Golf's Greatest Holes
Golf Monthly|November 2021
Rob Smith talks to Paul McGinley about course design and his forthcoming TV series, where he plays some of the world’s best holes
Paul McGinley

As a golf architecture enthusiast, I was excited to spend some time with Paul McGinley at Sunningdale in the summer in order to discuss an exciting new project and his views on course design. The catalyst was that the former Ryder Cup captain and Sky Sports pundit had recently filmed the first of what is hoped to be a number of TV series featuring some of the greatest holes in world golf.

Aside from tournament coverage, there has been little on television here that shows off some of the amazing golf holes you can find in all corners of the world. Nothing has really been dedicated to the subject, but happily that is changing with a new series on Sky TV devised and presented by Paul and BBC personality Chris Hollins. It is the brainchild of the 2009 Strictly Come Dancing winner Hollins, a single-figure handicapper whose passion for golf sparked the idea.

The inaugural series was filmed in Ireland and Northern Ireland this spring and will comprise six 30-minute episodes. In it, the two presenters play selected holes at fabulous courses such as Royal County Down, Ballyliffin, Adare Manor, Rosapenna and Lahinch. As they go, they talk about each hole’s design, setting, history and anything else that is relevant. Future series are expected to be filmed in the USA, the Caribbean, Australia and Europe, and more than 20 broadcasters have committed to screen the series across 160 countries with a potential audience of up to 500 million.

Paul and I headed out on to the Old course, designed by Willie Park Jnr and substantially modified by one of the greatest architects of all time, Harry Colt. As we played the 2nd hole from the back tee, a 489-yard par 4 that turns very gently right to left, he explained what he admired about it. For the drive, the bold line is up the left, taking on as much of the heather as possible. The compromise, for mid-teen handicappers such as me, is shorter and to the right. Having hit his drive 250-yards-plus over the road, Paul then explained that the attractive bunker protecting the left side of the green is ideal as it gives the option to play more safely to the right but still be on the green.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM GOLF MONTHLYView All

WINDS OF CHANGE

While 2021 proved one of the most eventful years in golf, the next 12 months could be even wilder. Hold on to your hats...

7 mins read
Golf Monthly
February 2022

TELLING IT LIKE IT IS

Revered South African Gary Player reflects on a glittering career and gives his view on some of golf’s talking points

4 mins read
Golf Monthly
February 2022

WALKING THE WALK

We hear from Jenny Brown, The R&A’s director of business operations, about the governing body’s bold vision for Lethamhill Golf Course

4 mins read
Golf Monthly
February 2022

Negotiate fairway bunkers with ease

Fault fixer

1 min read
Golf Monthly
February 2022

Living the dream

Johannes Veerman is one of a number of Americans plying their trade in Europe at the moment, and he’s loving every minute...

8 mins read
Golf Monthly
February 2022

Stop pushing your putts

SAVE PAR

1 min read
Golf Monthly
February 2022

I THOUGHT I WAS FINISHED BUT I COULDN'T GIVE UP

Becky Brewerton opens up about her dramatic and harrowing decline in the game – and how she has fought her way back to find happiness despite times of struggle

10+ mins read
Golf Monthly
February 2022

A New Chapter

Nick Dougherty on the highs and lows of his playing career and making the move into broadcasting

8 mins read
Golf Monthly
February 2022

ASK THE EXPERTS

Instructions By Top 50 Coach

2 mins read
Golf Monthly
February 2022

5 drills to transform your putting

I’m like Jack Nicklaus,” Andy Sullivan says, “I’ve never three-putted.” The 34-year-old from Nuneaton might like a laugh and a joke, but he’s actually quite serious when it comes to his putting, for he knows that it’s one of the strongest parts of his game. So, what’s his secret?

6 mins read
Golf Monthly
February 2022
RELATED STORIES

GOLF GOES TO NETFLIX AND IT HAS COMPETITION FROM TENNIS

Formula One racing got a huge boost in interest in North America through the Netflix series “Drive to Survive.”

6 mins read
AppleMagazine
January 21, 2022

SHOOTING FROM THE HIP

Celebrating the modern shooters that make aim-down-sights optional.

4 mins read
PC Gamer US Edition
January 2022

BATTERED TIGER'S TRAGIC COMEBACK

Legend confesses he won’t play golf full-time ever again

1 min read
Globe
December 20, 2021

Grand Openings

Hospitality heats up with new upscale properties for 2022.

5 mins read
Global Traveler
Class Act 2021

Home on the Greens

Golf-driven real estate is finally getting out of the rough.

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 20, 2021

News From the WORLD OF MEDICINE

HEALTH TIPS

3 mins read
Reader's Digest US
September 2021

What Works For Me: Swim With The Shark

During his career, Greg Norman racked up 91 professional wins and spent 331 weeks atop the Official World Golf Ranking. On the green and in the boardroom, the Hall of Fame lives up to his nickname: The Shark. Here’s how he stays razor sharp.

3 mins read
Men's Journal
July - August 2021

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

Drifting a Volkswagen Golf is weird. Like, really weird. The Golf has long been a beacon of front-wheel drive—and FWD-based all-wheel-drive— excellence, but getting its rear to swing wide typically meant yanking a handbrake or getting hit by a dump truck.

2 mins read
Motor Trend
July 2021

The Call of Y'all

Longer days and warmer temperatures— combined with travel starting to feel more accessible—means the season is ripe for tennis getaways. Ready to get back into the swing of things? Pack your gear and point your compass towards one of these SOUTHERN STATES

4 mins read
Tennis
May - June 2021

RANCHO BERNARDO INN

ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: I had been itching for a road trip or staycation for a while and decided to take a few days away from Los Angeles and head down to sunny San Diego and explore downtown and Coronado Island.

2 mins read
Global Traveler
April - May 2021