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


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The toughest for me is Bethpage Black.  We played it the year after Tiger won his open there.  I tried to play from the U.S. Open plaque tees, but that only lastest for 8 holes.  Between walking the hills and dealing with the gnarly rough, it was a long day.  The walk up the hill on the 15th so late in the round is just brutal.  

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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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Definitely the stadium course at PGA West.  Had to deal with a terrible wind all day that did not make the island green on 17 very fun at all.  Definitely enjoyed the layout and the design from one of the best in the game.

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I would probably have to say Cog Hill (Dubsdread) is probably the toughest course I've played.   It was extremely well conditioned, but several doglegs that required moving the ball both directions as the fairway was a must when I played for the rough was extremely penalizing.  Also, the greens were much faster than I am typically used to with a good amount of slope making it a must to land in the correct place.  

A local course that is tough is Purgatory Golf Club.  Driving the ball well is an absolute necessity as you can find yourself in some treacherous bunkers.  However, many more straight away holes and greens that are fairly large, so I find this course a bit easier than Dubsdread.  Plus, I play it much more often as it's only about 20 minutes from me.  See below example - number 17.

image.png.23abaa88b9ba081b8d52721bda51beb8.png

Driver:  image.png.3c6db1120d888f669e07d4a8f890b3f1.pngMavrik Sub Zero 9* (Set to 10) Ventus Blue 6X

3 Wood: :titelist-small: 917F2 Fujikura Pro 84 Tour Spec S

3 Hybrid: :titelist-small: 818 H2 Hybrid Tensei Blue 80 X

Irons 4-PW: :mizuno-small: MP 18 SC Dynamic Gold AMT X

Gap/Sand Wedge:  :titelist-small: Vokey SM6 49*  SM8 54* 

Lob Wedge:  image.png.3c6db1120d888f669e07d4a8f890b3f1.pngJaws 5 Wedge 58* DG Tour Issue Stiff

Putter:  image.png.cca2328f4144a299c795aa9b8f3bf677.png Inovai 6.0              :scotty-small: Pro Platinum Newport 2 35"  

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The Bull at Pinehurst Farms (RIP) is still the hardest course I've ever played.  

WITB

Driver: Titleist TS2 10.5º w/ Diamana DF 60 TX

3 Wood: Titleist 915F 16.5º w/ Diamana Blueboard

Hybrids: PXG 0317X 17º w/ Even Flow

Titleist 816 H1 21º & 25º w/ Diamana Blueboard

Irons (6-PW): Srixon 765 w/ Project X LZ

Wedges: 50º Ping Glide, 54º & 60º PXG 0311

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport Masterful Tourtype SSS CT A048277

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A course that doesn't even exist anymore, that's how hard it was.  The small town of Holyoke Minnesota.  Built by a hay farmer that decided he wanted to try golf course ownership instead.  A 9 hole course that cost $7 to play.  Par 36, with a course rating of 39 and a slope of 138.  Blind shots, including a double dogleg par 5 with both the first and second shot blind.  330 yard par 4, with a 90 degree dogleg left at the 300 yard mark.  The dogleg surrounded a pond about 20 feet or more below the fairway, with 40 foot tall pine trees guarding the green everywhere except the dogleg opening, and a green so sloped down to the pond it would only hold the ball from rolling off because the greens were running about 5 on a stimpmeter.  180 yard par 3 with a pond dead center in the middle of the flight path with a 40-50 foot tall pine tree growing out of the middle of the pond.  A 360 yard par 4 that had the teebox completely in the open, and the fairway cut out of the forest that narrowed to about 25 yards wide halfway to the hole.  Basically hitting into a funnel.  Gee, a course like that in an unincorporated township of about 100 people.  Wonder how they didn't make it?🙂 

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Ko’olau in Oahu.  Almost no rough before jungle=lost ball.  I don’t lose many but lost at least 6 that day.  78.2/155 from the tips.  We were on vacation played blue tees and it kicked our arses.  Used to have the highest slope in the US at one time. 

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Inclined to say TPC Sawgrass, but it was a rainy day so I don’t know how much to factor that into the equation. For some reason The Harvester in Iowa put a beating on me. Very windy day and first time playing it gave me nightmares on distances, etc.

