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marrsh28

Most difficult course you've ever played....

115 posts in this topic

So what's the most difficult course you've ever played?

I recently played the Prince Course on the island of Kauai during a vacation and it was near impossible.  The wind was blowing a steady 15-20 mphs and gust were 40+.  Most of the par threes on the course were unprotected so club selection was VERY difficult.  At the end of our round, the club pro told me the all-time low score from the tips was only 68!?!?!

I've never played Sawgrass but have heard its also a nightmare for the average amateur.

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I played TPC Sugarloaf in Atlanta, in a tournament. It wasn't pretty for me, that's I'll I can say. Beautiful course though.

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I'm intrigued to see how the pros will do on Dye's Ocean Course at the PGA.  I've heard that course is pretty comparable with PGA West.

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I've never understood the fascination most people seem to have with playing hard courses?   You could plunk me down in the middle of a huge flat field, cut to fairway height, with a tee on one end and flat greens at typical par 3, 4, and 5 length away, with no bunkers, water, trees, or rough, and I'd still struggle to break par.  The thing I have to worry about playing golf isn't the course or what it might throw at me but rather what's going to happen when I try to execute a particular shot.  Throw in all those other variables and I'm doing pretty good to shoot better than bogey golf.

As to the question at hand I've played the Augusta National Golf Club twice and if it weren't for the beauty and history of the place (not to mention the way they take care of you out there, which admittedly is second to none) I have zero interest in getting to play out there ever again.

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Split Rock, Lake Harmony, PA.    lost a  dozen balls - if the fairway was missed, ball gone - rough was so high last year with all the rain, couldn't mow it.    Ungodly narrow fairways & lots of elevation changes.   Beautiful mountain couse, but TOUGH

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Originally Posted by NuclearMike

PGA West Stadium Course on a windy desert day.

same course, calm day.  i lost count of the # of balls i lost, though i did par #17.

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TPC San Antonio, the weekend after the Valero Open. I shot 115, about 20 shots over the norm for me. The greens were faster than anything I ever seen. The fairways were fast, anything with side action went to the rough. Once there is was a nightmare.

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Originally Posted by Chief Broom

I've never understood the fascination most people seem to have with playing hard courses?   You could plunk me down in the middle of a huge flat field, cut to fairway height, with a tee on one end and flat greens at typical par 3, 4, and 5 length away, with no bunkers, water, trees, or rough, and I'd still struggle to break par.  The thing I have to worry about playing golf isn't the course or what it might throw at me but rather what's going to happen when I try to execute a particular shot.  Throw in all those other variables and I'm doing pretty good to shoot better than bogey golf.

As to the question at hand I've played the Augusta National Golf Club twice and if it weren't for the beauty and history of the place (not to mention the way they take care of you out there, which admittedly is second to none) I have zero interest in getting to play out there ever again.


What makes Augusta National so hard? From seeing it on TV I'd guess that other than the severe greens and needing place your approaches properly, it's not a brutal course when played from the right tee box.

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Originally Posted by MSchott

What makes Augusta National so hard? From seeing it on TV I'd guess that other than the severe greens and needing place your approaches properly, it's not a brutal course when played from the right tee box.

Both times I played were during "outings" week.  That's when they let tournament volunteers, caddies, employees, etc. play the course.  All week the tee sheet is full and you're only allowed to play from the member's tees.  From the tees the course really isn't all that tough.  Certainly no worse than any other average  tough course.  There are a good many bunker complexes out there that are unbelievable.  Massive.  The bunker complex in front of the 10th green you could drop a big house in the middle of and it'd probably disappear.  There are a pair of bunkers on the left side of the fairway on #5 that are a good 20' deep from the level of the fairway.  I have no idea how they are able to keep sand on the sides of those two bunkers they are so steep?  But what really makes the course tough are the greens.  Having a caddy would certainly be worth whatever it costs (no caddies outings week).  They always talk about how TV doesn't do the hilliness of the course justice and the same is doubly true for the greens.  I play occasionally in a league with a local sheriff's deputy who used to work the tournament a few years ago and he's played the course a couple of times too.  I'd say he plays off a 5 or 6 handicap and he told me basically the same thing.  He was happy for the opportunity to be able to play out there but the greens tore him up.

