golf hole

The best golf holes in Europe

Jordan Fuller
Authored by Jordan Fuller
Posted Monday, April 26, 2021 - 4:43pm

Have you ever seen pro golfers smashing their clubs in frustration? Bet you haven’t yet, but these challenging golf holes in Europe have witnessed it.

Those looking to challenge themselves on some of Europe’s most challenging courses, travel to these courses, and prepare to make difficult shots and get creative. 

The Heart and Soul of Spain

Spain’s highly ranked and touted course, Las Brisas, challenges golfers’ abilities on every hole. A combination of length, bunker placement, and water hazards creates challenging eighteen holes. Holes 12 and 14 are two of the most challenging holes on the course.

Number 12 is a 460 meter plus Par 5 is compounded in difficulty by water hazards. The slight dogleg left, and green location forces a difficult decision for golfers. If your tee shot off the tee is less than 260 meters, your second shot becomes particularly difficult. The front and right-hand side of the green is protected by water and a large pot bunker. The second shot’s angle forces golfers to carry the water and bunker without striking the backside bunker.

Northern Ireland Beauty

In Newcastle Northern Ireland, the Championship Links at The Royal County Down is one of the top courses. You will see the ninth hole, which is one of the most photographed holes in the world. 

Number eight is the most challenging hole on the course. A thin landing area on the fairway is complicated by bunkers blocking the fairway’s left and right hand side. Depending on the wind condition, the second shot can require a long iron or wedge. Possibly the most challenging part of this hole is the green. An extra fast green with slopes front to back and quick drop-offs left and right, creating a tiny shelf target to hit. 

Architect Tom Simpson’s Masterpiece

In the northeast of Paris lies Tom Simpson’s crowning achievement, The Grand Course at Morfontaine. The Grand Course is carved into the French woods and features turning holes, and tight fairways with tree strike looming at any shot. It boasts a unique design that brings trees together to the fairways, making shot shape and selection critical to scoring. 

The most challenging hole of the course is the par-four seventh. A hard dog leg left makes the hole look more like a boomerang than a dogleg. From the black and blue tee boxes, golfers are required to hit out of a chute. Missing left or right will end in disaster as the thick trees will knock the ball down immediately. A longer tee shot is required to reach the fairway landing zone. Missing left on a tee shot blocks the green out of play for the approach. Better be sure you got the skills before you play in this course!

Portugal’s Pristine Course

Portugal’s number one ranked golf course, Monte Rei, brings a challenge to an oasis between the Portuguese mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Famous golfer-turned-course architect Jack Nicklaus designed the lush golf course. Typical of his designs, the North Course is a challenge that will incite joy and creativity on the course.

Like many of Nicklaus’s other courses, wide-open fairways lure golfers into getting comfortable and taking errant shots. The fifteen holes are not abundantly long, but the subtle designs of course slope and green position make this hole incredibly difficult. Water lining the right hand side of the fairway creates a penalty stroke for drive going to the right. A seemingly hidden bunker in the fairway traps golfers driving through the fairway. Gusting winds make the second shot extremely difficult, so make sure to swing your club with precision!

United Kingdom’s Golfing Paradise

This golf course is a place wherein you can bask in the beautiful view of heathland. In Old Course, Walton Heath, you can witness the par-5 16, which is one of the signature holes in the United Kingdom. The approach towards the holes in this course requires optimum accuracy. Other than that, the 5th hole, a 391-yard par four, and the last three holes are challenging, especially in the 16th.

Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer. During his retirement, Jordan mentors golf with his students. He also wrote on his golf publication site,, about tips and tricks on how to improve your golf game. 

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