The 13 toughest stretches of holes in golf\nWhere does TPC Sawgrass' finishing stretch fit among the toughest stretches in golf? \nNamed for Jack Nicklaus, who redesigned the course, PGA National's 15th, 16th and 17th holes are more than a marketing ploy: At the 2019 Honda Classic, the Bear Trap registered 257 bogeys or worse. \nCoined by Herbert Warren Wind, Augusta's 11th, 12th and 13th constitute the most famous three-hole stretch in golf. While the 11th (the second-hardest hole during the 2019 Masters at 4.27 strokes) and 12th (3.05 strokes) live up to their tenacious reputation, the 13th has ranked as the easiest hole the past two years. Of course, the accuracy and distance required by Azalea's tee ball perennially makes the drive one of the most important -- and for viewers, exciting -- shots during tournament. \nThe par-3, island-green 17th is one of the most famous holes in the world. But it's merely a part of TPC Sawgrass' closing puzzle; the 18th hole is actually tougher, boasting a +.215 scoring average during the 2019 Players, the highest number on the course. The par-5 16th was once a true risk-reward endeavor, although advances in club technology has rendered the 16th defenseless (it conceded 20 eagles last season). \nLike my man Indiana Jones, I battle ophidiophobia, so let's get through this quick. Copperhead's final three holes -- two 440-plus-yard par 4s, with a 215-yard par 3 sandwiched in between -- is not necessarily a stretch to conquer; rather, a player just wants to get through unscathed. The 16th is the most grueling, coming in at 475 yards with water running up the right side. \nHow about this for a finish: A 508-yard par 4 whose green is guarded by a lake on the left and bunker on the right; a 220-yard par 3 with a peninsula green and sand in the front; a 493-yard, uphill par 4 with a creek running up the left and bunkers scattered throughout. The numbers back the description up, as the 16th, 17th and 18th ranked third, first and second in scoring difficulty at the Wells Fargo Championship in 2019. \nHow brutal is the three-hole stretch on Colonial's front nine? So graphic that we can't even show you a picture...At last year's Colonial Invitational, Nos. 3, 4 and 5 holes ranked third, ninth and first in difficulty. The Horrible Horseshoe is highlighted by the fifth, a 480-yard, dogleg par 4 hugged by a creek and tree line. Dan Jenkins included the fifth hole for his book The Best 18 Golf Holes in America. \nBethpage, host of last year's PGA Championship, has the infamous first-tee warning sign, the picturesque par-5 fourth hole, and the 15th ranked as one of the hardest holes in U.S. Open history in 2002 and 2009. Yet, the start of Bethpage Black's back nine -- a trio of par 4s with a cumulative distance of more than 1,400 yards -- ranks as the course's toughest stretch, with players averaging +.284, +.175 and +.322 through the Black's 10th-12th last May. \nIn Jean van de Velde's defense -- that's something you've never heard -- it wasn't like the Frenchman collapsed on an innocuous hole. At the 2018 Open, the 18th ranked as the fourth-hardest hole in the tournament, as players averaged a 4.237 score on the 499-yard, burn-and-bunker infused finisher. The 16th (a 250-yard par 3 with four bunkers and undulated green) and the 17th (creek-crossed 460-yard par 4) are no cake walks, either, ranking second and third in difficulty on the week. \nMost know Oakmont for its church pew bunkers, or No. 1's reputation as the hardest opening hole in the game. Yet, it's a three-hole stretch from the seventh to ninh where Oakmont's competitors get run through the wringer. At the 2016 U.S. Open, these holes were +.325, +.305 and +.431 over par. \nTheoretically, we could just nominate the entire course. When it last hosted the Open in 2013, seven of the toughest 20 holes in golf that season came from Muirfield, with 10 ranking in the top 50. The Nos. 14-16 stretch is particularly sadistic: Length, unforgiving fairways and diabolical greens translated to a +1.116 over-par scoring bump at the 2013 tournament, making eventual champion Phil Mickelson's performance here (birdie-par-par) all the more impressive. \nThe last three winners of the Memorial Tournament own a collective 43-under score, leading one to believe Muirfield Village can't be that tough. The course's last three holes speak otherwise: A 200-yard par 3 over water; a suffocatingly tight 478-yard par 4; and a dogleg, uphill, every-obstacle-you-can-imagine 484-yard finisher are the type of closing stretch that keeps players up at night. All three ranked in the top-five hardest holes at the Memorial last year. \nThese holes are nicknamed the "Cliffs of Doom." Enough said. \nThe entire links was a beast at the 2018 U.S. Open. But the 12th (+.336), 13th (+.271) and 14th (+.567) were especially brutal. That Phil Mickelson's infamous hockey-putt came on the 13th should be no surprise.