Pro Golf Weekly

Hole of the Week: Firestone’s 16th, aka “The Monster”

Still the PGA Tour’s distance king even as courses have grown longer over the decades, No. 16 was dubbed “The Monster” by none other than Arnold Palmer after a triple bogey there cost him the 1960 PGA Championship.

16th hole during the 2017 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country
A general view of the 16th hole during the 2017 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. Credit: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR/Getty Images

Amid today’s modern technology, it doesn’t have quite the same bite these days. But it’s fair to say Firestone’s 16th claimed its share of victims for four decades or so.

Two years after Palmer’s woes, Paul Bondeson recorded a 10 on The Monster when he put two in the water – soon to be joined by an offending club. Curtis Strange matched the unwanted mark in 1986.

A 2009 duel between Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington came to an end with a four-shot swing at No.16, as Woods spun back a magnificent 8-iron within inches of the cup and Harrington flew the green and followed with a pitch into the pond that fronts the shallow putting surface.

Perhaps the snazziest shot at No.16 was performed in 1979 by Lon Hinkle, who skipped his approach from the right rough twice across the pond and onto the green. “I was playing for one bounce, not two,” he quipped afterward.

No.16, Firestone CC (South)
Par 5, 667 yards
2017 average: 4.87 (2nd easiest)
2017 WGC Bridgestone Invitational: 1 eagle, 94 birdies, 162 pars, 40 bogeys, 6 double bogeys, 1 higher

Jeff Shain

Jeff is a contributor to Pro Golf Weekly. He is the managing editor of Prime Sports, and a weekly contributor to PGATour.com. As a member of the Golf Writer's Association of America, Jeff has covered golf for nearly two decades, including stops at the Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald and The Island Packet in South Carolina.

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