Featured Hole: 16 at Firestone Country Club
How the signature 16th hole became 'The Monster'
June 08, 2016
By Vince Shannon, PGATOUR.COM
- June 08, 2016
- In 2015, the 16th hole at Firestone County Club surrendered 64 birdies, 188 pars, 35 bogeys, 14 double bogeys and 7 triple bogeys or higher. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
With over 60 years of professional tournament golf, Firestone Country Club has yielded some of the world’s greatest to ever play the game, including notable champions like Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Gary Player and Tom Watson. However, all who have dared to find themselves in contention late Sunday must overcome the daunting 667-yard 16th hole.
After a costly triple bogey in the 1960 PGA Championship, Arnold Palmer shot himself out of contention on the 16th hole, dubbing it “The Monster.” Over 55 years later, Firestone’s signature hole continues to be a true testament to the world’s top players.
This narrow tee shot demands an accurate drive to avoid the fairway bunkers which is critical to hitting the downslope. However, a well-placed drive does not warrant an easy birdie. Players are faced with the decision to get home in two or lay-up before the pond guarding the front of the green.
“The Monster” is known for being the longest hole on the PGA TOUR schedule. This beast of a par 5 provides one of the most intimidating approach shots on Firestone’s South Course. Nonetheless, the pond on the 16th hole has captured its fair share of casualties over the years.
We’ve compiled a short list of most memorable shots from "The Monster":
3. Although many have tried, few have won the battle against this protected green. Following an errant shot into the trees in the 1979 World Series of Golf, Lon Hinkle hit a 6-iron punch shot between the trees, skipped his ball across the water and onto the green en route to his victory.
Lon Hinkle's amazing par save at the 1979 World Series of Golf
2. Few will forget Jack Nicklaus’ magnificent comeback in the 1975 PGA Championship. Down by five strokes to Bruce Crampton in the third round, Nicklaus made an unbelievable par on “The Monster” 16th hole. He continued his comeback to win by four strokes, collecting his fourth PGA Championship.
1. The pressures of going into Firestone’s tough finishing holes have even tested the world’s best. Protecting a one-shot lead on Sunday afternoon going into the par-5 16th, Padraig Harrington’s triple-bogey led to Tiger’s spectacular 8-iron from 178 yards that would spin back to within inches of the cup, leading to his seventh victory at the Bridgestone Invitational in 2009.
Shot of the Day
Shot of the Day: August 9, 2009 from Firestone
The World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational has experienced many exciting finishes on their signature hole – especially on Sundays with the front-left pin location. The 16th hole adds to one of the most storied stops during the year on the PGA TOUR.