Its “Scary Season” and the time of year where Scream is trending on Netflix, reruns of Nightmare on Elm Street are frequent on Cable and the moon has a look in the sky that is a just a bit different than other months of the year. To that end, golf itself has a number of scary shots, scary holes and moments that raise your heart rate and maybe even some cold sweats.
Here are just a few of the “Scariest Holes” within the World of Troon:
Mauna Lani, South Course Par 3 15th hole, 196 Yards – Kohala Coast, HI
While often referred to as one of the most photographed golf holes in golf…this hole is one of the most scariest in Hawaii if not the country or world. From the hourglass back tee of the 15th on Mauna Lani South Course you are literally starring over 196 yards of nearly all carry over the Pacific…to a green protected by white sand bunkers. Add to it tropical trade winds that provide pause…and you are faced with one scary tee shot.
Quintero Golf Club, 9th hole, Par 3, 188 yards – Peoria, AZ
This daunting par 3 to end the first nine at Quintero is spooky! The long, windy drive up the hill from the previous hole creates both excitement and anxiety. When golfers arrive to the tee box, they will be greeted with a tremendous view of the property….as well as a very narrow green with water catching all shots that come up short. The trick (or treat) to this hole is club selection. Taking into account the drop off in elevation can lead to a birdie opportunity or a frightful double bogey. Make a good swing or be haunted by this hole until the next time you play it!
Indian Wells Golf Resort – Celebrity Course, Par 5, 14th Hole, 519 yards – Indian Wells, CA
From the onset of the renovations creation of the Celebrity Course over a decade ago, golf course architect Clive Clark always spoke to the shimmering water features and babbling brooks that highlight the Celebrity Course. Both come into play on multiple shots on the Par 5 14th at Indian Wells Golf Resort where your drive, second shot and third shot must navigate either over, around or beside challenging water features. Add to it strategically placed bunkers and this is one scary hole.
Yas Links, Par 3, 13th Hole, 154 yards – Abu Dhabi, UAE
With a green almost completely surrounded by water, it all depends which the way the wind is blowing. If it’s blowing in from the bay, you have a chance to hit the green but if it’s blowing out toward the water…good luck. There isn’t much safety if you look to avoid the water. There are bunkers and fescue on the left and water on the right so if you miss the green on this difficult par 3…your dead.
Kapalua Plantation, Hole 18, 636 yards, Par 5 – Maui, HI
Nothing describes the feeling of playing this hole better than the look of absolute exhaustion that Team Troon’s Justin Thomas had on his face when he completed it for the fourth time in one day to wrap up his win at the 2020 Sentry Tournament of Champions in a playoff. This incredibly long par 5 has a steep downhill fairway making your second shot extremely difficult with uneven feet because of the slope, plus the ball above your feet for righties and below your fee for lefties. Sure, the view is as good as any you’ll see on any golf course but if you don’t hit the right spots for each shot on this hole, it could feel like a never ending twilight zone.
Lookout Mountain Golf Club, 10th Hole, 419 yards – Phoenix, AZ
Known as the “Highest Tee in Phoenix” which already not ideal for those afraid of heights! The ball when hit off the tee hangs in the air for what feels like an eternity before you know if it’s found the thin strip of fairway below. The haunting vertical drive up the hill to the tee box only adds to the suspense!
The Standard Club, 17th Holes. Par 3, 242 yards – Johns Creek, GA
Called one of the “toughest par 3’s in the nation” by golf professional Fredrik Lindblom, the 242 yard elevated par 3 from the tips is not the friendliest way to wrap up a round at the Standard Club. You’re looking at having to bust out the big stick and land on a very narrow green. Here’s where it gets real fun. If you’re short, you’re in the water. If you’re long, the whole green is sloped away from you so we’re faced with a difficult chip. Add some wind to the mix and we’re looking at a scary number being added to the scorecard.
Whirlwind Golf Club , Cattail, 14th Hole, 389 yards – Chandler, AZ
The 14th green on Cattail lies right next to a water hazard and slopes severely toward it. It’s so intimidating that you might most be tempted to bail out to the right, but that leaves an even more intimidating pitch shot or a shot out of the sand. No one likes hitting out of the sand with water as your backboard if you hit it long. Moral of the story? Aim for the middle of this green.
The Els Club Dubai’s “Lion’s Den,” Holes 9, 10 and 11 – Dubai, UAE
This end to the front 9 and start of the back is one of the most challenging stretches of holes in the region. Number 9 is a long par four with a tough bunker placement along the fairway which forces you to lay up or be aggressive. If you clear it, you have a great look at the green but if you miss, that’s a rough start to this stretch. 10 is another long par 4 in which from the tips, you have to carry 250 yards to avoid yet another fairway bunker. Staying with the theme of long, finish the Lion’s Den with a 184 yard par 3 with a green guarded by four bunkers.
Princeville Makai Golf Club, 3rd Hole, 185 yards, Par 3 – Kaua’i, HI
This VERY elevated tee box has stunning views but was also said to have made an associate of OB Sports, “almost pee my pants the first time I stood there!” This tee box is highly visible to others if a mulligan is necessary with a blind landing zone. You have a protected green surrounded by lush native plants and trees. With the elevation in play off the tee, you’ll want to calculate this tee shot as best you can because if you’re not on the green, you could be in a world of hurt.
Potomac Shores, 10th hole, Par 5, 575 yards – Potomac Shores, VA
One of the best par 5s in the Mid Atlantic, the par 5 10th at Potomac Shores seems somewhat unassuming off the tee with a wide fairway and a deep bunker protecting the dogleg on the right. The second shot is visually spectacular while scaring the pants off of mid-to-high handicap golfers as the fairway tumbles downhill with spooky bunkers surrounding the green and an eerie forest of trees to the right. Spine-chilling shrieks and ghostly gasps from golfers of the past echo from the trees around the amphitheater-like green.
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, Par 3, 248 yards – Maricopa, AZ
When you ask Ak-Chin Southern Dunes GC, general manager and PGA Professional Brady Wilson, what hole is one of the most scariest at the club he quickly replied with the long par three 6th: “First off the sheer length makes the hole scary…but the fact that you are hitting a hybrid to a green that is designed to accept 9 irons makes it even scarier”. The hole is long, especially from the tips, protected by deep bunkers, plus the green is undulating and set an angle making it even scarier. Par here almost feels like birdie.
Yocha Dehe Golf Club, 1st Hole, Par 4 – Brooks, CA
This hole may not look to scary unless you are afraid of heights getting started from this elevated tee box. This launch pad of a tee box can bring a smile to your face as you watch it fly if you hit it straight. But if you don’t pipe it, and even worse, hit it right, your ball is as good as gone. Not just because of the thick terrain that borders the hole, but also the signs that tell you might as well just move on and take a drop because of the snakes that like to hang out in that area. Snakes? No thanks!
Mill Creek Country Club, 7th Hole aka “Boomerang,” Par 4 – Mill Creek, WA
How to Play — This is the most difficult par 4 on the course. Players must shape their tee shot from left to right around the corner of the dogleg. A drive too far left will require a draw on the second shot around a stand of trees 75 yards from the green. The landing area is very generous for tee shots that leave you 180-200 yards from the green. The green will challenge you with a false front and many small slopes throughout.