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Pinehurst #2 for me, although have not played Bethpage Black...  When I looked at during the US Open, Bethpage was the most intimidating courses I've ever seen.  Looking forward to getting the opportunity to play there.

Handicap 12

Location:  North Carolina

Driver:  TaylorMade M3 Fuji Speed Shaft R Flex

3-Wood: TaylorMade M3 Fuji Speed Shaft R Flex

Hybrids:  TaylorMade GAPR Mid, GAPR Hi

Irons:    TaylorMade P-790 5-PW, Oban Shafts, R+ Flex

Wedges:  Cleveland RTX 56 Full Grind, Oban shafts, Cleveland RTX 60, Mid Grind, Oban Shaft

Putter:  Odyssey DF-550

 

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Wickenburg Ranch in AZ. 

2020 TESTER Ben Hogan UiHi 18* Utility Iron

  • Driver: :ping-small: G410 Plus 9*, Oban Gold
  • Hybrids::adams-small:  Super XTD 17* Hybrid Fubuki AX:callaway-small:,  Apex 20* AD-DI 85S, Apex 23* Oban Purple
  • Irons: :srixon-small: Z585 5-6, Z785 7-PW, Modus 120s
  • Wedges: :cleveland-small: RTX4 50, Modus 120x:taylormade-small:, Hi Toe 56 & 60, Modus 120x
  • Putter: :EVNROLL:  ER3 @ 33"
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I'd have to give this to Whistling Straits. I can not imagine trying to play that golf course from the tips with the wind blowing a little bit. Overall I enjoyed the course, but a few holes seems a little contrived to me. The 18th is an uphill par 4 with a >200 yard forced carry on the second shot. From the back tee is upwards of 500 yards.

:callaway-small: Mavrik Subzero, 9.5*, VA Nemesys 75, Golfpride MCC Align Midsize

:callaway-small: Mavrik Max Fairway Wood, 15*, Stock shaft, Golfpride MCC Midsize

:titelist-small: Titleist U500 21*, Hzrdus Smoke Stiff, Golfpride MCC Midsize

:benhogan-small: 2020 Ben Hogan Icon Irons 8-PW, Project X LZ, Golfpride MCC Midsize

:benhogan-small: 2020 Ben Hogan PTxPro Irons 4-7, Project X LZ, Golfpride MCC Midsize

:titelist-small: Vokey SM8 50*, 54*, 60*, Stock vokey shaft, Golfpride MCC Midsize

:cameron-small: Scotty Cameron California Mid-Mallet

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Pawley's plantation golf & country club and True Blue kicked my ass 

:ping-small: G400 SFT 10. KBS TD 50 Category 3 shaft 

:cobra-small: F9 SpeedBack Black Grey Fairway Wood 5  :Fuji: ATMOS Tour Spec Blue 7 shaft

:taylormade-small: 3 Rescue Hybrid

:ping-small:  4 G Crossover

:mizuno-small: JPX 900 Hot Metal 5 - GW OBAN CT-100 Hard Step S Shafts  

:ping-small:   Glide 2.0 SS Wedges 54 & 58 

:taylormade-small: TP Red White Ardmore Putter

:Arccos: All clubs use Arccos 

:918457628_PrecisionPro:Precision Pro NX7 range finder 

 

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Posted (edited)

double post...

Edited by Jwhite86
double post

WITB

Driver: Titleist TS2 10.5º w/ Diamana DF 60 TX

3 Wood: Titleist 915F 16.5º w/ Diamana Blueboard

Hybrids: PXG 0317X 17º w/ Even Flow

Titleist 816 H1 21º & 25º w/ Diamana Blueboard

Irons (6-PW): Srixon 765 w/ Project X LZ

Wedges: 50º Ping Glide, 54º & 60º PXG 0311

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport Masterful Tourtype SSS CT A048277

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Took a trip to Wisconsin to play Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits last summer. The Straits was long and tough, but found that the River course at Blackwolf Run was the toughest course I've played in the US. Played from ~6800 yards and it's an absolute bear of a course. Tough from the tee, second shot, and just brutal on the greens. Also didn't help that we played it with a 25mph+ wind that day.

