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Worst Golf Course and Why


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18 hours ago, measureoffsetinnm said:

Very interesting insight thank you. I unsurprisingly have heard much about both them as architects but have not had a chance to play a course designed by either of them. Agree that golf on rails is not good philosophy. For me much of the joy of the game is playstyle choice and creative shotmaking, not just executing the swings you are "supposed" to.

Jack's courses however seem like he maybe was just forgetting a bit that most golfers aren't quite as good as him 😅

Jack's courses always seem to be like you have to always be calculating and many risk/reward decisions. It's harder to relax on his courses, imo.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In 30 years of playing golf, I finally found a course that could be called the worst.   There have been many that are really rough, bad design or other things but they usually had something going for them.   Or at least there was an experience that, even if you didn’t come back, you could remember.  
 

However one sad day, I hit upon Highland Creek in the the Charlotte area.  I have never seen such neglect or insanity in a golf course.   All the bunkers had no maintenance and had grass taking them over.  The greens were unevenly cut.   Worse was the fairway and rough, it looked like random areas were just missed, to the point where you would have random swathes of foot long rough in random places.

however the design was not going to save this POS.   The Creek in “Highland Creek” was because there was a creek that wound its way thru the property. Randomly.   One hole it would be 200 yards out, others 150 and others 250.   They apparently built the course around the creek with some really stupid design decisions, so it was always awkward playing a hole.   Things like playing a 4-iron and then having even more because you lay up.

I left after 13.  I hit three balls out of play on a par four with a split fairway and both sides were narrow.   No risk/reward.   Just hit the ball and pray it doesn’t take a bad bounce.   It was like a dime store fantasy course on an Xbox console.  The ones that would never exist in real life because you knew how to land the ball on a dime.   Highland Creek was not worth a dime.   Rumor was that it was owned by a company that owned several in the area and that was the one that they starved for funds,  it showed,
 

runner up: Crystal Springs in NJ.  A lot of courses leave the ground naturally as it is, and it can be tough.   This course wanted to be known as the toughest in the state so they made moguls in the fairways and deliberately built up areas to make it brutal.  Every other course in that area was great, Crystal Springs was a course designed and built by someone who hated the game and hated golfers. 

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7 hours ago, imsys0042 said:

All the bunkers had no maintenance and had grass taking them over.  

To be fair this sounds like it might make bunkers a little bit more of the challenge they are supposed to be.

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11 hours ago, measureoffsetinnm said:

To be fair this sounds like it might make bunkers a little bit more of the challenge they are supposed to be.

Not at the full rate that they were asking for….  Although I suppose the conversation went something like this:

owner:  how can we save a lot of money?

greenskeeper:  we’ll we could rebrand the sand traps as waste areas.  People could ground their clubs!  Win win!

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  • 3 months later...
On 5/5/2021 at 10:26 AM, mattm16 said:

Here are pictures of the greens at a Pa\r 3 in Monroe MI.  All greens are like this.  Enough said.

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Dang!!!   That is bad.  Talk about no attention at all, that place looks abandoned.  

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Update on the Par 3.  They have new owners now.  The mini golf pond area has been drained, and cleaned and the pump is now working.  The batting cages are working.  The net to protect golfers on hole 9 has been re done.  Irrigation has been fixed and they are watering.  They plan on ripping out all greens and re doing them.  I'm more likely to spend money there now, that I know they are putting money into it.

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On 5/5/2021 at 10:26 AM, mattm16 said:

Here are pictures of the greens at a Pa\r 3 in Monroe MI.  All greens are like this.  Enough said.

IMG_0842.JPG

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Looks a lot like a course I occasionally play in Florida during the winter months. Weeds for fairway grass, burnt out greens and dirt sand traps. But the front nine has a terrific, challenging layout and the price is dirt cheap. Always uncrowded in the afternoon, so you can roll a few balls over and get in some shots. I'd be embarassed to take anybody there unless they understood what they were about to experience. As bad as the conditions are, there is a place for a course like this. More interesting than hitting balls on the range. Just forget about keeping score! 

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Number 1 reason is a hazardous design.  Nobody should fear for their life when playing a golf course because a crappy design puts them in the line of fire of someone else on the course.  A lot of times a designer (or owner) has put too much of a golf course into too small of a site.

Number 2 is shitty maintenance.  I don't want the condition of the golf course to be unfair - or the reason I do not shoot well.

Number 3 is I am also not a fan of courses where one nine has a route, and the second nine just offsets the holes to copy the path of the first nine.   

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/6/2021 at 10:42 AM, jsgolfer said:

I'm not a fan of Pete Dye courses either, but Mike Strantz is the one I like the least, from a design perspective. 

I’ve played 3 Strantz courses. I really liked Tobacco Road and Caledonia, but I played Tot Hill Farm once, and it might be the one course I’ve played that I never want to play again. 

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3 hours ago, Sandy Divot said:

I’ve played 3 Strantz courses. I really liked Tobacco Road and Caledonia, but I played Tot Hill Farm once, and it might be the one course I’ve played that I never want to play again. 

Caledonia golf and fish club in SC?  

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2 hours ago, Sandy Divot said:

Yes

That is a great golf course.  Played it, along with its sister course, true blue this past summer.

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I'm sort of glad to see that Pete Dye's Karsten ASU course closed.  I only played it once, but it did not feel safe.  Too much of a course on too small of a piece of land.  Mounding at the edge of the rough between every hole, so you couldn't even see where other golfers were to warn them or yourself of an errant shot.

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  • 3 weeks later...

There is a course in southern part of Michigan that would qualify as a cow pasture. 9 holes of tall grass and greens with weeds and very little grass. I do not how they stay in business.

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