A Quick Nine: What do you think is the scariest shot in golf?

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Where did the second shot on No. 8 at Pebble Beach rank among the scariest in golf?
By
T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer

Series: A Quick Nine

Published: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 | 7:59 a.m.

In the spirit of Halloween, for this week's 'A Quick Nine' feature, we asked our PGA.com Facebook fans: What's the scariest (toughest) shot in golf? Anyone who's played the game knows very well that goons, ghouls and ghosts exist in everyone's golf bag and can pop up at any time.

Just when you think you've got the game mastered, "BOO!" an uncharacteristic shot appears out of nowhere.

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With that, here's what you told us were the scariest shots in golf - some you've hit, many you've watched and a lot you've dreamed of playing and never experiencing a nightmare on.

9. The Wife. Well, not so much the wife, but according to one commenter, the repercussions when you get home to her. If I were you, Jack, I probably would have remained nameless!

Facebook fan quote:

"Every shot when your wife thinks you are at work but really you are on the golf course." -- Jack Estes

8. The first-tee jitters. Hey, you're not alone. Everyone has experienced this from the 40-handicapper sticking the peg in the ground on the first hole with a crowded tee box on a Saturday morning to a multiple major winner.

Facebook fan quotes:

"First tee after you've missed the first shot with 20 people waiting behind you. Or so I'm told." -- Thomas M. Harding

"First tee shot at any course for a rookie in the Ryder Cup. I mean come on, really. Talk about pressure. Not only do you have the entire USA on your back, but thousands of angry, cheering, and maybe even a "little" sauced up Europeans waiting on pins and needles for you to hit that one foul ball to left or right field to instantly jump down your throat! Umm, can you say pressure? I think so!" -- Kirk Jameson

7. No. 15 at Augusta National. The name of the hole - Firethorn - is a little scary itself. The 15th hole at the home of the Masters might not seem all that bad on the scorecard. It's a straightforward, 530-yard par 5 except for the decision-making that comes as you approach your tee ball. Do you attempt to reach the green in two with water guarding the green? Or, do you lay up and risk spinning your third shot off the green and in the water? Pick your poison.

Facebook fan quote:

"No. 15 at Augusta -- down a shot or two and making a push. A 220-yard, downhill lie, water short and long, shaved approach, small, hard and very fast green." -- Eric Gunn

6. No. 16 TPC Scottsdale. It's a par 3 that measures a mere 162 yards. No biggie, right? Riiiiiiight. Especially the week of the Phoenix Open, where it's disguised as a football stadium with a par-3 golf hole in the middle of it, complete with boisterous, intoxicated fans.

Facebook fan quote: "The tee shot at 16 at TPC Scottsdale. I'd be thrilled just to hit the green with all those people screaming, regardless of where the flag is." -- Todd Bradford

5. No. 18 at TPC Sawgrass. When you think TPC Sawgrass, you think the par-3 17th with the island green (which we'll get to shortly, by the way). However, once you complete No. 17, you're faced with one of the most difficult par 4s in the game. Don't miss left off the tee, or with your second shot, as water hugs the entire hole on that side. It's a grueling hole to play under any circumstances, let alone with a one-shot lead on the 72nd hole of the Players Championship.

Facebook fan quote:

"No. 18 tee shot at TPC Sawgrass attempting to avoid the water and rough. Talk about demanding a precise shot." -- Michael Wilhelm

4. No. 12 at Augusta National. Known as "Golden Bell" this little par 3 is only 155 yards long and one of the prettiest short holes in the game. The centerpiece of Amen Corner requires a tee shot over Rae's Creek. In calm conditions, it's not so bad. With the wind howling and a major-championship atmosphere, it's an absolute monster.

Facebook fan quote:

"No. 12 at Augusta on Sunday afternoon. Frays the players nerves and the gallery is excited with anticipation. Reward is great for a successful risk and there is always someone who has to take that risk. Can't wait for next April." -- Carlos León

3. No. 8 at Pebble Beach. In terms of raw beauty, there might not be a more naturally gorgeous hole in the game. The hole description says it all: Tee it up over the aiming rock and note wind conditions. A well-placed drive of 240 yards will leave you with a middle iron shot across a deep oceanic chasm. Take a deep breath and fire to the middle of the green here, but take heed: this green is sloped severely from back to front.

Facebook fan quotes:

"The second shot on No. 8 at Pebble is tougher than the tee shot on 17 at Sawgrass. The reason people feel the shot at 17 is harder is because of the water." -- Bradley Louis Walker

"No. 8 at Pebble Beach, I agree (to a green, the size of a postage stamp!)" -- Frank Soares

"The second shot on No. 8 at Pebble Beach into the wind." -- Richard Pope

"No. 8, Pebble Beach... one of the most beautiful yet intimidating shots in the world, the cliffs hundreds of feet below with the waves crashing and the wind blowing, at best you are hitting a mid-iron to a tiny green." -- Caleb Wilson

2. No. 17 at St. Andrews. Better known as "The Road Hole" the 17th at St. Andrews requires a tee shot over a portion of The Old Course Hotel and you can't see where the shot lands. From there, the only things you have to worry about is the deep Road Hole Bunker and a stonewall and the Road itself behind the green and to the right. Yep, that's it. Not too bad, eh?

Facebook fan quotes:

"Tee shot is bad enough then you have to worry about "the" bunker and the Road. Played there in 2006 and got hooked up with a guy that was 5 under going into 17 (no wind/round of his life). He ended up 1 under going into 18 and then bogeyed. Saddest thing I've seen since Van de Velde." -- Jonathan Boyle

"Maybe 'The Road Hole' - No. 17 at St. Andrews with rain and strong wind from the left, one-stroke back for the Open Championship." -- Chris Blech

"The 17th hole St. Andrews, Road Hole Bunker in line, road looming behind, out of the semi rough, down wind! (one-shot lead, Sunday afternoon!!!)" -- Brian Murphy

1. No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass. We all know this one. It plays 132 yards from the back tee. Many PGA Tour pros have called it the easiest hole in golf - 51 weeks of the year. During that one other week in the year, it's one of the most difficult. Take for example the 2007 Players Championship, where - in a single-round - 50 balls found the water, setting a new tournament record. And those golf balls were struck by the best players in the world! Good luck with that, folks!

Facebook fan quotes:

"No. 17 at Sawgrass is scarier than Freddy, Jigsaw and Jason combined." -- Christopher Adams

"I have to say 17 at TPC, simply because there in no bail out, with the road hole and eighth at Pebble you can always bail left and while bogey or worse is the likely outcome, you at least have a dry ball." -- Russell Revell

"The 17th at TPC Sawgrass, its just a wedge but… Damn it takes the ball along time to find some land." -- Bruce D Russell

"TPC Sawgrass No. 17 is the only time I have ever been nervous when playing golf! I wanted to just hit it on the green… made par!" -- Burke Worrick


Comments

bpainton

The scariest shot in all of golf, is the one in which you have less than 100% confidence in executing.