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The Old Course - Hole 17

The Road Hole

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Photo tour of The Old Course at St. Andrews
Old Course at St. Andrews Hole 17

Looking from the right side of the Road Hole green across to the left side, with the 18th hole in the background.

David Cannon / Getty Images
  • Name of 17th hole: Road
  • Par: 4
  • Yards: 455 (all yardages in this gallery are listed from the tees in use during the 2010 British Open.
The 17th at St. Andrews - the Road Hole - is one of the best-known holes in golf. One reason is the fact that the road - visible on the extreme right of the photo above - is in play. A ball that bounds across the road might come to rest close to or up against the stone wall.

The green is very shallow, and the dangerous Road Bunker (a k a, Road Hole bunker) gobbles up poorly placed approaches. That bunker is sometimes also called "the Sands of Nakajima," after Japanese golfer Tommy Nakajima. Nakajima was in contention at the 1978 British Open until he hit into the Road bunker and needed four swings to get out of it. The Road Bunker is visible in the photo above, and you can see how little room there is on the green between the bunker in front and the road behind.

The Road Hole is tough from start to finish. That start is a blind drive over the corner (and outbuildings) of the adjoining hotel property, with the best line keeping the ball close to the OB wall.

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