The most famous hole on the LPGA circuit also has an island green, though splashdowns are highly encouraged – as long as it’s the golfer and not her approach shot hitting the water.
No.18 at Mission Hills Country Club is built for drama, offering perhaps half the ANA Inspiration field a chance to reach the green in two. Players encounter a slight dogleg left off the tee, setting up the risk/reward decision on the approach. The green is large – good for holding long irons but often creating long putts.
In 2009, Brittany Lincicome watched her second shot roll within 4 feet of the flagstick for an eagle that leapfrogged her past Cristie Kerr. It remains the only major – men’s or women’s – in which a closing eagle determined the tournament outcome.
A year ago, Lexi Thompson – battling back after the infamous four-stroke penalty assessed nearly 24 hours after the fact – birdied No.18 to force extra holes with So Yeon Ryu. But the Korean pro won the playoff, as Thompson was forced to lay up after her drive found rough.
MISSION HILLS CC (SHORE TOURNAMENT)
Hole 18, Par 5, 531 yards
2017 average: 4.88 (3rd easiest)
2017 scores: 1 eagle, 98 birdies, 214 pars, 34 bogeys, 9 double bogeys, 2 higher
DID YOU KNOW?
Poppie’s Pond, where the ANA Inspiration champion celebrates with a traditional plunge behind the 18th green, wasn’t always the crystal-clear waters seen in recent years. Until 2006, it was just part of Champions Lake that surrounds the finishing green at Mission Hills.
Over time, though, concerns about fish, algae and whatever else might be thriving in the water prompted officials to sterilize the locale.
Poppie’s Pond is now self-contained, lined with concrete and kept to a swimming-pool level with a constant replenishment of treated water.
Content Excerpted From The Starter