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Most Difficult Course You’ve Played

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3 hours ago, David in FL said:

How can water come into play 130 times with something in the neighborhood of a maximum of 36-40 full swing shots for 18 holes with your 10 handicap?  :8)

What I am saying is that there were so many small ponds on the course that during the flight of your ball toward the hole you were playing that if you got your shot off line that it could possibly find a series of ponds.Handicap has nothing to do with it...

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2 hours ago, golfer2b2000 said:

What I am saying is that there were so many small ponds on the course that during the flight of your ball toward the hole you were playing that if you got your shot off line that it could possibly find a series of ponds.Handicap has nothing to do with it...

Ahhhhh, got it.  And the handicap reference was only to explain the approximate number of full swings.  A higher hcp player will have many more, and thus more opportunities to rinse a ball.  

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Two courses for two different reasons.  The Links at Safehaven in Grand Cayman when I was on vacation.  about half of the holes are affected by the wind in the sound and distance control is impossible.  The only time I have ever seen a SW shot spinning back toward me.  The RTJ Golf Trail in Alabama has a collection of very difficult courses, especially if you play them from the tips.  Fighting Joe has a lot of sand, including mid-fairway sand where your normal landing zone might be and it is not uncommon to have to hit an iron off the tee with your second shot being a 3 wood due to location of the fairway bunkers.

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4 hours ago, David in FL said:

Ahhhhh, got it.  And the handicap reference was only to explain the approximate number of full swings.  A higher hcp player will have many more, and thus more opportunities to rinse a ball.  

Yeah, pretty much. I am not sure if it is still open. It just seemed like when I played it that everytime I hit my ball someone would say, "there's water over there!!".

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Hardest I've played was Plantation at Kapalua. I played the combo tees, shot a 91, and felt like I played GREAT! 

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My toughest was The Links at Spanish Bay. Our group couldn't afford to pay the greens fees for Pebble Beach, but were happy to get to play Spanish Bay. We played from the middle tees (72.1/136) and as a high handicapper, I struggled to a 104, and that was with getting a couple od free drops when my balls landed in areas with "endangered plant life"! Even though I shot a high score, it was THE most beautiful course I've ever played. The ocean views, the red deer everywhere and the beauty of the course made it a magical experience! 

Equally as difficult, but a quite different type of course, is Burnt Pine in Destin, FL. I've played this course a number of times and its kicks my butt every time. I usually play from the middle tees (70.8/141) and rarely shoot better than 96. It's a terrific course.

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The toughest course I ever played was Eagle Ridge in Gilroy, California. I happened to hit the ball very well that day. I hit 10 fairways and 11 greens, but shot 99 because the greens were insane.

They weren't just the fastest I ever saw, but they have hills on most of them that made for impossible putts. From the highest point to the lowest point on some greens, there was a 5 foot elevation difference.

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Maybe an exaggeration, but with nearly 100 water hazards on the course (and many that come into play on more than one hole), there were frequently 4-6 water hazards that could come in to play on a given tee or fairway shot. The course designer used small ponds like others would use sand traps.

Edit, this was referring to the thunder hill comments on the previous page.

Edited by Divot Master

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16 hours ago, Divot Master said:

Maybe an exaggeration, but with nearly 100 water hazards on the course (and many that come into play on more than one hole), there were frequently 4-6 water hazards that could come in to play on a given tee or fairway shot. The course designer used small ponds like others would use sand traps.

Edit, this was referring to the thunder hill comments on the previous page.

This is exactly what they had done. I believe this use to be an old fish hatchery years ago I was told. Its not the most senic, or well designed course I have ever played, but the roughs were hard as concrete and an erant shot would travel a long way, usually ending up in a bunker or pond.

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For some reason, I can't edit my post above to add a photo... Here's a picture from where my second shot was on one hole at Eagle Ridge. You can get a good idea how sloped the greens are.

 

48259215-6EB7-4989-B022-3E07C91DFD21.JPG

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1 hour ago, golfer2b2000 said:

This is exactly what they had done. I believe this use to be an old fish hatchery years ago I was told. Its not the most senic, or well designed course I have ever played, but the roughs were hard as concrete and an erant shot would travel a long way, usually ending up in a bunker or pond.

I was a member there for a while and played frequently through the 1980's and somewhat since then. The fish hatchery was in the area left of the 12th green and behind the 13th tee. 

When the course was first built it was long, wide open, and only about 8 lakes. Each off-season, the owner would go out on his grader and dig a few more. At a point somewhere between 30 and 60, it became ridiculous, and by 100 it was absurd.

