Best Golf Hole - 2000
No. 4, Stables Course, Old Orchard Golf Club
Readers' Choice: 18th
The fundamental fantasy of the golfing world is that best is supposed to be brutal. Year after year, Houston hackers hold the notion that tribute should be paid to the toughest holes. Of course, that ignores the basic premise that this game is geared toward finding that rare feeling of oneness with nature. So stifle the raves about 490-yard par fours transcending the 200-foot canyons and elevated greens guarded by Saharan bunkers, and start communing with the sheer beauty to behold from tee to green and beyond. Old Orchard Golf Club was created with a unique respect for the finer aesthetics of the game. Nothing shows that off more than No. 4 at the Stables Course. The view is accented by a windmill in the distance. Plenty of trees surround the hole, and a waterfall and stream splash down the fairway border and extend beyond the narrow, well-trapped three-tier green. Challenging? Naturally. And scenic. And peaceful. The kind of on-in-two feeling that the game of golf is supposed to be all about. On this hole, a drop in blood pressure is par enough.