NEWS

A Quick Nine: What are the best opening holes in golf?

By T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer
Published on

We all know courses with great closing holes. So this week we tasked our PGA.com Facebook friends with helping us to find some of the best opening holes in golf.

As you'll see below, our readers have certainly picked out some great holes at some spectacular venues.

Please note, if you see a course name on this list that you've played and it's in our database, you can click its name and leave a review.

Do you agree with the holes that made this list? Tell us why or why not in the comment section below.

9. The Old Course at Ballybunion in County Kerry, Ireland. One of the most enjoyable courses in the world to play, the first tee at Ballybunion can be an intimidating one... there's a graveyard just to the right of the first tee, so keep it in the fairway, folks. It's a 408-yard par 4 from the back tees.

Facebook fan quote:

"Ballybunion with the cemetery off to the right!" -- Jim Ruthven

8. Merion Golf Club East in Ardmore, Pa. It's just a 362-yard par 4 from the back tees, but as if you weren't nervous enough stepping to the first tee at one of the most famous course's in the world, you're also going to be hitting your opening shot in front of a lot of people with the clubhouse and veranda close by.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Merion, first tee right next to outdoor dining, classic short par 4." -- Michael Ayrer

"Merion East - not a hard hole but veranda and clubhouse proximity plus all the history make it really neat." -- Bill Abrams

7. Bethpage Black in Bethpage, N.Y. Before you step to the tee on this 435-yard par 4, you're greeted by a sign -- a replica of which hangs on the wall in my office. It reads: "WARNING: The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers."

Hey... are we going skiing or are we going golfing?

Facebook fan quotes:

"Bethpage Black is my favorite. Riviera a close second." -- Jamal Speller

"Bethpage Black." -- Scott Schaeffer

"Bethpage black... it comes with a warning sign!" -- Stu Ellert

6. The Plantation Course at Kapalua in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii. Teeing of just in front of the clubhouse atop a large hill, this par 4 is one of the most scenic in golf. From the tee, the backdrop is amazing -- an ocean, sometimes with whales jumping up out of the water in clear view, and a volcano in the distance. It's stunning.

Facebook fan quotes:

"The one you're playing on today! That and Kapalua Plantation's first hole." -- Bobby Weil

"Kapalua... with the Pacific in the background." -- Jesse McSweeney

"Plantation Course at Kapalua." -- Gina Green Resa

"Kapalua." -- Valerie T West

5. Spyglass Hill in Pebble Beach, Calif. Talk about a test right out of the gate. This par 5, which plays nearly 600 yards from the back tees, has it all -- trees, mountains and the Pacific Ocean. What a way to start.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Great Question! How about the 600-yard par 5 at Spyglass hill in Monterey? You tee off in a forest and putt out on a green surrounded by sand dunes with the Pacific Ocean just yards away." -- Bruce Effisimo

"Spyglass Hill!" -- Zach Mayer

"Par-5 first at Spyglass. Starts downhill, dogleg left. When you get to your drive you see the beauty of the ocean and what awaits you for next 5 or 6 holes." -- Jeffrey Moore

4. Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa. One of the most difficult opening holes in golf, this par 4 plays close to 500 yards. With a solid drive, you have a blind, mid-iron shot left to tricky green.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Oakmont. Maybe the best course in the world opens with the best hole on the course." -- Nathan Combs

"Oakmont No. 1. Extremely tough front to back of the green!" -- Paul Webskowski

"Oakmont CC." -- Lee Scott

3. Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. This par 5 is far from the most difficult in the game, but it's one of the most beautiful with the tee box tucked close to the majestic clubhouse.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Riviera. From the top tee you can see it all." -- Paul Thomas-white Ciccarelli

"Riviera." -- Jason Mullin

"Riviera. Amazing view." -- Matthew Jordan Mues

2. The Old Course at St. Andrews in St. Andrews, Scotland. For my money, it doesn't get much better than this. This, after all, is where the game was born. A relatively short, straight-forward, par 4, the famous Swilken Burn runs across the fairway just in front of the green. If there's not enough history in front of you on the first tee at St. Andrews, take a look behind you as you walk up the fairway, looking back at the beautiful town of St. Andrews.

Facebook fan quotes:

"The Old Course St. Andrews." -- Jason Hyland

"St. Andrews for the atmosphere and when a golfer tees off there, it looks like he's about to go to battle in the clouds and rain." -- Mike Milkbone

"St. Andrews." -- Dale Brown

"St. Andrews. Best opening hole. History tells the story there. Pebble best closing hole." -- Curt Jones

"No. 1 at St Andrews Scotland... can any other hole give you those butterflies?" -- Carlen Webb

1. Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Home to the Masters, of course, if you've never been let me tell you from experience: the grounds of Augusta National are more perfect than you could ever possibly imagine and even 3D and HDTV does it no justice. The first tee, right by the famous Oak Tree on the back of the clubhouse, is spectacular. You're going to need a big drive on this long par 4 and that green is brutal.

Facebook fan quote:

"Augusta National." -- Tim Cahill

"Augusta National: live here, go every year, and played it twice... Nothing like walking hallowed grounds." -- Jason Newsome

"Compared to going to work....any hole would be the best. However, Augusta looks gorgeous." -- Carrie Millward

"No. 1 tee at Augusta!" -- Terry Eklund

"Augusta National, you know you're playing one of the best, if not the best golf course in the world." -- Ryan Schrimper

"Augusta National that green is a beast!" -- Charles Hobbs