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Seeing the greens at ANC in person, what Chief Broom says is true.  I could not imagine putting on those greens to some of the hole locations that are cut.

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Originally Posted by Chief Broom

Both times I played were during "outings" week.  That's when they let tournament volunteers, caddies, employees, etc. play the course.  All week the tee sheet is full and you're only allowed to play from the member's tees.  From the tees the course really isn't all that tough.  Certainly no worse than any other average  tough course.  There are a good many bunker complexes out there that are unbelievable.  Massive.  The bunker complex in front of the 10th green you could drop a big house in the middle of and it'd probably disappear.  There are a pair of bunkers on the left side of the fairway on #5 that are a good 20' deep from the level of the fairway.  I have no idea how they are able to keep sand on the sides of those two bunkers they are so steep?  But what really makes the course tough are the greens.  Having a caddy would certainly be worth whatever it costs (no caddies outings week).  They always talk about how TV doesn't do the hilliness of the course justice and the same is doubly true for the greens.  I play occasionally in a league with a local sheriff's deputy who used to work the tournament a few years ago and he's played the course a couple of times too.  I'd say he plays off a 5 or 6 handicap and he told me basically the same thing.  He was happy for the opportunity to be able to play out there but the greens tore him up.


Thanks for the information. I'd love to see ANGC in person some day.

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Most difficult course I've played is Tour 18 in DFW area.

My brother in law used to work at the Pinehurst CC and I've been fortunate to play there a few times with him and it was a challenge.

But Tour 18 is a beast for me.  There is s and everywhere, and where there isn't sand there's water, and where there isn't sand or water there's a bridge or a tree.   Evil... I tell you...it's evil doing !  :)

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1. Ram Rock - Horseshoe Bay, Texas

Just a very difficult track. Very long w/ insanely tight landing areas.  Awesome course and resort.

2. Southern Dunes - Maricopa, AZ

I have only played it once but the wind was howling 50+mph. Might be easy w/ no wind.

I really can't wait to have another shot at it someday.

3. Newport Dunes - Port Aransas, TX

Played it many times usually windy.  Very seldom the wind isn't blowing and the course is fun.

When the wind off the Gulf of Mexico is strong club selection is impossible.  Great course, however.

Honorable Mention -  Waterwood National - Huntsville, TX 10 years ago

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Dubs Dread at Cog Hill, Lemont, IL. Looks pleasant enough but anything off the greens is in a bunker so deep you can't see the putting surface. Ate us all up. Stay in play and its a treat.

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Oceans course at Kiawah Island. It killed me

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I wouldn't say I have any sort of fascination with playing tough courses... But it is interesting to hear other golfer's experiences with courses, regardless. I would say the toughest course I ever played was the East Course at Oak Hill CC, just after a PGA event. Between the narrow fairways, deep rough and fast greens... It was tough! I shot a 105. No wonder the winner was was -1 or -2 for that tourney. As far as my worst score, I will give that honor to the Mystic Rocks course at the Nemacolin Resort in PA (84 Lumber tour course). Shot a 126 from the tips. I think it had more to do with being a horrible day for myself on the course... But it is a tough course regardless. I will say at the time, I wasn't as good a golfer as I am now. But I imagine I'd still struggle, relatively.
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Originally Posted by ejimsmith

same course, calm day.  i lost count of the # of balls i lost, though i did par #17.

Originally Posted by NuclearMike

PGA West Stadium Course on a windy desert day.

I parred it as well after barely clearing the lava rocks in front.  Just a beast of a course.

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