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Hardest Course You've Ever Played (in the U.S.)


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Oak Tree National in Edmond Oklahoma for me. My first time ever playing a tournament quality course and I was not ready. Hit the green in the wrong place and it rolled off the green 20 yards. Landed in a few sandtraps with lips taller than me which forced me to hit out sideways. Loved it though. Would love to have another chance at it now that my game is better 5 years later. 

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Browsing through the US Open qualifying courses reminded me of a few tough courses I've played. Two of which are La Purisima G.C. in California and Ram Rock G.C. in Texas.    La Purisima:   Yeah

I'll put my course in as one of the toughest courses I've played, we usually play the blue tees, but i do occasionally play the black.

This is so easy - Bethpage Black before it's redo.  They should have just left it was is, not dressed it up - just let the guys have at it with the dirt tees, rock hard bunkers and approaches to the g

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A few years back I played the new and improved Kemper Lakes CC.We played the very back tees at a lengthened 7750 yards.Lets just say it was extremely long day.And the last time I ever played the back tees anywhere.A few holes I wasn't even long enough to get in the fairway . Which resulted in a pitch into the fairway from the US open style rough

Keep it in the short stuff

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Isn't royal New Kent closed at the moment?  I read something not long ago that a deal had been reached with a prospective new owner, but they indicate that the course won't re-open until next year sometime.  I've enjoyed that course every time I played it, it would be nice to see it in good shape again.

https://clubandresortbusiness.com/2018/06/sale-royal-new-kent-gc-reported/

 

 

That sucks, didn't know it shut down.  Is Stonehouse closed too?

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That sucks, didn't know it shut down.  Is Stonehouse closed too?

I believe Stonehouse is closed as well, based on the article I linked.  

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An update to my "hardest" course since the recent experience out in Oregon...

 

Easily for me it is the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Pronghorn Resort near Bend. I'm still reeling from the thrashing we both took out there last Sunday... :wacko: Shoulda ponied-up and hired on the caddies... :angry:

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I played Ko'olau a few times in the mid-90s when I was stationed there on a submarine (USS Buffalo SSN-715)! Played twice from the tips! I think at that time they siad from back there there were at least 9 forced carries of over 200 yards! I broke 90 (as a 4 handicap) the time I played with the son of the club pro/director of golf!

The Kaneohe Klipper is another nice course on Oahu for military folks, along with Leilahua (sp?). I played most at Hickam AFB and the Navy/Marine course. Hickam was not as crowded and very close to the Sub Base! Active duty E5/6 at Twilight was under $5.00!

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I should add that my vote for the toughest course was for Ko'olau! Back in the mid-90s, you could put in a bet (I think it was $5) and you'd win a golf bag if you made par on 18, and a staff bag if you made a birdie! That was a tough hole (2 carries of over 200 yards from the Black tees (drive to first fairway, and from fairway to green....back and forth over a wide ravine). This is the course that you can see from the Pali Lookout (directly below).

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It’s still Jupiter Hills (Hills Course) from the tips for me. Play it in the afternoon with winter winds and it’s a blast

 

77.1 / 150 slope & rating.

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Here's the scorecard for Ko'olau now. I'm pretty sure it's not the same as it was back in the mid 90s. Back then they advertised that it was built to be the toughest course in the world and that the slope rating  on the card was the maximum allowed 155 (at that time, not sure if that's still true), but it was actually higher, but I don't remember the number. I think it's changed owners several times since then and I think they tamed it a little bit, but ti still looks like a beast!

 

Thanks,

Mick

Koolau.jpg

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The toughest course is now closed forever, shocker. It was Thunder Hill in Madison, Ohio. Don't remember slope or anything, I know it was 7500 yards from the tips. It was a fish hatchery turned into a golf course, over 100 lakes on the property. Numerous holes with 250+ carries off the tee, nearly every green had a lake in front or next to it. Some lakes were hidden too. At one point it was on one of the golf magazines 100 toughest list.

