Not just a private thing: What's your favorite bonus hole at a public course?



Bye holes -- an extra par 3 traditionally built at the end of an 18-hole routing -- are a great bonus perk. They help settle bets. They also give golfers one more shot at a hole-in-one.

Most of the best ones are found at high-end private clubs, but we've scoured the country to find a few extra par-3 holes at public and resort courses around North America.

If you have a favorite from this list or have found others we haven't, let us know in the comments below:

• The extra 163-yard par 3 at Legendary Run Golf Course in Cincinnati plays over water.

• The Gambling Hole at Koasati Pines Golf Club at Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, La. finishes on an island green, ranging from 85 yards to 150 yards.

• The 135-yard bonus hole on the Links at Las Palomas in Sonora, Mexico gives players one last look at the dunes.

• The tiny 75-yard extra hole at Walkabout Golf Club in Mims, Fla. features a green shaped like Australia, the native country of course architect Jan Stephenson, who played on the LPGA Tour from 1976-99.

• Anybody playing the Red Course or Blue Course at Streamsong Resort in remote central Florida can finish their day playing the extra 150-yard par 3 from a tee next to the putting green and the clubhouse.

• A bunker in the middle of the green -- ala Riviera Country Club -- protects the 117-yard 19th hole at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon, Mich.

• The tiny 19th green at Rattle Run Golf Club in St. Clair, Mich. sits in the middle of a pond.

• The No. 2 Course at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Ill., called "Ravines" by the locals, has something the more famous "Dubsdread" course doesn't, an extra 176-yard uphill par 3 to end the round.

Black Bear Golf Club in Vanderbilt, Mich., part of the Gaylord Golf Mecca in northern Michigan, does it different than most places: Golfers play its 159-yard extra hole at the beginning of their round.

• The 205-yard par 3 "alternate hole" at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C. was built in 1999 by Roger Rulewich to allow the club to close a hole and still maintain a championship course. It is so strong that it replaced the 17th hole during the 2014 PGA Professional National Championship.

• The 141-yard extra par 3 -- after the 13th hole at Bear Mountain Resort's Mountain Course on Vancouver Island, B.C. -- serves up commanding views of Victoria.

• Hole 3B on the Pacifico Course at Punta Mita Golf Club in Punta Mita, Mexico, is a natural wonder called "Tail of the Whale." Jack Nicklaus transformed a natural offshore island into a green in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. A 199-yard carry is the only way to reach land safely. At high tide, golfers have to leave their ball behind. Carts can only drive the elevated cart path leading to the green at low tide.

• Okay, so it's not located in North America, but the most extreme and expensive 19th hole belongs to the Legend Golf & Safari Resort in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. It takes a helicopter ride to reach the tee of this 400-yard par 3 atop Hanglip Mountain, a point more than 1,400 feet above a green shaped like Africa. It takes nearly 30 seconds of hang time for the ball to hit the ground. The resort's Web site lists a leaderboard of players who have made par (and even a few birdies!) and more than 2,500 others who have made bogey or worse. Now that's a memorable bye hole.

Jun 11, 2015



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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.