REVEALED: The toughest hole on the PGA Tour in 2021

Kiawah 17Th

As 2021 draws to a close, there’s one hole the world’s top players will be glad to see the back of.

The fearsome par-3 17th on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.

Once described as “the hardest hole in the history of the universe” by David Feherty, this 223-yard brute bared its teeth once again during the US PGA Championship in May.

It played more than half-a-stroke over-par across the four rounds (+0.531, to be exact) and did its best to derail Phil Mickelson’s bid to rewrite the game’s history books. The 51-year-old bogeyed it twice, including during the final round, en route to becoming the oldest man ever to win one of the game’s four marquee tournaments.

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In that final round, there were only 23 birdies on the hole. For context, there were 42 doubles, 12 triples and one quad.

Players hit the green just 34.39% of the time, whilst 40 balls found a watery grave in the huge, eight-acre lake between the tee and green.


The next-toughest hole was, perhaps unsurprisingly, found at the US Open and it, too, was a par-3.

The 228-yard 11th at Torrey Pines’ South Course played 0.393 shots over-par and, across the week, yielded just 16 birdies as compared to 150 bogeys and 21 doubles or worse. The par-5 13th wasn’t much easier. It played 0.389 shots over-par for the week.

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The hardest hole at a regular tour stop was the 529-yard par-4 on the Memorial Park Golf Course in Texas, host venue for the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open. It played 0.353 over-par for the week and coughed up only one eagle and 23 birdies.

Memorial Park was also the toughest non-major course the tour visited in 2021, playing an average of 0.799 shots over-par per round.

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