A few years back, BW gave this award to No. 17 at Falconcrest because of the unparalleled "imaginative cruelty" of its design. But 17 has nothing on the fifth hole at the valley's newest course, the Freedom Course at Falconcrest. And while it's tempting to try to translate why the new winner is such a terrifying, unearthly punishment to golfers into a language that non-golfers would understand, it's easier just to give the stats. The par five is an unimaginable 714 yards from the tips, and an equally insane 676 from the next tees up. That's four-tenths of a mile, for those of you counting at home, and about 100 yards longer than any other hole in the valley. From the tee, we find: out of bounds left, OB and fairway bunker right. Up a quarter-mile or so: more OB left and right, lake right, a creek running across the fairway, a 90-degree dogleg right to the green, and bunkers all over the damn place. It's possible to take a nine and feel OK with it because you need to gather your wits as you prepare for the next hole, a 476-yard par four, and the 600-yard par five after that. You could have played golf for the last 50 years and never seen anything like this.
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