At 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.
For 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.
Thanks 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.
Author 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.