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  Friday, 12 July, 2002, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
The round from hell
The tee in golf's most famous hole - the 17th at St Andrews
Golf's most famous hole - the 17th at St Andrews
BBC Sport's Ken Brown picks out the 18 hardest holes in Open championship golf.

1st: Royal Liverpool, Hoylake
(Par 4, 429 yards)

This is a frightening starting hole on a course which has come back onto the Open roster again after a couple of years.

It has a sharp dogleg and in the corner is the practice ground which is out of bounds.

Your drive is a very difficult one because it is very hard to see where everything is. One false move and you are out of bounds.

2nd: Royal Birkdale
(Par 4, 421 yards)

A very straight par four with an undulating fairway and no bunkers off the tee.

There is some deep rough on the right hand side of the fairway and the hole generally plays into the wind.

The green is heavily bunkered and it slopes from back to front so if you miss the fairway it can be difficult to find the putting course.

3rd: Royal St George's
(Par 3, 210 yards)

Here the green is set into a sand dune. Anything that misses the green on the left finds a deep bunker or goes down a slope and ends up even further left.

The putting surface is narrow and you can play anything from a three wood to a four iron.

4th: Royal St George's
(Par 4, 468 yards)

A very demanding tee shot with a huge bunker on the right of the tee.

It's the sort of bunker that once you get into, you might never get out of.

There are also unseen bunkers to the left of the tee shot.

Once you've found the fairway the second is semi-blind and you play over a hump to the heavily-sloping green which in itself causes plenty of problems.

5th: Turnberry
(Par 4, 441 yards)

John Daly tees off at Turnberry's 9th hole
Turnberry's ninth hole and its famous lighthouse

The "Fin' me oot" has a dogleg from right to left with two bunkers off the tee on the left-hand side.

The closer you keep to those, the better angle you are to the flag. The rough on the right is always very thick.

The green is set into an amphitheatre with pot bunkers to the front left and right.

6th: Carnoustie
(Par 5, 520 yards)

A hole which always plays into the prevailing wind.

This hole is out of bounds all the way down the left hand side adding to the difficulties. In the middle of the fairway there are also two tough bunkers.

Once you get there, the green is a generous size but it is full of humps and hollows.

7th: Royal Birkdale
(Par 3, 156 yards)

A green almost encircled by bunkers meant this hole's line of defence was formidable.

But a new tee, constructed for the 1998 Open, helped change the angle of attack. The shortest hole at Birkdale, but by no means easy.

8th: Troon
(Par 3, 126 yards)

The Postage Stamp might only be just over 120 yards long but it is still an incredibly difficult hole fraught with dangers.

The small green is set into a sand dune with a bunker on the front left and two on the right-hand side.

If you find the green off your tee shot, you can get a birdie; if you find a bunker you are in trouble.

9th: Turnberry
(Par 4, 452 yards)

This hole is built alongside the lighthouse, Turnberry's most famous landmark.

You hit your tee shot from out in the rocks over the top of the hill towards a fairway you cannot see.

As a result, it is hard to avoid the rough and the fairway is also very narrow and difficult to hit.

Your second shot is down the hill to a narrow green which is guarded front left by a little mound which makes it even more difficult to reach.

10th: Muirfield
(Par 4, 475 yards)

The 17th at St Andrews
View down St Andrews' infamous road hole

A very long par four which is what makes it so difficult.

The tee shot is from the front of the Grey Walls Hotel while the second is played over a rise in the ground and you can't see the green from the fairway.

There are flat green bunkers to the left and as your second is unsighted, it is very very difficult to visualise where you are aiming for and the distances involved.

11th: Troon
(Par 4, 465 yards)

When you stand on the tee, all you see is gorse with the railway and the out of bounds on the right.

It's a demanding tee shot and it very hard to pick a driving line.

The fairway is undulating and you have to get a good drive because the green is tight to the out of bounds.

It's not impossible - you can reach the green with good shots - but you have to be brave.

12th: Carnoustie
(Par 4, 506 yards)

This is a hole which used to be a par five - now it's a long par four with a very narrow fairway.

You have to drive over gorse and there are two bunkers on the right-hand side from the tee with heather on the left.

It has a small green set into an amphitheatre style and it's very difficult to judge where the ball will land because it kicks on.

Craig Parry lost the chance to win the Open when he took seven shots here.

13th: Royal Lytham
(Par 4, 342 yards)

If you stand back on the tee you are sheltered from the breeze and you can't feel the wind.

The green is elevated and awkward and is surrounded by bunkers. It can be difficult to fly the ball over the bunkers.

Playing this hole is like landing on an aircraft carrier and although it is only a par four, there are always plenty of bogeys.

14th: St Andrews
(Par 5, 581 yards)

On the right you are out of bounds all the way down the tee, on the left there is the row of bunkers known affectionately as The Beardies.

Your tee shot is into the breeze towards a wide fairway - the Elysium Fields which is the safety between The Beardies and the Hell bunkers, an enormous steep face of bunkers.

The green can be reached in two shots if the wind is helping. There are lots of different ways to play the hole depending on the breeze.

15th: Royal Lytham
(Par 4, 463 yards)

The 18th at Royal Lytham
Approaching home at Royal Lytham

The hole, which is generally played into the wind, was enhanced with new bunkers before last year's Open.

If you don't find the fairway off the tee you can come to grief in a row of seriously deep bunkers.

And if you can drive down the right-hand side you have a better chance of getting to the flag, but if your shot drifts the rough can be very deep.

16th: Carnoustie
(Par 3, 250 yards)

A very long par three which leads to an elevated green with a narrow, long putting surface.

The tee shot is very demanding and you need a two or three iron. If you miss the green, it will be awkward to get down in two.

17th: St Andrews
(Par 4, 455 yards)

The Road Hole is one of the most famous holes in the world.

The longer you drive over the railway sheds, the narrower the fairway gets. The out of bounds on the right adds to the difficulties.

The road goes in front of the green and you can't ignore the legendary Road Hole bunker. Many players have got badly stuck here during past Opens.

18th: Royal Lytham
(Par 4, 414 yards)

Here the difficulty of the hole is in the drive.

Off the tee there are two rows of bunkers. Once you get over one, you have to stop before the second.

The bunkers are typical seaside ones - deep and very nasty.

Although the tee shot is demanding, when you get to the green you are slightly sheltered from the wind by the clubhouse.

Ken Brown was talking to BBC Sport Online's Elizabeth Hudson.

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