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Worst Golf Course and Why


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We all have favorites, but what makes a horrible course? What makes a course so bad you wish it would close forever?....and forever is a long, long time.

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Goose shit, slow ass greens, not mowed fairways. Crappy holes. Paint cans for cups. Maintenance just doesn’t care. 
 

I have yet to encounter a course like this. But par-fours you have to hit wedge off the tee are stupid.

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There are two courses near me that I will not play again.   One requires a kidney belt if you ride in the cart and it's in very poor shape with significant goose turds everywhere.    The other course raised their rates from $25 to over $50 during the pandemic.   I've played it too many times where they just threw up a temp green because their greens were in such poor shape with fungus and other problems.   

 

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A course near me closed a few years back.  One day I wanted to get in a quick 9 after work but it had rained so I called and inquired if they were open and was told “absolutely, We are open”.  When I showed up the fairways were under water!  The guy at the counter said “we do not care, if you want to play we are open”. 

they also jammed 27 holes in a small space and you needed to wear a hard hat. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

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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Wow, that is an embarrassment. Even the mole probably left the area. 

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56 minutes ago, mattm16 said:

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

That's homely! 

The worst I ever played was about half way to that bad. That course is (or at least was) Holly Ridge GC in Harbinger NC. It's basically the budget course of the Outer Banks.

Most of the greens were at least 40% dirt. The fairways featured many surprisingly large ant hills that always seemed to end up between your club and the ball. I was picking ants out of my footwear for quite a while after the round and rode back to the house barefoot.

Another delight were the high-tension wires that split the place in half and crossed at least four fairways. At least two tee shots got knocked down about 100 yards short of where they should have ended up.

Some of the reviews I seen recently have been slightly more favorable, but I doubt I'd be able to drag anyone back there if I tried.

 

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On 4/17/2021 at 12:02 AM, KMP said:

We all have favorites, but what makes a horrible course? What makes a course so bad you wish it would close forever?....and forever is a long, long time.

For me it always comes down to maintenance. I’ll play a course I don’t like the layout of once in a while, but if a course is poorly maintained, forget about it.

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Hard for me to say. I don't think I ever played a course that was horrible in terms of quality of the course. There are courses I hated from a design perspective (most Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye courses). 

There are a lot of courses in the 4/10 range for me. 

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12 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

(most Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye courses)

What design characteristics or tendencies cause you to dislike them?

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25 minutes ago, measureoffsetinnm said:

What design characteristics or tendencies cause you to dislike them?

Pete Dye forces you to play the course his way. Which means, on this hole, hit it 250, then hit it 150 to this green. He has a lot of constriction points, and force carry. 

I played TPC Sawgrass, it is kinda meh visually. There are about 3 blind tee shots you need a caddy to tell you were to aim or you end up in a bunker or water. Then there is hardly any spots to run the ball up. His courses feel gimmicky. 

Jack's courses are just meh to me. They are not fun to play. I think he puts to much priority in hitting the perfect tee shot. Its been a while since I have played one. My opinion now might change. 

 

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I don't like courses that have a creek or hazard that spans like 250-280 off the tee, especially when its on a par 5. 

My preference is to at least have the option to hit driver, totally fine if the landing area at 270 or whatever narrows or is tree lined or bunkers or something, but at least let it be an option, don't force me to lay up to 240 off the tee on a 525-550 yd par 5.

There are at least 2 courses around me that have multiple of those holes and I steer away from those courses when possible. There is a 3rd course that has 2 holes like that too but those par 5s are shorter, more around the 500 yd mark, maybe even high 400s depending on where the tees are located so they're still reachable with 2 really good shots.

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1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

Hard for me to say. I don't think I ever played a course that was horrible in terms of quality of the course. There are courses I hated from a design perspective (most Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye courses). 

There are a lot of courses in the 4/10 range for me. 

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

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I really can't think of disliking courses to a point of calling them the worst I have played from a design POV. Like few other post's above it is conditioning that can make me to not ever want to come back.  

I've played a course where the 'greens' are simply tighter cut grass here locally (not sure worth mentioning the name. They weren't pretending to be anything better - $9 for the round). But of course, it was clear after the first hole that I had overpayed.. lol. 

Although @mattm16, I would feel like an absolutely spoilt brat complaining about anything I've ever played looking at your 'course' pics. hah

 

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1 hour ago, klineka said:

I don't like courses that have a creek or hazard that spans like 250-280 off the tee, especially when its on a par 5. 

My preference is to at least have the option to hit driver, totally fine if the landing area at 270 or whatever narrows or is tree lined or bunkers or something, but at least let it be an option, don't force me to lay up to 240 off the tee on a 525-550 yd par 5.

This is a pet peeve of mine too. I love par 5s where driving is made dangerous like you said. Especially combined with green complexes that make running it up with a wood dangerous but are relatively receptive to a hybrid or long iron approach. Fully eliminating the driver landing area and forcing every single player to play the hole the same way is just lazy design and makes for boring holes.

 

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On 5/5/2021 at 7:26 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

IMG_0843.JPG

IMG_0844.JPG

IMG_0845.JPG

This terrain could possibly help my putting...

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The worst course I ever played was Cobbs Creek Golf Course (currently undergoing a $20-million renovation).

It was a good layout, ruined by terrible conditioning, lack of maintenance, and complete disregard for tee times or any planning.

I've played a lot of courses since then that I think are kinda "meh", or too repetitive ("Oh, look, another built up green surrounded by bunkers that you have to fly the ball into"), but none that I'd truly call bad.

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On 5/6/2021 at 7:22 AM, saevel25 said:

Pete Dye forces you to play the course his way. Which means, on this hole, hit it 250, then hit it 150 to this green. He has a lot of constriction points, and force carry. 

I played TPC Sawgrass, it is kinda meh visually. There are about 3 blind tee shots you need a caddy to tell you were to aim or you end up in a bunker or water. Then there is hardly any spots to run the ball up. His courses feel gimmicky.

 

Jack's courses are just meh to me. They are not fun to play. I think he puts to much priority in hitting the perfect tee shot. Its been a while since I have played one. My opinion now might change. 

 

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 😅

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