The 9 scariest shots in golf

By T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer
Published on
The 9 scariest shots in golf

We decided to go with a Halloween-theme for this week's, "A Quick Nine."

Some specific shots on some specific courses are scarier than others. So, we asked you to tell us: What's the scariest shot in golf?

The criteria for each submission was to include the course and hole where this "scary" shot is required. Don't worry, this piece won't give you any nightmares.

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Here it is -- your answers to the scariest shots in golf:

9. The tee shot on the par-4 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass. Brutal closing hole. The bottom line here is you need to thread the needle. With a lake that hugs the entire left side of the 462-yard hole and barely any room to miss the fairway left without splashing, the goal of this tee shot is to hit a little cut (for the right-handed player). But, don't cut it too much. If you do, your second shot will be blocked out by the trees -- which will mean punching out in the direction of the lake.

8. The tee shot on the par-5 13th hole at Bethpage Black. No big deal -- just a 608-yard par 5 that begins with a dogleg right tee shot that requires a long carry over a collage of bunkers. And, if you're unfortunate enough to fail in covering the bunkers with your tee shot, you still have to negotiate the dogleg with your second shot. "Playing it safe," isn't necessarily possible with this tee shot. You need to bust it. Then close your eyes and hope you're OK.

7. The tee shot on the par-3 17th hole at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course. At 223 yards, it's a long par 3, but certainly not the longest. The issue with this shot is swirling winds coming off the Atlantic Ocean and a forced carry over a pond. The hole is difficult enough when there's no wind -- which is rarely ever the case here.

6. The second shot on the par-4 eighth hole at Pebble Beach. Standing in the fairway on the 462-yard par 4 feels like you're standing on the edge of the Earth (which is round, by the way). A massive cliff drops off into the Pacific Ocean. Standing high above the green, you need to deliver a shot that clears a slip of the ocean. Too far right? You're in the ocean. Too far left or long? You're probably left with a touchy bunker shot hitting toward the ocean.

5. A flop shot over the Road Hole bunker at St. Andrews. Love this submission. Assuming you hit a decent tee shot over the hotel on the 17th at St. Andrews, followed by a decent second shot, you might find yourself just short of the green in two on the par 4 -- an accomplishment for many amateur players. But, unlike most par 4s where you're just short in two and thinking, "let's get up and down for par," on No. 17 at St. Andrews, you're thinking, "Good Lord, please don't let me fluff this one into the Road Hole bunker!" This tiny pot-bunker is six feet deep. Once in it, there's just enough room to stand up straight and take a swing.

4. Tee shot on No. 12 at Augusta National. Along with being one of the scariest holes in golf, this one is also one of the prettiest. This par 3 is only a 155-yard shot from the tee box, but with Rae's Creek guarding the front of the green, you can't be short. Add the wind factor to the equation and the 12th at Augusta National has baffled many of the greats over the years.

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3. The tee shot on the 231-yard, par-3 16th hole at Cypress Point. There are drop-dead gorgeous holes in golf, and then there's the 16th at Cypress Point. The wind can be brutal on this spectacular hole regarded by many as a, "par 3-and-a-half." If that's not enough, the green is surrounded by rugged cliffs with waves crashing in. Appreciate the beauty, but try your best to focus on the task at hand.

2. The tee shot on No. 1 at St. Andrews. We found this submission from the birthplace of golf interesting. Why? Well, because it might be one of the most wide open tee shots you'd ever be lucky enough to face. So, we needed a good explanation to put it on this list. As you'll see below, Facebook fan Pete Mohs provided the perfect explanation.

Facebook fan quote:

"The tee shot at the first hole at the Old Course at St. Andrews. It's not difficult, but because of the history and the random people watching you, it's completely nerve-wracking." -- Pete Mohs

1. The tee shot on No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass. Hands down, this shot received the most votes from Facebook Nation as the scariest shot in golf. We can't say we blame you either. The famous island green par-3 is a monster -- which is saying something since it plays just shy of 140 yards at its longest. If it were the second hole of your round, this par 3 might not be so bad. But, this is a shot you need to think about throughout your round. Have a great round going? Well done, but you still have No. 17 to play. Don't be short, don't be long, don't be wide left and don't be wide right. If you can achieve all of that, you might have a chance to par this hole.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

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