St Andrews: Hole by hole | 17th

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Hole 17 – Road – Par 4, 495yds

Old Course


I’ve had nightmares here. Last year at the Dunhill Links I was five-over for it. The rough is so thick on the left, which, as a drawer of the ball, doesn’t help. But now that they’ve taken the tee back 50 yards you can hit driver or 2-iron. The ideal line used to be over the letter ‘O’ of Old Course Hotel but because they moved the tee back that is no longer the case. You can now hit further right or left depending on the wind. I’ve never hit it into the hotel grounds. We need to run the ball in now like in the old days. I’d take four fives at the Open – if I have a five-shot lead! 


“The 17th is the hardest hole in the world,” asserts Sorley. “Even the best players know there’s a chance they’ll drop a shot there. It’s 495 yards, and into the wind, it plays like a par 5. There are just so many dangers on that hole.” 

Recent Tweaks: Road Bunker widened on the right by half a metre, and part of its front recontoured to gather more errant approach shots.