Best finishing holes

The 18th hole is often the one that leaves the most lasting impression. From challenging water hazards to spectacular views to the occasional heckling beyond the green, the 18th hole can be a defining moment in any golfer’s round. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best finishing holes in golf, highlighting what makes them so memorable and challenging.

18th Holes You Must Play

1. Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach, California

Best finishing holes

We all know Pebble Beach Golf Links is one of the most famous golf courses in the world. And its 18th hole is a fitting finale to an otherwise spectacular round of golf. With the Pacific Ocean crashing against the cliffs on the left-hand side of the fairway, golfers must navigate a narrow landing area before their approach to a small green perched on the edge of the ocean.

2. Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta, Georgia

No matter where you are on the leaderboard, your final tee shot at Augusta National Golf Club requires nerves of steel. A narrow chute leads to bunkers at the end of the fairway, followed by a tricky approach uphill to a green guarded by two more bunkers. The tiered putting surface adds to the thrill, making this one of the most famous settings for great finales.

3. Quail Hollow Club

Charlotte, North Carolina

The 18th at Quail Hollow provides a dramatic close to “The Green Mile,” the final three holes of the golf course. It’s a difficult par-4 with a meandering stream along the left side of the narrow fairway. And the right side battles back with fairway and greenside bunkers. Aggressive play can result in great reward, but failure to find the fairway can spell trouble.

4. Harbour Town Golf Links

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Best finishing holes

Harbour Town’s iconic 18th hole is a stunning and challenging finale that requires patience and precision. A wide fairway provides ample landing room for your drive with the beautiful backdrop of the red and white lighthouse. But things get a little tricky after your tee shot. A demanding approach awaits that requires nearly a 200-yard carry over the Calibogue Sound. Not only that, but missing the green right means you’ll be faced with challenging mounding that will surely test your wedge game.

5. TPC Sawgrass

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

If you carded some squares on the island-green 17th, you’ll have a hard time making up for it on the final hole at TPC Sawgrass. Water looms left down the length of the fairway and bailing right means trees. This finishing hole requires two solid shots and a precise short game to conquer the mounding around the tiered green.

6. The Plantation Course at Kapalua Golf & Tennis

Lahaina, Hawaii

Best finishing holes

The 18th hole at the Plantation Course at Kapalua is a dramatic finishing hole that provides stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. This par-5 measures 677 yards from the championship tees, making it one of the longest holes on the PGA Tour. However, a downhill slope and often helping wind mean that a 400+ yard drive isn’t out of the question. The fairway is generous, but the hole presents challenges in the form of elevation changes, bunkers, and a sloping fairway.

7. Carnoustie Golf Links


The 18th hole at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland is one of the most challenging finishing holes in golf. Known as “Home,” the hole requires golfers to navigate a thick rough, several fairway bunkers, and the Barry Burn that snakes along the hole. The 18th has been the site of many dramatic moments like Jean van de Velde’s collapse at the 1999 Open Championship.

8. The Old Course at St. Andrews Links


Best finishing holes

The finishing hole at the Old Course is one of the most iconic in the game. It is, however, not quite as challenging as some others on our list. It lacks a bit of bite with a massive fairway shared with the first hole. It’s just over 350 yards in length, too, which makes it gettable for even your average golfer. What truly makes this 18th hole one of the best in the game is that it’s steeped in history and tradition. From the Valley of Sin and the Swilcan Bridge to the backdrop of the red Hamiton Grand and the Royal & Ancient building, every step along the 18th is one worth cherishing.

9. Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

Southampton, New York

The 18th hole at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is widely considered to be one of the toughest finishing holes in all of golf. This uphill par 4 measures a whopping 485 yards from the championship tees and requires two well-struck shots to reach the green. The fairway is narrow and sloping making it difficult to find the short grass off the tee. The green is elevated and guarded by three bunkers, which adds to the challenge of hitting an accurate approach shot.

10. Valhalla Golf Club

Louisville, Kentucky

Located in Louisville, Kentucky, Valhalla‘s 18th hole is a beautiful par-5. It measures 542 yards from the championship tees and is a visually striking finishing hole. There’s a large fairway bunker on the left side of the fairway and a stunning water feature on the right. The green is guarded by bunkers and offers three distinct putting areas to form a horseshoe as a tribute to the state’s equine heritage.

11. Straits Course at Whistling Straits

Kohler, Wisconsin

Best finishing holes

Nicknamed Dyeabolical (after course designer Pete Dye), it’s no wonder why par is an excellent score on the 18th at the Straits Course. This epic final hole is a par 4 measuring 520 yards from the championship tees. A precise tee shot is crucial, but players will have to face several obstacles including a swirling wind, challenging bunkering, mounds of sand dunes, and a forced carry over Seven Mile Creek that guards the front of the green.

12. McLemore Highlands Course

Rising Fawn, Georgia

Best finishing holes

The 18th hole at the McLemore Highlands Course is a masterful par-4 that demands both precision and power from even the most seasoned golfers. The fairway meanders around strategically placed bunkers with boulders lurking at every turn, making for a truly challenging and exciting final hole. The green is perched on the edge of Lookout Mountain providing stunning panoramic views of the rolling hills and pristine valleys below. Golfers who manage to conquer this daunting hole are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of being at one with nature.

13. Oakmont Country Club

Oakmont, Pennsylvania

The final hole at Oakmont Country Club is known for its difficulty. The par-4 18th hole measures 484 yards and features a narrow fairway that is flanked by bunkers on both sides. A challenging approach shot must then be made to a sloping green that’s guarded by additional bunkers. The hole has played a significant role in several major championships held at Oakmont, including the 2007 U.S. Open, where Angel Cabrera made par on the final hole to win his first major title, and the 2016 U.S. Open, where Dustin Johnson sealed his victory with a clutch birdie on the 72nd hole.

14. Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge

Orlando, Florida

Best finishing holes

Par is potentially a winning score at the 18th hole at Bay Hill. The hole measures 458 yards and looks relatively simple on paper. But it’s anything but easy once you’re standing on the 18th tee. A meticulously placed tee shot is crucial to have a good angle into the green – which is guarded by a massive lake on the right and three bunkers to the left and back of the green. Aggressive play here can be heavily rewarded or result in moving in the wrong direction on the leaderboard.

The 18th hole can make or break a round of golf, and these courses have some of the most memorable and challenging finishing holes in the world. From stunning ocean views to mountaintop greens, these holes are all fitting conclusions to any round of golf.

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Megan Williams

Meet Megan Williams, a wordsmith with a passion for golf, travel, and the epic combination of the two! Originally from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the Golf Capital of the World, Megan has played golf since she was a child, eventually playing competitively in college. She's since swapped her golf clubs for the keyboard and skillfully translates her on-course experiences into captivating narratives and insightful stories. When she's not crafting engaging content, you can catch her enjoying the company of her energetic golden retriever or trying new culinary delights around Tampa, Florida - her current stomping grounds. Join Megan on her literary journey as she explores golf courses and resorts worldwide, shares travel knowledge and shipping tips, covers industry news, and more - all exclusively on the Ship Sticks blog.