1. 16th Hole, Cypress Point Club, Pebble Beach, Calif. par 3, 233 yards
Cypress Point Club -- No. 16, 231 yards -- Pebble Beach, Calif.A lot of experts say this is the greatest hole in golf. Period. Never mind one of the finest par 3s on the planet. Giving Alister MacKenzie this otherworldly plot of land established a standard that other architects might rightly call unfair. Play this one and you instantly have your eternal go-to golf story.
2 of 18Joanna Dost
2. 8th Hole, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Calif.; par 4, 427 yards
Hole No. 14Pebble BeachPebble Beach, California8th hole; par 4, 416 yardsJack Nicklaus has long proclaimed this to be the greatest second shot-par-4 in golf. Who are we to argue? Of course, it's also home to one of least inspiring tee shots in golf, but it is still one of the greatest holes in the game thanks to that stunning approach. From a tee perched by the Pacific, the drive is blind and must be struck no more than 240 yards to hold up short of a gaping abyss. That leaves a 175-to-190-yard shot over an ocean-battered gap in the cliffs to a small green ringed with five bunkers. Yeah, good luck with that!
3 of 18Kohjiro Kinno/SI
3. 18th Hole, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Calif.; par 5, 543 yards
Pebble Beach's par-5 18th hole as seen from the tee box.
9. Pacific Dunes, Bandon, Ore., No. 13, par-4: The youngest hole in our top 10 dates only to 2001, but this Tom Doak-crafted, 444-yarder looks like it’s been here 100 years thanks to its seamless integration into a jaw-dropping setting that features a giant natural dune, blowout bunkers and the Pacific Ocean.
5 of 18Joann Dost
5. 15th Hole, Cypress Point Club, Pebble Beach, Calif.; par 3, 135 yards
Cypress Point Club -- No. 15, 143 yards -- Pebble Beach, Calif.It's a setting as stunning as a national park; it just happens to have a golf hole built on it. Alister MacKenzie has brought you through the pines and around coastal dunes, and now, as his masterwork builds to a crescendo, he gives you this: your first arresting close-up with the sea. Simply unforgettable. And almost as good as the hole that follows it.
18. Bandon Dunes, Bandon, Ore., No. 16, par-4: Architect David McLay Kidd shaped the diagonal ridge in the field -- it wasn’t in the plans -- and created an astounding, option-laden test. A safe play to the lower fairway on the right leaves a semi-blind approach. The tougher tee shot to the upper left landing area leaves an easier approach. No matter which you choose, the Pacific Ocean will gobble up a wild slice.
8 of 18No. 18 at Seminole Golf Club / Larry Lambrecht
8. 18th Hole, Seminole Golf Club, Juno Beach, Fla.; par 4, 417 yards
Best Locker Room at a Bucket-List CourseIt's not difficult to find accolades for Florida's Seminole Golf Club. Many reviewers have made the case that Seminole is the definitive Donald Ross creation because of the way Ross cleverly incorporated two dune ridges into the design. And Ben Hogan once called the par-4 sixth the best par 4 in the world. Many in-the-know folk have also touted a feature that's not even on the course: the locker room. After finally teeing it up here, I can't say that I share the Hawk's fondness for the sixth, but the moose and elk heads and famous names -- Nelson, Palmer, Bing Crosby, et al. -- that populate the locker-room walls live up to the billing. Then again, so does the rest of the course -- the greens are some of the most ingeniously contoured I've ever played.
9 of 18Joann Dost
9. 4th Hole, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Pebble Beach, Calif.; par 4, 370 yards
30. Spyglass Hill Golf Club, Pebble Beach, Calif., No. 4, par-4: One of Robert Trent Jones’ most memorable creations is this slight-on-distance, long on everything else 370-yard two-shotter. A fairway that slopes right to left toward the Pacific Ocean and a long diagonal green tucked into ice plant-flecked dunes force thoughtful tactics and execution.
10 of 18Larry Lambrecht
10. 3rd Hole, Mauna Kea Golf Course, Big Island, Hawaii; par 3, 272 yards
31. Mauna Kea Golf Course, Big Island, Hawaii, No. 3, par-3: Robert Trent Jones’ single most dramatic hole is this gargantuan 272-yarder that asks for a smash across the pounding Pacific surf from an isolated tee box set into 5,000-year-old black lava rock.
11 of 18LC Lambrecht
11. 14th Hole, Maidstone Club, East Hampton, N.Y.; par 3, 152 yards
46. Kapalua Resort (Plantation), Maui, Hawaii, No. 18, par-5: If you’ve ever wanted to reach a 663-yard par-5 in two, here’s your chance, thanks to this downhill-plunging Coore-Crenshaw creation that features a broad fairways slope and a speed slot into the green. Pacific panoramas add more icing to this distinctive cake, where it will take clever ground game prowess -- and avoiding the jungle that frames the fairway -- to post a red number.