Top Ten Shots in the History of Golf
Gene Sarazen---1935 double eagle at The Masters
Some shots are great and some shots are legendary, Gene Sarazen’s double eagle at Augusta in 1935 is far and
beyond both of those categories. At the time, The Masters was a fledging golf tournament being played during the
depths of The Great Depression. However, 65 years later people are still talking about the “Shot heard ‘round the
World.” The shot happened after Sarazen laid 234 yards away from the 15th hole at Augusta National. He ripped
his 4 wood over Ray’s Creek and into the hole for an improbable double eagle! This shot propelled him into a
playoff, where he eventually defeated Craig Wood to become the 2nd ever winner of The Masters.
Corey Pavin’s shot in the 1995 US Open
On the 18th hole in the final round of the 1995 US Open, Corey Pavin laid 228 yards from the hole and in the middle
of fairway at Shinnecock Hills and held a one shot lead over Greg Norman. The wind was howling 20 to 30 mph and
Pavin grabbed his 4 wood. Being at the bottom of a hill, he could barely see the top of the flag stick. Nevertheless,
he unleashed one of the greatest shots in the history of golf and wound up 4 feet from the hole. After the incredible
shot, he easily made the putt and forever removed the moniker “Best Player to Never Win a Major” from his resume.
The pressure is on, Mickelson is contending for his 3rd Master’s title (and his 4th total major). His tee shot draws
too much and winds up in the pinestraw and surrounded by trees. Rather than punching out and playing it safe,
Phil (being Phil) goes for the pin. Off the pinestraw…between the trees…over the creek…to a pin that is on the
front of the green with not a lot of turf to land his ball on. He pulls it off and the ball lays 6 feet from the hole. He
then rolls that tide of momentum to win yet another major.
Battling the immortal Tiger Woods, the then unheard of YE Yang lies far away from the green and blocked out by
trees on the 18th hole at Hazeltine in the PGA Championship. He calculated the distance, the wind, and his
odds…and then unleashed an epic 3 hybrid over the trees and stuffed that ball right by the pin. His clutch putt
sealed the deal for this first major, but that 3 hybrid set the stage for the historic toppling of Tiger.
So many things about this putt are wild. For starters, the American’s were getting their butts whomped heading into
that final day of Ryder Cup competition and suddenly Leonard’s putt meant a whole lot. The (in)famous announcer
Johnny Miller said that Leonard, “should go home” the day before he sank this near impossible putt. The American’
s stormed the green after Leonard’s putt…but before Olazabol had his chance to putt. I could go on and on…but
maybe you just need to see it.
Bill Haas' splash from the water to win the Tour Championship
The most recent shot on this list comes from the 2011 Tour Championship at East Lake, which is the climax of the
$10 million Fed Ex Cup. On Sunday on the 17th hole Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan are battling it out down to the
bitter end, when Haas pulls his shot over the green and into the water hazard behind the 17th green. Tournament
over, right? Mahan wins the Cup and the 10 mil, right? Nope!! Haas pulls off this incredible shot and rallies to win,
not only the Tour Championship but also, the Fed Ex Cup and all the loot that goes with it. Watching this shot
unfold was simply unbelievable.
I really don’t think there is a more iconic image in all of golf history than the photo of Hogan admiring his perfect
strike off the 18th tee at Merion in 1950. But even more than that, we are talking the US Open after a near fatal car
crash and one of the greatest players ever to play the game of golf in, arguably, the greatest tournament in all of
golf. Ben Hogan was simply something extra-special.
Pebble Beach…Jack Nicklaus…Tom Watson…the US Open. C’mon, does it get better than that?
Palmer drives the green at the 1960 U.S. Open.
Arnold Palmer trails heading into the final day of the 1960 US Open by what seemed an insurmountable number of
strokes. But he came out firing right off the bat on Sunday, driving the green on the first hole. He continued to
charge ahead making 6 birdies in the first 7 holes. At the end of the day he fired off 65 to win the tournament, but it
all started with his first tee shot of the day!
Bob Tway’s sand shot at Inverness 1986 PGA Championship
Anyone who has ever played Inverness knows that green is impossible. The slope is so severe and if the pin is up-
front and on the high side of the green, there is no chance in the world to get the ball close to the pin. And Bob
Tway didn’t get it close on that fateful day in 1986 during the final round of the PGA Championship, he holed
it…and from a bunker nonetheless. It may go down as another one of Greg Norman’s shocking defeats, but c’mon
a holed bunker shot on 18 at Inverness. That is impossible! Right? I guess someone forgot to tell Bob Tway.