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


The Gold Course at Wigwam outside of Phoenix. It’s old school RTJ from his phase of designing “monster” courses. Small, tilted greens, narrow-tree-lined fairways, and long long long. The third hole from the tips is 272 to a narrow green that is heavily sloped back to front (got to stop the ball somehow if you’re hitting driver in). Nasty deep bunker left and a fall off to the right from which you can easily play ping pong.

One of the tougher short par 4s in Phoenix. (JK, it’s par 3.)

After that one, you get to a 654 yard par 5, dead straight, with OB all down the left side.


Good call on Wigwam Gold. Definitely one of the toughest in the Phoenix area.


The Bull at Pinehurst Farms, tight, wooded, thick rough, deep tee boxes. You’ll get your ass kicked the first time and cannot wait to go back.


Fighting Joe on the RTJ Trail in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. 8K from the tips.


Neshanic Valley GC (Meadow/Ridge) in Neahanic Station, NJ…
It’s a top 10 public course in NJ
Herzdan/Fry design, a lot of Erin Hills inspiration. very tricky and fast greens… thick rough.


Queens Harbor in Jacksonville, Fla since the redesigned the greens is up there. From the back tees with a 15-20 mph sea breeze I’ll put it against any course. Crazy greens, some may not be fair, but it is a blast to play. It may not be technically public, but you can get out there pretty much anytime on GolfNow and for cheap. Waiting for the NLU crew to play it and let us know what they think.


Hulman Links in Terre Haute, IN is one of the toughest public tracks in the state. Narrow fairways and some tough pin locations. Solid bunkers and water hazards as well.


Was just down that way for a member guest and everyone said corkscrew was diabolical.


The Kaluyah course at Turning Stone is by far the hardest of the 3 there, and usually ranked as a top public course in NY. Can play very long at points and requires some real demanding shots, particularly the back.


Mine would be the Pete Dye course at French Lick, IN. Course sits on top of a mountain. If you miss the fairway the balls drops basically 50 feet down the mountain on either side. Greens usually run at an 11. 8200 yards from the back tees. 1 Par 3 is almost 300 yards from the back tees. Beautiful course but it’s the hardest I have played.


The Dunes at Maui Lani in Kahului, Hawaii. Played there four times before; each time except for the last one I lost at least 5 balls during the round. 74.1/141 from the tips and I believe it only comes in at around 6800 yards.


Pacific Grove down the road from Pebble!


Lost Key Golf Club in Pensacola, FL. Pretty tight and seemed like if you missed the fairway you were in the water/swamp.


Ah, yes - Lost Ball, as the locals call it.


This course is a joke. Was so excited to play a few years back and have never been back, although heard about all the commotion re: the fountain structure at #1


Eagle Eye outside of Lansing. Pete Dye course that is brutal from the tips. Played it one windy morning after playing 36 the day before and probably lost 10 balls in the water and fescue. The course is beautiful though, and 17 is a scale replica of 17 at Sawgrass.


Koolau Golf Club near Honolulu. I think it was the hardest in the world when it opened, but they scaled it back some.

Tips out at 7300. 78.2/153

Tons of forced carries over ravines in what is basically a rain forest. Amazing views and a great challenge (but it’s fair if you know your way around the course).


I was going to say Koolau, too. Beautiful, but always rainy and very hard.


Played a few high school matches at Hulman Links. Seem to remember a tight par 5 that kicked everyone’s ass?


Probably hole 11! I used to call Hulman Links home before my move to California