
Even if Tiger Woods wasn’t crazy about the par-5 18th hole at Torrey Pines as a U.S. Open finishing hole before the tournament, there is no denying it’s the hole that won him his 14th major.
It was also a key element as to why this year’s Open will be celebrated for years to come.
It’s a par 5 with numerous tee options, playing straight away to a green guarded in front by water. The only difference between Torrey, other than the possibility of hearing sheep in the distance, is the hole is more undulating that Torrey Pines. The fairway is built into the side of a mountain, and about 10,000 fans or more should be perched along the left side, creating an enormous (and potentially nerve-wracking) natural amphitheater.
Hitting the fairway is paramount of course, with thick rough on either side of the hole.
With a long drive in the fairway, players can go at the elevated green on their second shot, but risk playing over water. Like Torrey Pines’ shaved bank between the green and the water, hitting short on the 18th here will spell doom as well, only the drop is about 20-30 feet, which will make the tumble into the drink all that more excruciating to watch.
It’s hard to believe there will be another golf tournament in the next few years that will match the drama of this year’s 2008 U.S. Open, but the 2010 Ryder Cup’s finishing holes were designed with high match play drama in mind, capped with the 18th.
Here’s hoping the matches can make it this far like the U.S. Open, of course. And here’s to championship golf courses who don’t have long par 4s as a finishing hole. It’s such an obvious way to go and has become borderline cliche in golf design.
Also, click here for an ideal week’s worth of golf itinerary in Wales.
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