As a bonus, toughest greens in the US I've played is the Donald Ross design, Brookside, in Canton, Ohio. 3 putting on some holes was a win.

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:taylormade-small: M6, 9.0, Tensei CK Orange 60, Stiff

:taylormade-small: M6, Rocket 13.0, Atmos Red 60, Stiff

:taylormade-small: RocketBallz, 4H 22.0

:mizuno-small: JPX 900 Tour, 4-PW, True Temper Dynamic gold S300

:callaway-small: Mack Daddy 4, 52.0, 56.0, 60.0 - S grind

:taylormade-small: Spider Mini

:bridgestone-small: Tour-RX

:Arccos: Smart Sensors

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Antler Creek in Colorado at one time was ranked the 6th longest course in the world!  I walked it a couple weeks ago with 25mph winds.  My feet are still sore.

 

AntlerCreekScorecard.JPG

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There is no spoon.

WITB
TaylorMade M3
Callaway Diablo 15°
Callaway Diablo 18°
Callaway Steelhead XR Pro 4-W
Mizuno TP-4 50, 54, 58
TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spyder

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Hands down, Erin Hills.  Such a great test of accuracy, distance control and putting.

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Driver:  :callaway-small: XR16 10.5* (set to 9.5*), MRC KuroKage TiNi Black, S-flex

3 wood:  :ping-small: G410, Alta 65 S-flex

Hybrids:  :ping-small: G400 19* & 22*, Alta CB 70 S-flex

Irons:  :mizuno-small: JPX-900 5-GW, Proj X LZ 6.0

Wedges:  :titelist-small: SM7, 54*/S; :callaway-small: MD4, 58*/S

Putter:  :odyssey-small: White Hot Pro Black 2.0 #1

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For me, any course is tough when I'm not playing well 😄

But the two that jump to mind are The Judge on the RTJ Trail (college golf trip; played from the tips, walking, and seemingly every hole was into the wind) and La Purisima in Lompoc, CA, this one for a college golf tournament. Played that one walking, 36 the first day and 18 the second day and there's no way I shot less than 250. I distinctly remember our practice round when I felt like I was playing pretty well and when I counted em up, I couldn't believe I shot 90. Just too many opportunities to blow up... (TL;DR - you couldn't pay me enough to play that course again)

Driver: :callaway-small: Epic Flash Subzero 9* with HZDRUS Smoke stiff
4-wood: :callaway-small: Mavrik Subzero (16.5*) with Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI X
2-hybrid: :taylormade-small: GAPR Lo with stock KBS Hybrid 80g stiff
3i-PW: :ping-small: i210 blue dot, Power Spec, with TT DG S300 hard-stepped

50* :vokey-small: SM7 TT DG S200
54*, and 58*: :mizuno-small: blue ion S18 with TT wedge
Putter: :ping-small: Redwood Piper 0*

Ball: :srixon-small: Z STAR XV (but I'm not just going to leave a perfectly good ProV1/x laying around...)
Bag: :ping-small: Hoofer (2018) in black/white/copper

Using :Arccos: to keep track of my shots
All clubs RH

Tested:
:wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged 3i-PW, KBS Tour-V 110S - Official Review

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On 3/1/2015 at 1:28 PM, jbil8802 said:

This is a cool thread. In my short 3 year golf career I haven't traveled much to play golf yet. Toughest courses I've played are local to me and probably not that difficult in the grand scheme of things but difficult enough for me. The first one is Rocky Gap Resort located in Cumberland, MD (NW part of the state). It's a Jack Nicklaus design. Turns out Jack and I don't get along very well. Very tight course with lots of elevation changes and some absolutely brutal approach shots. The second one that comes to mind is the Links at Gettysburg south of Gettysburg, PA.  High grass, clay bunkers, a fair amount of water, and some brutal undulation in the greens.

 

Rocky Gap Resort

rockygapscorecard.gif

 

Links at Gettysburg

linksatgettysburg.jpg

 

 

 

Played the Rocky Gap resort and it was a very scenic but it was also a hard course.  Staff was very nice and the accommodations and food were terrific.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Was able to play two Desert Mountain courses in one trip: Renegade (the hard pins) and Chiricahua, both with slopes over 150. The redeign on Renegade two years ago made it much more difficult.  Good times.

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