Top 10 Finishing Holes You Can PlayEight years ago, when GOLF Magazine identified the 500 greatest golf holes in the world, it came as no surprise that 57 of them were the 18th holes on their respective courses. There's no question that architects often save the best for last. Here are the Top 10 Finishing Holes You Can Play.10. Carnoustie Golf LinksCarnoustie, Scotland487 yards, par 4011-44-1241 802270, carnoustiegolflinks.co.uk$113-$245Architects: Allan Robertson/Old Tom Morris/James BraidJean van de Velde's nightmare (left) is one homely home hole, but the satisfaction in overcoming its nearly overwhelming obstacles is immense. The sinuous Barry Burn affects both drive and approach, while ever-present wind, thick rough, a fistful of bunkers and sheer length add to the fun.
2 of 10Greg Shamus/Getty Images
9. Whistling Straits Golf Club (Straits Course)
489 yards, par 4
Architect: Pete Dye
Perched atop the gusty bluffs of Lake Michigan, this nasty but exhilarating finisher calls for a forced carry approach over both sand dunes and a steep drop-off into Seven Mile Creek. The eventual target is an 18,000-square-foot behemoth of a green, its cloverleaf shape hemmed in by fescue-fringed bunkers.
3 of 10Fred Vuich/SI
8. Kapalua Resort (Plantation Course)
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
663 yards, par 5
Architects: Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw
What looks like a scorecard misprint is actually a reachable par 5, thanks to favorable prevailing winds and a wide, firm fairway that plunges straight down and to the left around jungle-like vegetation. If you can cope with the downhill/sidehill lie for your approach and block out the staggering ocean views, you might enjoy more thrills than chills.
4 of 10John and Jeannie Henebree
7. Shadow Creek
North Las Vegas, Nev.
527 yards, par 5
Architects: Tom Fazio and Steve Wynn
The ultimate gambler's par 5 is right at home in the ultimate gambler's town. From a flat expanse of denuded desert, Fazio crafted 18 winners, culminating in the finale, which features an elevated tee and three lakes that separate pretenders from playahs. Even a lay-up second must flirt with water on the approach.
5 of 10Chris Condon/WireImage
6. Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge
441 yards, par 4
Architects: Dick Wilson/Arnold Palmer
If you like your holes to be brutally difficult for long hitters and freakishly hard for short ones, Arnold's home hole fits the bill. The shallow, boomerang green is guarded in front by water and in back by bunkers, mounds and rough. The only argument is which shot is tougher the approach or the downhill recovery from behind the green.
6 of 10Michael Cohen/WireImage
5. Harbour Town Golf Links
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
452 yards, par 4
Architect: Pete Dye
With Calibogue Sound eating into the fairway and green from the left and trees, condos and out-of-bounds to the right, the best advice is to smack it straight at Harbour Town's iconic candy cane-striped lighthouse. A huge but rumpled bailout basin collects pushed approaches, making up-and-down pars as unusual as snow in Hilton Head.
7 of 10Rob Tringali
4. Doral Golf Resort & Spa (Blue Monster Course)
467 yards, par 4
Architect: Dick Wilson
Water everywhere, bunkers everywhere, a smattering of trees down the right and a sliver of green angled diagonally to the left make this tradition-rich test a classic closer. Relentless, if balmy, winds add further headaches to a hole that has confounded PGA Tour pros since 1962.
8 of 10David Walberg/SI
3. TPC Sawgrass (Stadium Course)
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
447 yards, par 4
Architect: Pete Dye
If you were expecting a breather after the island horror at the 17th, think again. Pars are rare commodities, and birdies unthinkable on this banana-shaped two-shotter that drowns any pulled drive or approach. It also punishes overly conservative bailouts with menace from trees, spectator mounds and rough-filled grass bunkers.
9 of 10Stephen Munday/AllSport
2. St. Andrews (Old Course)
St. Andrews, Scotland
357 yards, par 4
011-44-1334 466666, standrews.org.uk
Architects: Nature/Old Tom Morris
A thousand closers are tougher than this one, but only a few are more memorable. With its early photo stop atop the Swilcan Bridge, OB right, the Valley of Sin short of the green and the Royal & Ancient Clubhouse beyond, this is a frame you want to freeze for the rest of your days.
10 of 10Chris Condon/WireImage
1. Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach, Calif.
543 yards, par 5
Architects: Jack Neville/Herbert Fowler
No closing hole gets the pulse pounding like Pebble's. Curving to the left around Carmel Bay, this daunting hole can be reached in two by the likes of Tiger, but for most, it calls for three solid shots. The best angle into the green is from the left side, but the coastal breezes, crashing surf and beach below tend to shove the most well-intentioned shots to the right.
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