The 18 most difficult holes on the 2016-17 PGA Tour schedule

Let's debunk the myth right now.

No. 17 on the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is not the hardest or most intimidating hole on the PGA Tour.

It might be scary for you and me, but pros with wedges in their hands aren't afraid of a little water. Don't believe me? We have the numbers to back it up.

Golf Advisor consulted Shotlink to find the holes on Tour that played the hardest, in relation to par, during the 2015-16 wraparound schedule. What we found is a devilish collection of mean par 4s and dangerous par 3s.

The hardest hole last year was of little surprise to anyone who has played Royal Troon, the site of the 2016 Open Championship. The famous 11th hole -- Railway -- is narrow and nasty, inducing 26 scores higher than a double bogey, by far the highest total of "others" on Tour all year. It averaged .56 strokes over par.

But we're not using this data just to look back. Let's focus on what's ahead during the 2016-17 season. We've rounded up the scariest holes the guys will face this year, according to Shotlink*:

1. No. 11 at Augusta National
Tournament: The Masters.
Hole length/Par: 505/4.
Scoring average last year: 4.521.
Comment: Added length in recent years has made the start of Amen Corner even tougher, bringing the pond near the green more into play.

2. No. 12 on the South Course at Torrey Pines
Tournament: Farmers Insurance Open.
Hole length/Par: 504/4.
Scoring average: 4.508.
Comment: Bunkers are left and right off the tee and again at the semi-elevated green.

3. No. 14 on the Champion Course at PGA National
Tournament: The Honda Classic.
Hole length/Par: 465/4.
Scoring average: 4.49.
Comment: The redesign of the 14th hole by Jack Nicklaus in 2014 pushed the green closer to the water. The scores last year (13 higher than double bogey) reflect the changes.

4. No. 18 at Quail Hollow Club
Tournament: The old Wells Fargo Championship venue will host the 2017 PGA Championship after a renovation.
Hole length/Par: 493/4.
Scoring average: 4.481.
Comment: The demanding finishing hole, capping a three-hole stretch called "The Green Mile," won't change during the renovation. The stream up the left side is always a concern. Two bunkers guard a sloping green.

5. No. 14 at Harbour Town Golf Links
Tournament: RBC Heritage.
Hole length/Par: 192/3.
Scoring average: 3.441.
Comment: Water right forces most players to bail out on the toughest par 3 on Tour, leaving a tough, up-and-down for par.

6. No. 14 at Glen Abbey Golf Club
Tournament: RBC Canadian Open.
Hole length/Par: 457/4.
Scoring average: 4.422.
Comment: Players who try to cut off too much of the dogleg right could end up in a creek. Elevation changes add up to two clubs on the approach to an undulating green.

7. No. 18 at Harbour Town Golf Links
Tournament: RBC Heritage.
Hole length/Par: 474/4.
Scoring average: 4.415.
Comment: The candy-striped lighthouse is merely a distraction for the task at hand -- avoiding the marshes of the Calibogue Sound on every shot.

8. No. 11 on the Champion Course at PGA National
Tournament: The Honda Classic.
Hole length/Par: 450/4.
Scoring average: 4.412.
Comment: The pond that fronts the green is also in play off the tee on the right as the fairway slides diagonally left.

9. No. 7 on the South Course at Torrey Pines
Tournament: Farmers Insurance Open.
Hole length/Par: 462/4.
Scoring average: 4.395.
Comment: Awkward downhill or side-hill lies on the sloping fairway, featuring a bunker on the left, creates a difficult approach. Blocking the ball right off the tee leaves players in a jail of trees.

10. No. 6 on the Champion Course at PGA National
Tournament: The Honda Classic.
Hole length/Par: 479/4.
Scoring average: 4.392.
Comment: Since this is a par 5 for members, length is always the issue. Water left and two bunkers right pinch the landing zone. The green slopes severely to the back left.

11. No. 18 at the Golf Club of Houston
Tournament: Shell Houston Open.
Hole length/Par: 488/4.
Scoring average: 4.391.
Comment: Players must reload if they dunk a tee shot in the water up the left side of the fairway. Most golfers try to hit a right-to-left tee shot playing off the massive fairway bunkers on the right.

12. No. 14 on the El Camaleon Course at Mayakoba
Tournament: OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
Hole length/Par: 452/4.
Scoring average: 4.381.
Comment: This hole is carved from dense mangroves, where a drive placed up the right side of the fairway provides the best angle into the elevated green.

13. No. 10 on the Champion Course at PGA National
Tournament: The Honda Classic.
Hole length/Par: 508/4.
Scoring average: 4.374.
Comment: Normally a par 5 for everyday play, no. 10 plays long, bending over a bunker on the right side of the dogleg.

14. No. 4 on the South Course at Torrey Pines
Tournament: Farmers Insurance Open.
Hole length/Par: 488/4.
Scoring average: 4.371.
Comment: With cliffs on the left and the wind usually a factor, the tee shot is nerve wracking. The two-tiered green, perched on the edge of land, is well protected.

15. No. 13 on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort
Tournament: Valspar Championship.
Hole length/Par: 200/3.
Scoring average: 3.365.
Comment: Misses short or right splash in the water. This is the most picturesque portion of the course.

16. No. 1 at Augusta National
Tournament: The Masters.
Hole length/Par: 445/4.
Scoring average: 4.360.
Comment: The tee shot on "Tea Olive" is difficult on this dogleg right. Shorter hitters face an uphill approach to an undulating green.

17. No. 8 on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula C.C.
Tournament: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Hole length/Par: 454/4.
Scoring average: 4.359.
Comment: The dogleg left bends towards the famous 17 Mile Drive.

18. No. 16 on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort
Tournament: Valspar Championship.
Hole length/Par: 475/4.
Scoring average: 4.354.
Comment: The start of the stretch of holes called the "Snake Pit" delivers the biggest bite. A pond protects the turn of the dogleg right. John Daly made a 12 in 2014 -- a score more familiar to amateurs than pros.

* Difficult holes from Royal Troon, 2016 U.S. Open host Oakmont Country Club and the Blue Monster at Trump National Doral were omitted from this story. Shotlink data wasn't available for courses new to the schedule this year -- first-time U.S. Open venue Erin Hills Golf Course, 10-time Open Championship host Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Kingston Heath Golf Club (site of the World Cup of Golf), the Club de Golf Chapultepec (site of the new World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship), and Albany (host of the Hero World Challenge).

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 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 Instagram at @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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The 18 most difficult holes on the 2016-17 PGA Tour schedule