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Most Difficult Course You’ve Played

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On 1/11/2018 at 1:07 PM, Golfingdad said:

I guess I'd go with PGA West Stadium course.  If you hit the ball in the fairways and onto the greens, it isn't particularly hard, but don't and then it becomes interesting.  The thing that struck me, though, was on hole #2 (medium length par 5) I hit a horrendous duck hook drive that went 150 yards way left.  I'm going to be scrambling for a par/bogey as it is, but there was a bunker over there amongst huge grassy mounds complete with a huge lip and it helped turn it into a scramble for bogey/double.  I'm like "who the eff puts a pot bunker here?"  Well, Pete Dye, that's who.

Glad I'm not alone.  I played several years ago on a cold, moderately windy day.  At the turn, I looked at my buddy and said, "I'm a beaten man.  I'm moving up to the whites."  Had a lot more fun on the back, but still it was a death march. 

Edited by tdiii

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While my home course has highest rating and slope of any of the courses I've played (relative to distance), I played a course last year that seemed to have some really narrow fairways called Hidden Oaks.

They had the front 9 closed so we had to play the back 9 twice. Some of the holes were pretty easy, but those that had thick woods up tight to fairways just killed me. While I played it ok the first time through, I may have set a record for lost balls on the next.

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Hardest course I ever played is no longer that hard of a course. When I first moved to NY, a buddy took me golfing. I hadn't played in a while, and I was far from the golfer I am now. We went to a course right down the road from me called The Links at Union Vale. Perfectly normal links type course, but man was it brutal back then (circa 2003). It was still pretty new. Tons of long carries off the tee, lots of holes that missing the fairway meant a lost ball, etc. So many people complained that they made a ton of changes to make it easier. It's still a tough course, but at least something I consider "fair".  

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Pinehurst number 2 in 1996. My buddies took me there cause I was fixing to get married. They wanted to see how much money we could spend in a week. Played it all the way back, I never hit so many 4 and 5 irons in my life. Had a terrible caddy. Did birdie 18, it's like 445 up a hill. The caddy told me that Davis Love hit a driver and a 9 iron to it and I told him that just took $20 off his tip.

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Whiskey Creek in MD.  Probably nothing compared to what y'all have done, but I haven't played many (if any) well known courses.  Lots of elevation change and places to get in a world of trouble.  Several of the holes were surprisingly short, but the landing zones for if you were to play it safe and go 4-iron off the tee were riddled with hazards.  Not to mention those damn distillery ruins splitting the 18th fairway...wonderful experience.

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Recently it would be the Blue Monster and I think it was golden something at Doral. The winds were whipping and I got destroyed. 

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Carnoustie/Carnasty for sure. The course is overall tough, tough. And that burn kept sucking in my little white ball. No fun when its wet, windy and cold. But I was playing golf in Scotland. So it was all good.

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I see a lot of links courses get the vote and I'm going to add Princess (open championship 1933) . Wet and windy and not as manicured as its more famous neighbour Royal St Georges led to lots of lost balls and re-loads . I went round in 128  that included the best birdie of my life on a 160 yard par 3 into the wind , Driver (It was that windy)  and a 20 ft put !

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For me it would be Spyglass Hill on the monterey peninsula. I was selling for a fine wine wholesaler, and won a contest for a free round of golf while we were at the Monterey Wine Festival. The original idea was to play Pebble, but the guy doing the bookiing didn't realize you had to call a year in advance. I probably hadn't touched a club in 3-4 months, since we were playing in February. I was used to shooting in the high 70's low 80's at home, shot a 96 there and was overjoyed!

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Ko’olau Golf Club

By far the toughest course I have ever played.

Built in 1992 near Honolulu Hawaii at a cost of $82 million, the course was carved out of a rain forest on the windward side of the Ko’olau Mountains. I played it in 1994.

According to the USGA, the average slope rating in the U.S. is about 113. Theoretically, the maximum slope rating is 155.

Ko'olau was 162.

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The first time US Open Champion Scott Simpson played Ko'olau he shot 80. Chi Chi Rodriguez shot 88. They weren't playing from the back tees either. Rumor has it the course record is 63. Not the score…lost balls. If your shot misses the fairway your ball doesn’t go into the rough, it goes into the jungle. Deep canyons like in the picture below create forced carries that will gobble up poorly struck shots.

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They have since softened the course and made it more playable, and the current slope is 153. Still pretty tough. It is listed #3 on Golf Digest’s list of the 50 toughest courses, but it’s #1 on MY list!

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Cog Hill Dubsdread. Late March 2016 it was 43* and raining and that rough was super long and wet. Still managed an 88 but it felt like the battle of a lifetime. 

Edited by kpaulhus

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For me it was the TPC Stadium Course in La Quinta 75.8/148 7300 played it back when it was stiill the skins game.  It was a beast, played it in a stiff wind.

Sugarloaf Golf Club in Maine is another beast from the tips that is not long but extremely tight and difficult.  Almost any shot that doesn’t find the fairway, is in the dense Maine woods.

6900 74.8/146

Edited by jsgolfer

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I played Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne recently and it's a tough track especially the back tees.

 

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Here in Argentina, Nordelta Golf Club. Par 72, rating 76,2 from the tips. Shoot 79/85 on very windy days on 2017.
In the US, played the Blue Monster at Doral on 2001 at age 18. Shoot in the 70´s from the blue tees rating 72,9.

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Mine are all Pete Dye designed courses.

Oak Tree National (Edmond, OK)- 6424 yards 73.1/ 145 (men's tees);   7410 yards 79.3/155 (tips)

Stonebridge Ranch (McKinney, TX)- 6536 yards 73.1/ 139 (men's tees);  7346 yards 77.6/147 (tips)

Royal Hawaiian (Kailua, Oahu, HI)- 6086 yards 71.5/132 (men's tees); 6609 yards 73.1/ 139 (tips)

 

The Royal Hawaiian was formally known as Luana Hills, and was amazing.  Yes, it's not has "hard" as the other two, but it's grueling.  Very similar to what @1badbadger mentioned above- it's carved out of a rain forest.  There's nowhere to bail out, and if you miss the fairway, you're in the jungle.  

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