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


Zeasy
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There's this course is play a lot, The Home Course, which host US Open local qualifying every year. I think the course rating is 76.4 from the tips. Chambers Bay is also pretty hard, 75.6. Sahalee CC ('98 PGA Championship) is 74.6. There are a couple of harder ones, but I couldn't dig up the scorecards...

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Ocean Course at Kiawah.  Played the Dye tees (6,450 yds.).  We played as a twosome,  both 7-8 handicaps and both shot mid-90s.  As we're coming down 18 bumming out about our scores, the caddy tells us we shouldn't be too disappointed.  Most of the people he caddies for don't break 100.  Small consolation, but still a memorable experience.

 

Also, Old Corkscrew in Estero, FL is an under-rated monster.  It's a Nicklaus Signature design, open  to the public and well worth a visit.

 

Update - I had the chance to visit The Concession (Bradenton, FL) earlier this year.  I was a spectator at The Concession Cup between top amateurs from the US and British Isles (including Ireland).  The Concession is always rated as one of the top course in Florida and it deserves the rating.  I now refer to Old Corkscrew as the "poor man's Concession."  They're both Nicklaus designs and both well east of I-75 (i.e., middle of nowhere), neither has any significant housing in view, and they're both very difficult.  Of course, conditioning at The Concession is better.

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Played a few on the list that people have mentioned. Toughest I have played by far is The Shattuck in Jaffrey, NH. Best described as target golf; there is hazard short, long, left and right on every shot. Bring a lot of golf balls and do. Or expect to break 80, even if you are a single digit handicapper. Best described by my college teammate, "there should be a sign on one that says welcome to hell, and when you finish 18 another one that says thanks for visiting hell."

 

 

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For me, it's the Ocean Course at Kiawah. I played it in what they told me was the most common conditions, steady wind coming in off the ocean. The first few holes are a little way off the beach, and I got off to a decent start, but then the holes turn and run along the beach with the ocean to your left for about 9 or 10 holes in a row. The greens there just repel shots that come in from the wrong angle. I typically cut the ball, and with the left to right wind, I had no chance. I was a 5 index at the time. In the entire round, I made exactly one bad swing, I had only one 3-putt and shot 85 from the middle tees. It isn't just that the greens repel the ball, it's that plus the fact that when your ball gets rejected, it always ends up way below the surface of the green in all sorts of interesting places.

 

I do not believe for a second that I could have broken 100 from the tips.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just seeing this thread for the firs time and it's some great reading. I've played a lot of courses over the years and it's hard to say that one is the most difficult. Shoal Creek plays pretty tough from the tips, they keep the greens usually run like lightening and unless your PGA long tour usually hitting long iron approaches. Also recently played my first Seth Raynor, Charleston County Club, which was the exact opposite of Shoal. Strategy the entire way, short course that requires thoughtful and accurate decisions. The greens were also incredibly fast and so subtle, place plays pure. I've been playing golf for 25+ years and the more I play the more I prefer the later.

 

 

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Far and Sure

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  • 10 months later...

I played Torrey Pines a few years ago right before US Open. High winds, high rough and skinney fairways - brutal scores. I literally couldn't keep a 40 yard wedge on the green. Had to suck it up and take my medicine. I love this game!

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I played Torrey Pines a few years ago right before US Open. High winds, high rough and skinney fairways - brutal scores. I literally couldn't keep a 40 yard wedge on the green. Had to suck it up and take my medicine. I love this game!

Picked up 2Torrey Pines logo shirts yesterday at my club for less than $10 apiece......they resell over prints and miss printed logged shirts from Bermuda Sands and the logos on these were perfect. I'll never get to play it, but have always revered the course.

 

 

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I've never really played any of the major courses, always stuck to the blue collar clubs...but I guess TPC Tampa Bay is the hardest I have played.

 

 

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I've never really played any of the major courses, always stuck to the blue collar clubs...but I guess TPC Tampa Bay is the hardest I have played.

 

 

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Bayou from the tips is tougher than TPC Tampa - Foz - perhaps you should try it next time we play.[emoji33]

 

 

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I've played both of those. I think Wolf was far tougher. At least the day I played it. Super windy and not a flat fairway to be found.

I'm personally not a fan of Wolf Creek at all. Yes it's difficult, but I also thought it was poorly designed and intentionally tricked up. I'd rather keep losing money at blackjack than leave Vegas to drive up there again.

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Bayou from the tips is tougher than TPC Tampa - Foz - perhaps you should try it next time we play.[emoji33]

 

 

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Thanks Rev, I was gonna list Bayou Club as one of my hardest, alongside Lake Jovita.

 

 

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Driver: PXG 0211 w/Evenflo Riptide CB Regular shaft 

Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3-4W(16*), 5-6W(20*) both w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft and Tour Edge E521 9W

Hybrid: Cobra F8 3 Hybrid(19*) w/Recoil ES regular shaft 

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Bag: Vice cart bag(Black).  

Pushcart:  Caddytek 3.0 from Costco

Ball: Maxfli Tour CG & Titleist Pro V1x.

 

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I'm going to say The Club at Savannah Harbor.  Played it several years ago within a few days of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf having finished.  The rough was over ankle deep, and the greens were perfect (i.e. faster than !!)  The Judge on the RTJ Trail in Prattville, AL makes the list too, along with Arcadia Bluffs in Michigan.

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Played a few on the list that people have mentioned. Toughest I have played by far is The Shattuck in Jaffrey, NH. Best described as target golf; there is hazard short, long, left and right on every shot. Bring a lot of golf balls and do. Or expect to break 80, even if you are a single digit handicapper. Best described by my college teammate, "there should be a sign on one that says welcome to hell, and when you finish 18 another one that says thanks for visiting hell."

 

 

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Played there years ago and never wanted to go back.

 

 

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Rick

 

 

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PGA National. The bear trap is no joke. Played the bear trap from the pro tees and managed to bogey my way through it.

 

Didn't really like the course, or Florida golf, in general.

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I'm going to say The Club at Savannah Harbor.  Played it several years ago within a few days of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf having finished.  The rough was over ankle deep, and the greens were perfect (i.e. faster than !!)  The Judge on the RTJ Trail in Prattville, AL makes the list too, along with Arcadia Bluffs in Michigan.

I agree with Arcadia Bluffs.  For me it had everything to do with never having to hit shots onto greens as fast as that before. 

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I played Royal New Kent a couple times, once as a scramble, and didn't think it was too crazy.  The Cascades course at The Homestead has always beat me up.  I've never shot a decent round there.  I think the slope rating is only in the 130s, but its tough.  I played a course on Maui once back before I could break 100 when I was on a cruise, and I recall running out of balls when I put my drive in the drink on 18.

 

Tobacco Road is definitely on my bucket list.  I've been trying to get my Myrtle Beach group to go for years now.

 

True Blue in Myrtle Beach, Tobacco Road in North Carolina and Royal New Kent in Virginia for me are three of the hardest I've ever played. When I lived in Maryland I played Links at Gettysburg and Whiskey Creek which are demanding. Here in Georgia, The Highlands at Arrowhead, Bradshaw Farms and The Frog are courses you need your A game for. One other was Branson Creek in Missouri. I believe they are renovating the course and will call it Buffalo Springs after the work is done. Really beautiful golf course and demanding.

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I haven't travelled much, but Quail Hollow here in Boise is no slouch! Lots of elevation changes, blind shots and the greens are very difficult to read and navigate...I love it!

 

https://www.quailhollowboise.com/course/course-map/

 

https://www.quailhollowboise.com/course/course-scorecard/

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Ko Olau in 30 mph trade winds.

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