The Finishing Hole

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JB

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I was looking at some cool places for a competition of sorts and one of them had a super weak 18th hole. It reminded me of a course locally that is fantastic and then the finishing hole was a throw away par 4 with no trouble, nothing extraordinary and really nothing to it at all...Speaking comparatively to the rest of the course.

Does the finishing hole matter to you? Should it be the hole that puts the cap on the round to make it memorable?
 

AnthonyC

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I've usually had my butt kicked too much at that point to care about the 18th.
 

Lions81

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Not necessarily to me. Most courses are going to have at least 1 weak hole, if that happens to be the 18th so be it, so long as the rest of the course is nice.
 

Sox_Fan

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A tough finishing hole, especially in competition, definitely adds a lot of excitement to the finish so I am a fan. It is the #3 handicap hole at my home course.
 

DataDude

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Yes, the last hole should definitely reward good shots and punish bad shots. It is the hole where bets are settled and rounds are won so it needs to be tough. A local course near my home has an amazing par 3 as hole 17 that goes back towards the clubhouse. It's 180 yard shot with a dropoff front and right, a big sandtrap to the left, and a slope with deep rough behind it. It's mostly carry across a valley from the tee. 18 is this super weak par 4 that is short and wide open with an easy to hit green. 18 also goes away from the clubhouse and it's green is right next to 10's tee box which is kind of far away from the clubhouse too, which never made much sense to me. I asked them why they didn't just make 18 hole 10 and then finish on the par 3 and they said the course used to be that way and everyone hated finishing on a par 3. Since 9 is a really great par 5, my next thought was that they should just flip the 9's and finish on 9 instead. As is hole 18 is the weakest hole on the entire course and leaves a bad taste in your mouth the first time you play the course, especially if you're walking and you finish 17 right next to the clubhouse and then walk 500 yards away from it again to play 18.
 

slimjim32

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I’m not a fan of mediocre finishing holes. The course I grew up playing had a straight par 4, with not a lot going on. 17 was actually a nice par 3 over water, and then you step up to 18 and it left so much to be desired.

To me, the finishing hole should be the hole that you walk off the course and it solidifies how the course as a whole was.
 

BlueHen2006

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It's nice when the final hole is a really great hole, in terms of looks and strategy, but I am totally fine if just another hole with not much to remember it for. One that comes to my mind is just boring uphill par 4 with a very easy green and maybe one sand trap on the left, but can't really remember. Not much to the hole, very wide fairway, but I probably par that hole more than any other hole on the course for some reason, so I enjoy it greatly!
 

ApexFan

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I never thought much about it before. Most of the courses I play have a pretty good finishing hole. Big rewards and big penalties. Although I’m no expert I like the challenge throughout the course and the finishing hole.
 

Golf Ghost

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Yes. The 18th should be a sum of all that the course has to offer. Hole by hole review of Cabot this past weekend sums up both 18's being memorable and fitting in well with the course and the surroundings.
 

links_slayer

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it's just icing on the cake, imo, if the 18th checks all the boxes (as arbitrary and ambiguous as they may be)
 

dazeedmonds

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Not something I’ve thought about before. I like a stronger finishing hole for sure.

2 of the nines at my course have good 9th holes. Long and tough. The third 9 isn’t bad, just a long uphill par 4. Not much trouble, no real risk reward challenges.
 

tahoebum

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I prefer a tougher finishing hole, either a long par 4 with some trouble or a par 5 that is risk-reward so I can make a birdie to even or win a match.
 

KEV

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Ultimately it's probably not the biggest deal but it's certainly disappointing. We have a local links course that is pretty fun overall but a horrendous 18th hole. When people ask me my impressions of the course that's one of the first things I point out. Same with a few of my friends. That's not great advertisement for a course
 

Greg Kulbick

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I hadn't really thought about it, but I think I would prefer a little something on 18. Maybe a test, or at least a visual distraction or view to punctuate the round. The course our group is at now is only a little testing because of trees. Its a rather narrow opening off the tee, and a rather narrow opening to the green. If you're too far left or right off the tee, you have to go over large live oaks separating the fairway from the green. Anything other than the very left edge of the fairway, which you don't want to be because then you have to go over a big tree, feeds to the right side.

18 tee:
hilaman 18 tee.jpg

This is basically your view if you end up on the left side of the hole off the tee:
approach from left side.jpg

Opening to green:
hilaman 18 green.jpg

This course would be a lot more playable if they just trimmed some trees... 6, 10, 16, 17 and 18 all have tee shots that can be impeded, if not entirely blocked, depending on tee placement.
 

OITW

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Finishing hole matters, it's why flipping 9s sucks at some courses.
 

jdtox

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Personally I quite enjoy a good finishing hole. I hate when its just a boring par 4/5
 

OldandStiff

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Yes.

Doesn't need to be one of the hardest, but it should be at least visually memorable. The final signature.
 

BuckNasty

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Yes I think it matters, and I'll even take it a step further. I think each 9 should close on a signature hole (hole 9 and 18 on a standard 18-hole course, holes 9/18/27 on a 27-hole course, etc.).

One course I wish I could change #18 is at Bethpage. I think the 18th hole on the Red course is a much better hole than the 18th on the Black course.
 

wubears71

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I love par 5 finishing holes. Weak, par 4 finishing holes leaves me so unsatisfied.
 

maxw72

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The finishing hole in general terrifies me. The idea of hitting into the clubhouse or into a parking lot makes me always club down because I'm terrified I'm going to fly the green and just nail the clubhouse or someone's car. Short chip around the green? I'm going to pull putter for fear of blading the chip. I'm a mental midget to the 18th.
 

GoldenBuff

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Love a great finishing hole. I just played a local private course that had a very challenging last hole. Uphill 433 yards with an elevated green protected by a ridge in front and bunkers everywhere else. Green is about 50 feet elevation above the fairway and slopes back down toward the front. The clubhouse has an overviewing deck. There were people hooting and hollering when I made a par save putt back up from the front fringe. If I had missed, it likely would have rolled back down to the fringe. I ended up there after a chip that stopped -- people on the deck yelled "hurry, mark it" -- but before I could get there it started rolling again down the front fringe. That adds so much challenge and drama. I love holes like that.

IMG_0895.jpg
 

Snickerdog

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I don't think it should be extremely easy but a bit of a challenge. Just enough to make you think about your approach shot. I think the thing that makes it a good hole is the view coming into the green and what you see in the backdrop, ie: clubhouse or parking lot makes all the difference.
 

Drumdog

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I think the finishing hole is very important. I really like a tester of a hole that is also visually interesting/exciting.
When a course has that, it does help burn the experience into my memory.
 

mtbloco

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The course I play the most, has the 18th as the 12th "hardest" hole. It's a 436 yrd par 4. you are coming off a run of the 2nd, 4th, and 6th hardest holes. 18, then has all the elements of the course in the last hole. Dogleg right to landing zone with thick forced carry for for your approach shot. three bunkers and huge mounds surround the green. One can birdie or take a snowman. I think it works quite well as a finishing hole even of it's not in the top half of hardest holes on the course.

Would I feel different if it were a complete dud of a hole....probably. If the rest of the course was spectacular, the 18th should at least capture the beauty even if it play easier.
 

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