The article below was written by our friends at National Club Golfer.
We all tune in to the PGA Tour to watch our favourite professional golfers make tons of birdies and thrill the crowds, but as distant as you feel from their superpowers, we are all human.
Sometimes, things don’t go to plan and the PGA Tour scores you see on your television don’t always match your expectations.
An errant drive or a poor approach can cause even the greatest players to tumble down the scoring charts in the blink of an eye.
Although we want to see quality golf and dramatic finishes, some scores give you the reassurance that any player, professional or amateur, can make mistakes.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the leaderboard on which NO player wants to be – the most shots in history taken on a single hole.
If you’ve ever carded 15 or more on a hole, congratulations, you’re on the list!
Most shots on a single hole in PGA Tour history
T6. Herman Tissies
Ah, the Postage Stamp. Many have fallen victim over the years, but none more so than Herman Tissies.
The German amateur stood on the tee, just 123 yards away from one of the most famous greens in golf. Fifteen shots later, he was walking off with an unwanted slice of history.
T6. Bill Collins
Tournament: 1958 Denver Open
Venue: Wellshire, Colorado
Bill Collins would go on to make a nice career for himself, including four PGA Tour wins. But his CV will always have a 15 on it after coming a cropper of the par-4 17th at the Colorado course.
T5. Ed Oliver
Tournament: 1954 Bing Crosby Pro-Am
Venue: Cypress Point
Ed ‘Porky’ Oliver faced great difficulty on Cypress Point’s spectacular par-3 16th during what is now the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, needing 16 blows in reported 50 mile-an-hour winds.
The eight-time PGA Tour winner’s CV boasts a runner-up spot at all the majors bar The Open – in which he never played. Shame, he clearly likes links golf…
T5. Gary McCord
Tournament: 1986 Federal Express St Jude Classic
Venue: Colonial, Texas
Perhaps better known for his 33-year career as an analyst for CBS, but in Gary McCord’s playing days he managed to hit five approach shots in the water on the 16th at Colonial en route to pencilling a 16 on his card.
T5. Kevin Na
Tournament: 2011 Valero Texas Open
Venue: TPC San Antonio, Texas
When Kevin Na hit his ball in the middle of the woods on San Antonio’s par-4 9th, it led to a comedy of errors that saw the now LIV Golf player thrashing around with seemingly reckless abandon.
At least he was able to see the funny side once he escaped…
NBC played the Kevin Na clip of him making a 16 to Taylor Swift’s “Out Of The Woods” years ago and just played it again. It’s not the full version but remains one of my favorite clips a network has ever done. 😂 pic.twitter.com/bnriYSQlng— Carson Cunningham (@Carson_OKC) April 2, 2022
4. George Bayer
Tournament: 1957 Kentucky Derby Open
Venue: Seneca, Kentucky
As well as being one of golf’s original long drivers, George Bayer was also known as an angry customer and his fiery attitude led to him taking 17 shots during one tournament.
The four-time PGA Tour champion was later suspended for his outburst.
3. John Daly
Tournament: 1998 Bay Hill Invitational
Venue: Bay Hill, Florida
It will come as very little surprise that John Daly appears to have some pretty high single-hole scores on his record.
He attempted to take a shortcut over the water on Bay Hill’s par-5 6th no fewer than six times before he managed to clear it. Then he found a greenside bunker, from which he failed to get up and down.
John Daly went FULL Tin Cup at Bay Hill’s 6th hole back in 1998. pic.twitter.com/cAkH3t9TqX— Skratch (@Skratch) March 10, 2019
T2. Ray Ainsley
Tournament: 1938 US Open
Venue: Cherry Hills, Colorado
Ray Ainsley may be tied-2nd for his 19 at Cherry Hills but he can bask in the glory of being the highest entrant at a major championship.
After finding the water with his second shot, instead of taking it out for a one-shot penalty, he thrashed away at his ball while the current was pushing it further back. After half an hour (!) and some time spent in the trees as well, Ainsley finally left the hole with a 19.
According to his own memory of proceedings, Ainsley said that angrily throwing his club at the ball in the water accounted for four of the strokes he recorded.
T2. Dale Douglass
Tournament: 1963 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am
Venue: Pebble Beach, California
Dale Douglass reportedly made 17 career hole-in-ones, but at the other end of the scale was his struggles on the 10th at Pebble Beach where his tee shot didn’t return to land until his 14th shot.
T2. Hans Merrell
Tournament: 1959 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am
Venue: Cypress Point, California
Cypress Point and everyone’s favourite Pro-Am make yet another appearance on this list of horrors.
Hans Merrell’s tee shot on the par-3 16th landed in the sand, while his next effort found the ice plants on the hillside. He eventually declared his ball unplayable before several more swipes and he just missed a 20-footer for an 18.
1. Tommy Armour
Tournament: 1927 Shawnee Open
Venue: Shawnee, Pennsylvania
In 1927, Tommy Armour recorded what remains the highest ever score for a single hole on the PGA Tour. He is also the only player to ever jot down a score more than 20. Some effort.
By this point, Armour was a six-time PGA Tour champion – including his maiden major – but just one week after lifting the US Open at Oakmont, he rocked up in Shawnee and was ticking along just fine until he put 10 balls out of bounds on his way to a 23.
Armour would go on to win 19 more PGA Tour titles, including an Open and PGA Championship to miss out on the Grand Slam by width of a Green Jacket.