Riviera Country Club

The 5 Weirdest Design Features on Golf Courses

As a result, many of the golf courses we visit have the same appearance. We’ll look at some of the world’s most unusual golf hole designs in this post. While most golf courses include similar elements such as bunkers, water, and sometimes some unusual rough, you’d be amazed what you’d discover in other regions of the world!

Golf is strange; it’s full of intriguing individuals and spans the world in places you’d never guess. Some of that weirdness filters into the golf courses itself, so this week we’re highlighting five holes with some of the strangest elements imaginable. Continue reading!

The first two holes aren’t very unusual, but they could be the two oddest on the PGA Tour. The first is located in the heart of Riviera Country Club, one of the world’s most prominent golf courses.

Bunker in the middle of the green on Riviera’s 6th hole


The 5 Weirdest Design Features on Golf Courses

Bunker in the middle of the green on Riviera’s 6th hole. Photo credit: golf.com

We locate one of the weirdest holes on one of the top courses on the PGA Tour. With bunkers on the front left and back right, the 199-yard par-3 6th hole is already a difficult task. Architect George Thomas, on the other hand, didn’t stop there, placing a pot bunker in the center of the green! This bunker divides the green into four areas, which is beneficial since it provides a variety of possibilities. It’s also a lot of fun when players find themselves on the other side of the flag. Chipping off the green is a fun and exciting option, but the contours of this green also allow you to putt around the bunker to get fairly close to the hole.

Anywhere else, this hole might get written off as a gimmick. But at Riviera with a master creator like Thomas, we have no choice but to enjoy the drama and give him the benefit of the doubt.

The cave bunker at Mayakoba


The cave bunker at Mayakoba. Photo credit: golf.com

The Mayakoba Golf Classic, which is part of the PGA Tour, has an uncommon characteristic. While El Camaleon might not have the same level of renown as Riviera, it does offer something unique! This hole (for you) has a cave, yes, a genuine cave, and during the PGA tournament, it serves as the 7th hole. Of course, there’s a tale behind this terrifying cave, and you can learn more about it from two courageous people who bravely entered it here. In a nutshell, all you need to know is that it should be avoided at all costs, and you definitely don’t want your golf ball near it!

The mine-shaft bunker at Scottsdale National

Scottsdale National

The mine-shaft bunker at Scottsdale National. Photo credit: PGA.com

Number 3 on our list takes us away from the PGA Tour, but not too far away from craziness! Bob Parsons’ of PXG fame,  Scottsdale National includes one of the most brutal bunkers you’ll ever come across. It’s no surprise that the Mine Shaft Course has a 13-foot-deep bunker on the 15th hole, given its name. At the bottom, a tiny little pot bunker of sand with wood panels all around, almost as if you’re heading into an actual mine, is a tiny little pot bunker of sand with wood panels all around, some of which can assist you get all the way down there to attempt one of the toughest shots of your life. This is the very last place you want to be in Arizona.

Fossil Trace’s rock pillars

Rolling back millions of years, some things just shouldn’t be dug up and removed, and when creating a golf course, the same applies! Fossil Trace Golf Club in Golden, Colo., is set in a beautiful landscape and is where, the 585-yard par-5 12th clearly takes the top spot in terms of interest. Architect Jim Engh was faced with a problem when he discovered that large sandstone pillars were dotted around the land. Whilst many said he was crazy for leaving them as be, his solution was much more interesting. The sandstone pillars are right in the middle of the fairway, three massive sandstone formations. The pillars will come into play on your second shot, forcing you to be precise and not be blocked out for your approach into the green. Whether you hit them or miss them, you’re still going to want to go take a peek as on some of the sandstone walls around the course, you might find fossils from dinosaur footprints. Not a feature you get to see that during too many rounds of golf!

The time-zone shift at Tornio Golf / Meri-Lapin Golf Club

Tornio Golf / Meri-Lapin Golf Club

time-zone shift at Tornio Golf / Meri-Lapin Golf Club. Photo credit: allsquaregolf.com

On to number 5 and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Tornio Golf / Meri-Lapin Golf Club is so large it spans two countries! Just kidding, it’s not as big as it sounds, it just sits right on the border of Sweden and Finland. Eleven of the holes are in Sweden while the rest are across the border in Finland. Where else can you play one round in two countries? And if that isn’t enough to amuse you, the border is also a time-zone shift! The magical moment happens on the par-3 6th hole, where the actual border sits. Ever wondered what the longest hole-in-one is?  According to their website, tee shots on this hole average about one hour and five seconds in the air, so, if you were to ace this hole, it would be the longest hole-in-one possible on Earth! Try explaining that one to your mates! Whilst there is no physical element on this course which is out of the ordinary, the time-zone aspect of it is certainly an added bit of fun and a great story to tell.

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