The dumbest course I ever played is called Signature of Solon, in the Cleveland suburbs. The course is private and only 6500 from the blues, but there are only 5 holes I could hit driver on. The course is designed around protected wetlands, so at least it's not a penalty, but still lots of lost balls. The kicker is because it's protected areas they can't cut back any growth so tons of blind shots and forced carries. Prepare to wear out your 200 yard club if you play here, you'll hit it 70% off your full shots.

Take Dead Aim

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 That's a little over an hour from my house. Seems like a good location to have a meet-up with Columbus and Northern Ohio guys?
 
Satellite view looks very intriguing. It looks like some of the fairways neck down to barely more than 3 mowers wide. I assume that's not the target, but it would still be intimidating to look at.
Black diamond will chew you up, but I love mountain golf in central ohio.

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TPC Sawgrass from the blues.  Great caddie reading all my putts.   I should have birdied one and two but I was so nervous I smoked them passed the hole.  Settled down and asked the caddie to help me with the reads and where to miss then things smoothed out.   I played some of my best golf ever, hitting all but one green in regulation and three putted three times.  I have never putted harder greens.  It was also in perfect condition.  We played 17 from the tips on our caddies recommendations, scariest 143 yard 9 iron ever, meant to play the middle of the green and flew it to the back right corner I was so amped up.  Worth every cent I paid to play.

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Locally we do not have any courses i would say are too terribly hard in mid-northeast ohio. When i have traveled it was Harbor Town Golf Links. I haven't played Harbor Town in a few years but from what I remember it was narrow and long. I do not have a problem with distance but accuracy can lack sometimes.

 

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I have walked off Pinehurst #2 the few times I’ve played it like it was the most fun experience on a golf course only to realize, I took 90+ shots. But dang if it isn’t always a fun 90+ shots.

Primland and The River Course at VT always feel like cruel and unusual punishment!!!!!


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Tobacco Road is a beast. Ugly, yet beautiful to the eyes. Always within the top fifty toughest courses in the US. 

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Bethlage Black hands down.

played right after the PGa championship last year and conditions were so hard with tiny fairways and rough so thick!

played again twice and still have to break 90 from the middle tees lol

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This is tough because course conditions and weather matter so much to this topic, and it almost makes it a bit too subjective. But, I'll play along and add a few:

Hardest course (Perfect conditions): Victoria National or Butler National

(Windy): Portmarnock (Ireland) or Whistling Straights 

 

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Mt. Woodson in Ramona, California. Not a very long course, but about as narrow as they come and the greens aren't much easier. Lots of elevation change and forced carries off the tee on roughly 50% of the course. One of my favorite courses to play when I visit Southern California. First photo is the 3rd hole, 182 yard par 3 where anything but on the green is likely gone. Second photo is the 2nd hole, only a 304 yard par 4, but keeping your tee shot in bounds here is the challenge. It's a pretty long forced carry over tree tops to a very narrow fairway.

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BethPage Black, Its Brutal if you are not in the fairway.

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On 4/5/2020 at 9:41 PM, Tsmithjr9 said:

The toughest course is now closed forever, shocker. It was Thunder Hill in Madison, Ohio. Don't remember slope or anything, I know it was 7500 yards from the tips. It was a fish hatchery turned into a golf course, over 100 lakes on the property. Numerous holes with 250+ carries off the tee, nearly every green had a lake in front or next to it. Some lakes were hidden too. At one point it was on one of the golf magazines 100 toughest list.

The dumbest course I ever played is called Signature of Solon, in the Cleveland suburbs. The course is private and only 6500 from the blues, but there are only 5 holes I could hit driver on. The course is designed around protected wetlands, so at least it's not a penalty, but still lots of lost balls. The kicker is because it's protected areas they can't cut back any growth so tons of blind shots and forced carries. Prepare to wear out your 200 yard club if you play here, you'll hit it 70% off your full shots.

Take Dead Aim
 

I remember playing Thunder Hill quite a bit back in the 80's and it was a treat and a nightmare.  You knew you had to be on top of your game or you were going to be in the mid -80's at best.

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