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


Have you played Tot Hill Farm? Tobacco Road gets all of the publicity but Tot Hill absolutely #fuqs. It’s easily the hardest Strantz course I’ve ever played. So much nuance but soooo much trouble.


Agree with this totally. I find TR not that hard if you know where to go. Tot Hill on the other hand is a ball buster!


Hell’s Point in Virginia Beach, VA. It angers me to even think about the design.


Bethpage Black, no question. This probably fits in the TPC Sawgrass category you’re talking about but it was an unbelievable course beautifully maintained and very tough. The rough was the toughest I’ve ever seen, hitting anything more than a 8 iron out of it was a fool’s errand.


Corkscrew was his first design following his failed attempt ~10 years ago to get the USGA to roll back equipment/balls. After they denied his request, he said, “ok you don’t want to put limits on distance/equipment, let’s see how people do at this place.”

The story I’ve heard (from the GM who caddied for Jack during his grand opening round at Corkscrew) is Jack hooked 2 balls in the water on #5, shot 42 on the front nine, and told them to make up a scorecard for his round that “at least shows me breaking 80.”


Underrated and Incredibly difficult - the Kaluhyat course at Turningstone Casino outside of Syracuse. Pretty awesome place for resort style golf outside of the normal areas.


Great stuff right here


Except >3,000 golfers at the World Am.


Have to get in here with Champion’s Club at Summerfield in Stuart, FL for the East Side. Tom Fazio built it nice, but what’s nicer, especially on the edges of season, is how few people even know about it. One of my favorite holes on it is #3 - the shortest par 4 you’ll ever make double on.


@HoselTraj worth it? going to naples next month, but getting beat up on a course doesn’t sound like fun to me


Sounds like you need to find a new home course


It will beat you (and anyone) up for sure. If you have access to some of the better private clubs, opt for those instead…but if you don’t, there is a serious lack of quality public-access golf in that area, and Old Corkscrew is the best of them by a mile.

If you go to Corkscrew with the expectation that you’re probably not going to shoot a good score, the place is absolutely beautiful, and one of the only tracks in the area without any homes on the golf course.


Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado, Arkansas. Course record on the tips is 68 I think. The Duck Commander intercollegiate was held there last fall and no team broke 300 during any round. Unbelievably hard and especially when you get around to late spring. Tons of undulations in the fairways and greens. You hit every club in your bag and shot making skills are tested on every hole.


La Purisima Golf Course in Lompoc, California is definitely one of the hardest courses I’ve ever played. It’s kind of off the beaten path in the middle of nowhere but the course is usually in great shape for the Cali drought. This course appeared further down in the list of Golf Digest’s hardest courses in America but I feel like it’s one that doesnt get much recognition. Long course, always plays firm and fast with lighning quick greens. There’s trouble to be found everywhere off the tee and it doesn’t get any easier around the grens


Pete Dye Kampen Course at Purdue. We played somewhere around the blues of 6800 in college and it kicked my butt.


Bittersweet north of Chicago. It was so hard (or poorly made) they had to redo a bunch of it b/c no one would come back. It’s a fun track no but if you’re not on your game you better bring some extra balls.

1 interesting thing they do there is place tees at funny angles so it messes with your brain…


Ram Rock at Horseshoe Bay down in TX is the hardest public track I’ve seen. We had our conference championships there one year in college and not sure if anyone broke 300. It was the perfect combo of a ton of elevation change and constant 20 mph winds gusting up to 40.

Your’s truly had the dubious honor of pumping 5 balls OB and carding a 16 on a during round 2…the driver yips are real during high winds haha


Bethpage Black, no question.

Kiawah Ocean, a close second.


Agree with Bethpage. Just an all around brutal course. However, it’s fair, and not overly penal like some courses tend to be.


From some of the back tees, Kampen is a brute. I’ve heard that the Ackerman course, reopened last year, is just as good, but a totally different style.

For me, the hardest public course I’ve played is Trump National in LA. Absolutely brutal and completely lacking in any sort of fun or enjoyment. Narrow holes running parallel to each other, essentially stairstepping down from a high point at #2 tee all the way down to #18. Thick, waist high brush a few yards off every fairway. So difficult that you really can’t enjoy the setting. With the property it’s on, there is no reason for that to not be, at minimum, a top 100 type of course. The fact that it never gets any sort of mention like that should tell you about the type of course it is…