Hardest Public Course You've Played...that most haven't heard of?


To clarify, not looking to see TPC Sawgrass, Kiawah Island, Torrey Pines South, etc on this thread. Go!


Anderson Creek GC in Spring Lake, NC. Awesome track but it’s brutal.


Sleepy Hollow in Brecksville, Ohio is one of the best munis in the state if not the country. Designed by Stanley Thompson it is a pure test of golf with amazing holes a plenty. When the greens are running it is one tough track-- especially the par 3’s which are treacherous to say the least.


my home course, Apple Mountain in Camino, CA only 6300 yards from the back tees but extremely narrow & hilly/undulating you rarely get a flat lie, 2 yards can be the difference between 10 footer for birdie & making an 8


Le Bordes in France. There’s a board up of players who’ve broken 80 around there. It’s nkt a big board.


The Bluffs in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Arnold Palmer design.


Clifton Highlands in Prescott, WI (just Southeast of the Twin Cities in MN). The back tees are only 6644 and only 72.2/125 for slope and rating, but the greens are huge, and undulating, fairways are narrow with huge trees in the rough. Course requires a really good complete game. Have to hit your targets with a variety of clubs off the tee, approach shots have to be great to get the ball close, have to recover well with a lot of different shots (low, cut, draw, punch out), and if you can’t lag putt or chip well, it’s game over. Really great track if you are ever in the Twin Cities area.


Old Corkscrew in Estero, Florida. I’ve never been more demoralized on a golf course.


Nice call on that one. I lived in that area for a couple years and played it many times. Beautiful track but some absolutely ridiculous holes and green complexes.


How about the links at Fancourt? So brutal from the back tees


Agreed. Was really excited to play it, but it was incredibly penal. I didn’t hit great, but even when I flushed it and hit my lines, I couldn’t score.


The Shattuck in Jaffrey, NH. Water on almost every hole and extreme target golf. Fun every once in a while.


+1 on Sleepy Hollow. Andy Johnson has brought it up a couple times on his pod. Several prime examples of the cart path speed slot, but only greens I’ve seen in Northeast Ohio with potential for back to the hole putts.

Fowlers Mill down the road in Chesterland, OH is a full on Pete Dye ass whoopin. Massive par 4 cape hole around a lake and a few split/double fairways among other Dye fingerprints. The Lake/River 9s combine for a tough test at ~$50.


Thanks for Fowlers Mill tip since I plan to head down to Sleepy Hollow this summer. You are right about the greens. Classic Stanley Thompson track that demands unbelievable focus and strategy on approach shots.


Squire Creek (Fazio) in Choudrant, LA has some of the slickest greens in the country. Private, but beautiful course as well. Also, not incredibly hard to find a way on if you ask the right person in the area.

Not far away, Mystic Creek, in Eldorado, Arkansas is an exhausting track. The only flat part of the course are the tee boxes.



Rumor I heard around corkscrew is jack only played the front nine after completion and left after being too frustrated with the greens. Probably a rumor but after playing it the rumor seems legit


@Dham148 seems plausible!


Cowboy tees at Karsten Creek in Stillwater OK. Unbelievably difficult to begin with, but when that late summer Oklahoma wind picks up… brutal.

Will be fun to see the scores during the NCAA Championships this year.


Tobacco Road just outside of Pinehurst NC. Great track that forces a lot of unique shots. Some people don’t like the ‘whacky’ Strantz layout, but I’ve played it twice and really enjoyed it.


Played some COMICALLY hard golf courses in my day, but, one public course that stands out in my mind is the P.B. Dye design at Barefoot Landing in Myrtle Beach (SC).

Tight off the tee, even by the Dye family’s standards, with an abundance of all the wacky shit you know and love about the mad scientists of golf course architecture. Despite all of the danger, it’s easily the best golf course of the four courses at Barefoot and it’s actually a golf course you can play over and over and (despite the fact that you have been bludgeoned) have fun every time.

Unless it’s August and it’s 147 degrees with 95% humidity. But nobody goes outside in Myrtle Beach during August anyways.