What a view: The best 19th holes to watch golfers finish their rounds

I don't know about you, but my favorite post-round hangouts are where I can grab a drink and watch other groups finish up on 18.

These perches allow me to channel my inner Johnny Miller, critiquing every move from golfers coming home. Who limped in? Who made the clutch shot to close out the match? It's all on display. Some golfers hate being watched for fear of being heckled. Others embrace the challenge.

There are lots of great "19th holes" in golf, but only a handful offer this intimate view of the final hole I love, where spectators can feel like they're part of the action.

Here are some of the best I've found, where golf groups can gather to watch their buddies. If you have further suggestions, add them to the comments below:

The Deuce at Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, N.C.

You can't get closer to the action than the veranda of the main clubhouse at Pinehurst. This new bar and restaurant overlooks the 18th hole of Pinehurst No. 2. If you stare at the nearby statue of Payne Stewart long enough, maybe you can hear the roars from his par-saving putt to win the 1999 U.S. Open.

The Country Club at Wynn Golf Club, Las Vegas

As much as I love the shrimp and grits at this restaurant inside the famous Wynn tower, it is the view from the patio that makes the meal. The finishing par 4 ends at a cascading waterfall that feeds a pond in front of the green. The reported shuttering of the golf course hasn't happened yet, so play it while you can.

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Pawleys Island, S.C.

I vividly recall the fear I felt looking at my approach shot to the 18th green at Caledonia a few years ago. Not only was I afraid of the marsh guarding the green, but also I saw all those spectators lounging on the verandah. Instead of stepping it up, I stunk it up, drowning my iron shot.

Golfers love to sit on the porch to watch players come up the 18th at the Caledonia Golf & Fish Club.

Porch at Caledonia


Stillwater Bar & Grill at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Calif.

Yes, I know. Everybody gathers at the Tap Room inside the Lodge at Pebble Beach post-golf. But if you want a great view and a pretty good lunch, head to the patio at Stillwater overlooking Stillwater Cove and that famous par-5 finishing hole at Pebble Beach.

Brooks' Bar & Deck at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, Stateline, Nev.

The views of Lake Tahoe and the snowcapped Sierras are so distracting that it's easy to forget about the golfers three-putting the tricky 18th green, the end of a risk-reward par 5 at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. The menu ranges from the half-pound sirloin burger to taco truck tacos.

The clubhouse at Edgewood Tahoe overlooks the par-5 18th hole and spectacular Lake Tahoe.


Ryder Cup Bar, Ocean Course Clubhouse at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, S.C.

This rotunda bar serves up the 18th green and the Atlantic Ocean right outside. If you really want to get close to the action (the golf and the waves), take a drink out to the Adirondack chairs near the putting green. The sunsets pair well with the She Crab Soup.

We deal with kids all day for a living so we can kick back and relax at the beach when we have the time.

A photo posted by Alyssa Marie Cotton (@alymarcot) on


Palmer Grille at La Cantera Golf Club, San Antonio

As if the rolling Hill Country just outside downtown wasn't scenic enough, the patio overlooks the inspiring final hole, a perfectly landscaped 490-yard par 4 featuring an 80-foot downhill slope that finishes at the clubhouse and a waterfall-fed, rock-lined lake. The menu at Palmer Grille at La Cantera Golf Clubhas a southwestern flair.

Video: Matt Ginella's favorite 19th holes


Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, Half Moon Bay, Calif.

If you can catch some good weather, the fire pits behind this luxurious hotel are ideal for hanging out and watching golf on the dramatic final par 4 that follows the ocean cliffs at Half Moon Bay. You can order food and drink from the Ocean Terrace restaurant. The only caveat is these spots tend to be filled with families and non-golfing guests, so getting a prime seat is tough.

It seems to always be great firepit weather at Half Moon Bay, and there are many of them on the resort grounds.

The fire pits on the Old course at Half Moon Bay


The Dining Room and Deck in The Lodge at Arcadia Bluffs, Arcadia, Mich.

There is no better place to catch a sunset on Lake Michigan. A bagpiper at dusk helps set the mood. Indoor seating also overlooks Arcadia Bluffs' final hole, a 439-yard par 4 that climbs 50 feet through the dunes to the clubhouse. The Lakeview Room is a more casual option. If you want to get close to the action, grab an Adirondack chair near the green.

The Plantation House at Kapalua Resort, Maui, Hawaii

The patio of this restaurant isn't right on top of the green of the famous 663-yard closing par 5 on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort like some of the other choices in this story, but the views of the ocean and mountains are still too good to pass up.

Tufted Puffin Lounge at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon, Ore.

The best part about Tufted Puffin is its relaxed atmosphere, where you can savor a drink and watch your mates battle the 18th hole on the original course at Bandon Dunes. A warm welcome and warm fire greet any weather-battered, walking-weary souls.

Bandon Dunes


Dynamite Grille at Troon North Golf Club, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Scottsdale is loaded with 19th holes with great views of the closing hole, but it's hard not to go wrong with a table on the patio of the Dynamite Grille overlooking the final hole on the Pinnacle Course at Troon North. For another great one, head to TPC Scottsdale.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries 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 @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
3 Comments
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19th hole

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Pretty clear you've never been in a members bar at St Andrews overlooking the 18th green. Now thats a view!

Staff
Commented on

I haven't. I also should have made this story more clear. It was focused on American courses. 

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What a view: The best 19th holes to watch golfers finish their rounds