Bulldoze This Hole! Four holes that sour great courses

Thursday September 18th, 2008

No. 14 at Bandon Trails
Bandon, Ore.
$75-$265
888-345-6008, bandondunesgolf.com

\nAt its best, the Bandon Dunes resort combines the shot values of the British Isles and the scenery of Monterey. At its worst...well, that would be the 325-yard 14th hole on the Trails course. Miss the slender green here and you can easily Ping-Pong your way to an 8.

\nNo. 12 at Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach, Calif.
$495-$520
800-654-9300, pebblebeach.com

\nFor me, no course has more all-star holes than Pebble. However, the 201-yard 12th has always bugged me. It's a flat, nondescript hole with a huge bunker that guards the entire green, which is itself too shallow to accept shots from the mid-handicapper tees of 184 yards.

\nNo. 18 at Samoset Resort
Rockport, Me.
$70-$130
207-594-1431, samoset.com

\nThanks to a fistful of holes on Penobscot Bay, Samoset is one of my East Coast favorites. However, its closing hole — a massive, 478-yard par-4 with a forced-carry second over water and an elevated three-tier green — is way too much for most mortals.

\nNo. 17 at Royal County Down
Newcastle, Co. Down, N. Ireland
$146-$340
0114428-43723314, royalcountydown.org

\nAuthor Jim Finegan describes 17 as "straightaway over uninspiring ground." He's being charitable. Royal County Down is a great course, but this hole is weird. It features a pond in the middle of the fairway, and truthfully, nothing about the hole works very well.

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