Then an outside operator came in, renovated the course, rerouting several holes, and filled in some of the sillier ponds.

The course played well until the early 2000's, when the original developer passed away, and his sons showed little interest or skill in maintaining it.

Edited by Divot Master
Wrong hole numbers

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On 8/3/2019 at 9:04 AM, DennisMiller said:

The toughest course I ever played was Eagle Ridge in Gilroy, California. I happened to hit the ball very well that day. I hit 10 fairways and 11 greens, but shot 99 because the greens were insane.

They weren't just the fastest I ever saw, but they have hills on most of them that made for impossible putts. From the highest point to the lowest point on some greens, there was a 5 foot elevation difference.

Yup! That's a tough one, a Johnny (saddistic) Miller design. Even knowing the greens, it's easy to 3-putt there. Also, there are lots of bunkers, all in terrible shape. They were supposed to embark on a bunker renovation project years ago, but still nothing...

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On 7/31/2019 at 9:36 PM, Beavis said:

Why did the Ranch close?

My guess: no driving range to warm up, it was too difficult for most people and cart path only at all times, with side hills everywhere, target golf across canyons. They tried lowering their green fees and still people wouldn't come...

I used to play it about once or twice a year, when I felt like I wanted some punishment: this course will  (or would) humble you! The last time I played it was during the winter last year (so like Feb or March 2018). I played by myself and found that I was hitting the last ball in my bag on #15 (the par 3 with a bunker in the middle). I put it in the hazard over the green but was able to find it and finish the round with it. I wasn't hitting the ball particularly well that day and had lost many balls to the canyons, but also some right in the middle of the super-saturated fairways! I probably lost over a dozen (used) balls that day, lol!

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Toughest golf course I have ever played has to be Harbor Town at HHI. Small greens and tight fairways. I spray the ball around a bit and also can't putt. Second toughest has to be Rhein Blick Country Club right outside Frankfurt, Germany. In the mountains, and not to many flat lies.

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On 7/20/2019 at 9:44 PM, golfer2b2000 said:

I remember years ago playing a course in Madison Ohio called Thunder Hill. It wasnt the greatest course as far as shape goes, but I highly doubt if you could possibly find a course where water comes into play as much as this one does. The second, and last time I played it I believe I counted around 130 times that water came into play at some point or other. At that time I could usually shoot 75 or better on a 18 hole layout. I believe I shot 94 that day and probably lost a half dozen or more Titleist...

Dude! I played that course when it was in it's ascendancy! It was spectacular! I took some buddies there after it went into insolvency and the bank took it over. It was sad! My buddies said they could appreciate how the course might have been when it was prime, but it was no longer. Bunkers full of weeds, life and drop out of them. Greens about half dead. It was sad! 

On 8/1/2019 at 2:10 AM, David in FL said:

How can water come into play 130 times with something in the neighborhood of a maximum of 36-40 full swing shots for 18 holes with your 10 handicap?  :8)

Yes, 130 times might be an overstatement, but I can't impress upon you enough just how much water was on this course! It was everywhere! The property started it's life as a fish hatchery. 

I'd heard about it, including a tale from a league buddy. They went up there to play and he just got skull jacked! On their way out, there were ponds on either side of the entrance/exit road. He told the driver, "Stop the car!" He rolled his window down and tossed a ball into the roadside pond, "Here's my last Titleist! You can have it!"

When I began running a sales route in that area, I vowed to find the place. When I did, there were very few vehicles in the lot, but there were work carts running all over the place! I walked to the clubhouse to see what was what. It turned out that a new ownership group had taken over the place, and had sunk over $3 Mill into renovations!" The pro walked me out to 1st hole white tees and asked me how far it would be to clear the pond. I guessed 225. He said, "Good eye! It's 219 from here."

My buddy who said "Stop the car" earlier, had complained about all the "hidden" ponds. You could hit a drive that would split the fairway and wind up in a pond, because there was one in the middle of it! The pro I was with explained that the first thing they did was drain and fill all the "stupid" ponds! That made the course immensely more playable. I'll have to look up the stats, but I believe the slope for the course was about 156! 

I wish it could have survived as a golf course, but it's probably a housing development by now. 

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Thunder Hill, for the non-believers:

Screen Shot 2019-09-07 at 5.01.33 PM.png

The ponds are mostly obvious, but you may still miss a few if you don't look at the green (algae?) ones, and some of the off-color ones.

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Scotland Carnoustie

US Verdict ridge NC 

 

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