What golf fan doesn’t love sitting around the 19th hole debating which of the traditional 18 holes are the greatest in golf?
I’ve done it countless times, generally over a cocktail or two. Most of the time, you leave with nothing more than memories of a pleasant discussion and a promise to renew the arguments next time, but now the powers that be at Glenmorangie, a famous Scottish distillery, have decided to raise the stakes. Their new Open Championship promotion not only lets you voice your opinion, but promises superior prize possibilities for doing so. And the Grand Prize is the trip of a lifetime.
As the official “Spirit of the Open,” Glenmorangie has understandable promotional tie-ins with the event many Americans call the British Open, known to the rest of the world as, simply, The Open. Either way, there’s nothing in golf that can match the flavor and character of golf’s oldest major. For a chance to experience the Open Championship in the most memorable manner possible, sign up and vote for the five greatest holes in golf or -- as the legendary whiskey-maker terms it -- the five most “unnecessarily well made” holes in golf.
To assist in the task, Glenmorangie has enlisted three brand ambassadors to provide their picks: Sir Nick Faldo, David Cannon and Tony Jacklin. Faldo and Jacklin, of course, own multiple major titles, are past Ryder Cup captains and are experienced course designers themselves. Cannon is one of the world’s most respected golf photographers and has seen as many of the world’s greatest holes as anybody I know. Check out what these experts have to say.
Glenmorangie and their experts have nominated 50 holes as finalists for their “Unnecessarily Well Made Golf Holes” contest, yet they’ve provided room for write-ins as well. One lucky winner (and a guest) get the sensational grand prize, which includes the following:
• Attend the Open Championship at the home of golf, St. Andrews, and experience Glenmorangie’s VIP Hospitality
• Play the Old Course at St. Andrews on the Monday following the Open, set up as it was on the final day
• Play the Ailsa Course at Turnberry, venue for the Tom Watson/Jack Nicklaus “Duel in the Sun” at the 1977 Open Championship
• Play Royal Dornoch, Donald Ross’ home course and the 14th-ranked course in the world
• Accommodations, airfares and ground transfers
Other prizes include TaylorMade SLDR drivers, Troon Golf Vouchers and Glenmorangie Golf Kits.
So what five “unnecessarily well made” holes have I chosen? I have to go with the usual suspects. Augusta National’s par-5 13th is the world’s most beautiful inland hole. Cypress Point’s par-3 16th is the world’s most spectacular seaside test. St. Andrews’ Old Course and its par-4 17th have beguiled golfers for centuries. And Pebble Beach features two of my favorite, most compelling holes anywhere: the tiny par-3 7th and the over-the-ocean par-4 8th.
Which is my favorite? Let me take another sip of my single malt whiskey, and I’ll get back to you.