Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Haydn Porteous on Regnum Carya's 10th hole  (Getty Images)
Haydn Porteous on Regnum Carya's 10th hole (Getty Images)

As another year comes to a close, europeantour.com has had the calculator and the scorecards out to bring you this – a definitive guide to the 18 most testing, challenging, terrifying holes in the 2017 Race to Dubai.

From the sun-drenched Gold Coast in Australia to Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, the European Tour has traversed the planet in the 2017 campaign, as ever, taking in a plethora of different countries and styles of golf course in the process.

We have crunched all the numbers from last season to identify a complete golf course’s worth of what are technically the hardest holes on the European Tour.

Last year, it was the par four 18th at Carnoustie which took the crown as the most difficult hole on Tour, but what hole will claim the same honour in 2017?

Hard hats on? Then let’s begin.

In descending order…

18) 8th at Chapultepec Golf Club
Tournament: WGC-Mexico Championship

Par/length: 4/525 yards
Average: 4.357
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 24/117
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 7 – Pat Perez, Russell Knox, Jimmy Walker
2016 position: n/a

17) 18th at RACV Royal Pines Resort
Tournament: Australian PGA Championship

Par/length: 4/466 yards
Average: 4.361
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 22/178
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 6 – Numerous players
2016 position: 52nd 

16) 16th at Quail Hollow Club
Tournament: US PGA Championship

Par/length: 4/506 yards
Average: 4.362
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 25/159
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 7 – Dylan Frittelli, Omar Uresti, Joost Luiten
2016 position: n/a

15) 11th at Augusta National Golf Club
Tournament: Masters Tournament

Par/length: 4/505 yards
Average: 4.373
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 14/108
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 9 – Sandy Lyle 
2016 position: 12th 

14) 17th at Carnoustie 
Tournament: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Par/length: 4/449 yards
Average: 4.373
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 37/112
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 6 – Stuart Appleby
2016 position: 182nd 

13) 5th at Genzon Golf Club
Tournament: Shenzhen International

Par/length: 4/475 yards
Average: 4.379
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 18/152
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 9 – Peiyi Tan
2016 position: 5th 

12) 18th at Le Golf National 
Tournament: HNA Open de France

Par/length: 4/471 yards
Average: 4.385
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 40/147
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 9 – Gregory Bourdy, Darren Clarke
2016 position: 68th 

11) 1st at Quail Hollow Club
Tournament: US PGA Championship

Par/length: 4/524 yards
Average: 4.387
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 27/192
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 6 – Numerous players
2016 position: n/a

10) 14th at Topwin Golf and Country Club
Tournament: Volvo China Open

Par/length: 4/472 yards
Average: 4.391
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 31/157
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 8 – Haydn Porteous
2016 position: 55th 

9) 11th at The Dutch
Tournament: KLM Open

Par/length:  4/486 yards
Average: 4.395
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 19/155
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 9 – Adrian Meronk 
2016 position: 47th 

8) 10th at Regnum Carya Golf And Spa Resort
Tournament: Turkish Airlines Open

Par/length: 4/505 yards
Average: 4.397
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 18/115
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 8 – Adrian Otaegui
2016 position: 75th 

7) 18th at Quail Hollow Club
Tournament: US PGA Championship

Par/length:  4/494 yards
Average: 4.412
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 30/173
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 8 – Jason Day 
2016 position: n/a

6) 18th at Himmerland Golf And Spa Resort
Tournament: Made in Denmark 

Par/length: 4/461 yards
Average: 4.419
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 41/126
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 8 – Jacob Lauridsen
2016 position: 6th 

5) 6th at Royal Birkdale
Tournament: The 146th Open Championship

Par/length: 4/480 yards
Average: 4.427
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 26/195
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 9 – Justin Thomas 
2016 position: n/a

4) 17th at the Old Course, St Andrews
Tournament: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Par/length: 4/495 yards
Average: 4.440
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 38/132
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 7 – Joel Stalter 
2016 position: 3rd

3) 4th at Pretoria Country Club
Tournament: Tshwane Open

Par/length: 4/511 yards
Average: 4.442
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 38/202
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 7 – Sam Walker, Keith Horne, Bernd Ritthammer
2016 position: 8th 

2) 1st at Augusta National Golf Club
Tournament: Masters Tournament 

Par/length: 4/445 yards
Average: 4.462
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 18/122
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 8 – Danny Willett
2016 position: 40th 

1) 14th at DLF G&CC
Tournament: Hero Indian Open

Par/length: 4/550 yards
Average: 4.600
Birdies or better vs bogeys or worse: 24/192
Highest score recorded in 2017 event: 8 – Numerous players
2016 position: n/a

So there you have it: The number one hardest hole on the European Tour in 2016 was the beastly long par four 14th at the Gary Player-designed DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon, host venue to this year’s Hero Indian Open. 

Our list of the 18 hardest holes consisted entirely of par fours, with entries coming from X different countries. 

Elsewhere, Quail Hollow, the home of the 2017 US PGA Championship had three holes in the list, the 18th at Himmerland retained its place at sixth in the list from 2016, the fourth at Pretoria Country Club (home of the Tshwane Open) jumped five places from eighth to third, while the Road Hole at the Old Course finished in the top five for the third year running.

At the other end of the spectrum these were the five easiest holes on Tour in 2017 (in descending order):

5) The par five 12th at Carnoustie; Dunhill Links (4.403)
4) The par five first of the East Course; Joburg Open (4.385)
3) The par five second of the West Course; Joburg Open (4.361)
2) The par five 14th at Carnoustie; Dunhill Links (4.289)
1) The par five 14th at Golf Club Milano; Italian Open (4.132)

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