Which is the shortest hole in professional golf?

Professional golf is blessed with an abundance of highly memorable, instantly recognisable short holes, some shorter than others, but all utterly terrifying to mere mortals. Those that immediately spring to mind include the devilish 12th hole at Augusta National, a.k.a. ‘Golden Bell’ – described by Jack Nicklaus as the ‘toughest hole in tournament golf’ – and the equally iconic 17th hole on the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, with its signature island green. However, the former plays at 155 yards from the back tees and the latter at 137 yards, so neither is close to being the littlest of the little gems on any of the professional tours.

The 8th hole on the Old Course at Royal Troon, a.k.a. ‘Postage Stamp’ – since dual Open champion William Park Jnr. used the phrase to describe the size of the putting surface in 1922 – is the shortest hole on Open Championship rota and, as such, is definitely one for the shortlist. However, while fraught with danger, including the infamous Coffin Bunker, the ‘Wee Beastie’ still plays a relatively ‘generous’ 123 yards from the back tee.

By contrast, the shortest hole on the PGA Tour, the 7th hole on the Pebble Beach Golf Links, a.k.a. ‘Land’s End’ because of its position on Arrowhead Point, which is surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean, plays at a 106 yards from the back tee. Indeed, Pebble Beach has hosted the US Open six times, most recently in 2019, and during the 2010 tournament the hole played as short as 92 yards. From the tee, the hole drops 40 feet to a small green – which has become increasingly smaller down the years – and is often, but not always, played into an onshore breeze. Club selection is key, as is the ability to play a ‘knockdown’ shot, with a low, boring flight, to migitate the effects of the wind.

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