My Favourite Hole - Robert Karlsson


9th, St Andrews

St Andrews

I know this will surprise everyone, but my favourite hole has always been the 9th on the Old Course. Yes, I know many people think it's the easiest hole on the course, maybe one of the easiest anywhere. But still I love it.

Everyone thinks they should hit driver. Then they imagine the worst-case scenario, which is driving into one of the two pot bunkers in the fairway. From either one you're looking at a bogey. On the easiest hole in the world, remember.

That thought process is a big part of why I enjoy this hole so much. It brings its own pressure, because you feel like a wimp if you don’t “go for it” from the tee. Too many holes are so difficult you can’t go for anything out of the ordinary. To my mind, that means the balance of the hole is wrong.

There's nothing wrong with the occasional easy hole. And this hole should be easy if you play it well. There is half of Scotland to aim at off the tee, with plenty of room both left and right of those bunkers. But still they play on your mind.

Then there is the putting surface – it is so flat, so judging distance with your approach is tough. Even on a really short approach shot, it's hard to know exactly where to land the ball. For some reason, long putts are equally troublesome. It can be a really awkward hole, but I love playing it. 


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