December 7, 2011

America's 75 Toughest Golf Courses

These are the courses that haunt golfers' nightmares. Approach them with caution and play them at your peril

What is it about the difficult course that holds so much appeal for many golfers? Is it simply, to borrow George Mallory's overused line about Everest, "because it's there"? Or is there something deeper, maybe even a little darker at work? Do you want to suffer for some reason? Do you "deserve" to be punished?

These are questions probably better answered in the company of a professional therapist. But if it's a challenge you're looking for, you've come to the right place.

Presenting Golf Digest's list of America's 75 Toughest Golf Courses. Spend some time with our list. Read it, debate it, make plans to play some of these courses if you dare. Just don't come crying to us if they make you feel like quitting the game.

toughest courses

HOW WE DID IT

The last time Golf Digest ranked America's Toughest Courses, in 2007,

a group of editors got together and compiled the list based on their experiences. This year we took a scientific approach. We sent a survey to the Golf Digest Panelists, the roughly 1,100 avid golfers who create our 100 Greatest Courses rankings,

and asked them to list the 15 courses that wear them out the most. The survey ballot included all 50 courses from our 2007 list, the 100 courses with the highest combined USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating scores, and the 100 courses that panelists rated highest in Resistance to Scoring—one of the seven criteria they use when evaluating 100 Greatest candidates. We also encouraged panelists to include write-ins. Courses earned points for appearing on panelists' top-15 lists: five points for being first-, second- and third-toughest, four points for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-toughest, and so on. The courses appear in order of their point scores. —Peter Finch

CLICK ON UNDERLINED NAMES FOR MORE INFO ON COURSES


  1. __The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, S.C.

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  1. __Pine Valley (N.J.) G.C.

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  1. __Oakmont (Pa.) C.C.

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  1. __Spyglass Hill G. Cse., Pebble Beach

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  1. __Bethpage State Park (Black), Farmingdale, N.Y.

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  1. __Whistling Straits (Straits), Haven, Wis.

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  1. __TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

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  1. __PGA West (TPC Stadium), La Quinta, Calif.

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  1. __Winged Foot G.C. (West), Mamaroneck, N.Y.

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  1. __Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort (No. 2)

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  1. __Butler National G.C., Oak Brook, Ill.

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  1. __Shinnecock Hills G.C., Southampton, N.Y.

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  1. __The Olympic Club (Lake), San Francisco

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  1. __Pebble Beach G. Links

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  1. __Oakland Hills C.C. (South), Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

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16 __Medinah (Ill.) C.C. (No. 3)

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  1. __Torrey Pines G. Cse. (South), La Jolla, Calif.

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  1. __Pacific Dunes, Bandon, Ore.

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__19. Desert Mtn. Club (Renegade), Scottsdale

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__20. Merion G.C. (East), Ardmore, Pa.

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  1. __Bayonet and Black Horse (Bayonet), Seaside, Calif.

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  1. __Cog Hill G. & C.C. (No. 4), Lemont, Ill.

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  1. __Oak Hill C.C. (East), Rochester, N.Y.

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  1. __Congressional C.C. (Blue), Bethesda, Md.

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  1. Ko'olau G.C., Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii

  2. __Hazeltine National G.C., Chaska, Minn.

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  1. __Wolf Creek G.C., Mesquite, Nev.

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  1. __Victoria National G.C., Newburgh, Ind.

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29 __Baltusrol G.C. (Lower), Springfield, N.J.

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  1. __Harbour Town G. Links, Hilton Head Island

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  1. __Augusta (Ga.) National G.C.

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  1. __Blackwolf Run (River), Kohler, Wis.

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T33. __Bandon Dunes, Bandon, Ore.

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T33. __Castle Pines G.C., Castle Rock, Colo.

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  1. __Los Angeles C.C. (North)

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  1. __Muirfield Village G.C., Dublin, Ohio

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  1. __Prairie Dunes C.C., Hutchinson, Kan.

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  1. __Winged Foot G.C. (East), Mamaroneck, N.Y.

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T39. __Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands), Johns Creek, Ga.

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T39. __The Honors Course, Ooltewah, Tenn.

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  1. __Wolf Run G.C., Zionsville, Ind.

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  1. __Crystal Downs C.C., Frankfort, Mich.

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  1. __Firestone C.C. (South), Akron, Ohio

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T44 __Aronimink G.C., Newtown Square, Pa.

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T44 __Medalist G.C., Hobe Sound, Fla.

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T46 __Cypress Point Club, Pebble Beach

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T46. __The Prince Course, Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

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  1. __East Lake G.C., Atlanta

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  1. __Arcadia (Mich.) Bluffs G.C.

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  1. Doral Golf Resort & Spa (McLean Course), Miami

  2. __Oak Tree National, Edmond, Okla.

  3. __Seminole G.C., Juno Beach, Fla.

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  1. __Riviera C.C., Pacific Palisades, Calif.

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  1. __Southern Hills C.C., Tulsa, Okla.

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  1. __The Stanwich Club, Greenwich, Conn.

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  1. __Erin (Wis.) Hills

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  1. __The Pete Dye Course at French Lick (Ind.) Resort

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58 __Pete Dye G.C., Bridgeport, W.Va.

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  1. __Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio

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  1. __Jupiter Hills Club (Hills), Tequesta, Fla.

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  1. __Karsten Creek G.C., Stillwater, Okla.

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  1. __The Country Club (Clyde/Squirrel), Brookline, Mass.

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T63. __Sahalee C.C. (South/North), Sammamish, Wash.

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T63. __Sebonack G.C., Southampton, N.Y.

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T65. __The Concession G.C., Bradenton, Fla.

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T65. __The Cse. at Yale, New Haven, Conn.

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T67. __Olympia Fields (Ill.) C.C. (North)

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T67. __Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Capitol Hill (The Judge), Prattville, Ala.

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T67. __Tobacco Road G.C., Sanford, N.C.

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T70. __Bulle Rock, Havre de Grace, Md.

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T70. __Dallas National G.C.

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T72. __Crooked Stick G.C., Carmel, Ind.

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T72. __National G. Links of America, Southampton, N.Y.

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T72. __Old Marsh G.C., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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  1. __Rich Harvest Links, Sugar Grove, Ill.

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