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


Iron Valley Golf Club in Lebanon, PA



Jacks club at Carlton woods in the woodlands. Fast undulating greens…pins hovering behind peaked white sand bunker edges. Just brutally hard. Didn’t help playing in summer Houston and 90% humidity


The University of Georgia Course is the hardest public course I’ve played, but also one of my favorites. Plays very long with a lot of options to get aggressive. Some of the nicest public greens I’ve played. If you play around the time they host a women’s college tourney they can be rolling upwards of 13.


Troy Burne, Troy Wisconsin


No way, that course is easy. HUUUGE landing areas and big greens.


Willingers in Northfield, MN.

74.2/148 rating with tight fairways and hazards everywhere. You can lose a lot of balls fast and watch the triples pile up.


in the US: The Shattuck in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Won a round hear in a charity auction and took 3 buddies all between 5-15 handicaps. +8 net was the best score of the day.

overseas: Doonberg in County Clare, Ireland. And it was a “calm” day.


I think I already talked about this course awhile back in the Best Public Courses You’ve Played That No One Has Heard Of or whatever that thread was, but Wine Valley out in Walla Walla, WA. When the breeze comes up off the Palouse and they get the rollercoaster greens rolling anything more than a 10 or so, it can be brutal. The course is always firm because it’s on a sandy base. Just to set a bar on the difficulty, it held a Washington State Am qualifier and the medalist score was -2. That is with no breeze blowing off of the Palouse and them playing it from 7000 yards when it can be stretched to 7600 yards. It’s a ton of fun and a challenge all in one!


The Idaho Club, near Sandpoint in the panhandle. 74.6/148 from the tips with medium/small multi tiered greens.


Bayside Resort outside Ocean City, MD played it last year in mid April on a team trip in 40 degrees and 40 mph winds, rating is 76.5 and we have 5-6 sub 5 handicap guys on our team and 1 person broke 90


Didn’t that used to be called Hidden Lakes back in the day, or is there still a Hidden Lakes? I still have the towel and the logo ball from that joint.


Lost Key in Pensacola should be names Lost Ball. Hellacious track that takes you man card as you leave the 18th green.


Place is pretty damn hard. Only played the old Ackerman when I was there and ponied up the money right before graduation. It was windy is hell and I just got dick punched all day. Great course though.

I tried hard to think of mine, and the one that I can remember being particularly difficult was The Ranch Golf Club in San Jose. It’s a course that I’d call unwalkable, talking 200’ elevated tee shots. Mixed with the condition of the course. I’m sure that if they were able to maintain the course the way they’d like it would be fine, but it was pretty brutal in my opinion. Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon is tough too, Jay Blasi course. Tough to find a fairway.


Karsten Creek - Stillwater, OK

Typical penal Fazio model course. Beautiful but painful.


Yup, used to be Hidden Lakes, redesigned a dozen or so years ago

  1. Teal Wing Golf Club - Hayward wi - carved out f oa forest. I think we lost 2 dozen balls that day.
  2. Tan-Tar-A in Lake of the Ozarks area. Played it in early 90s with Aaron Smith (who may be willing to confirm) and it might be just memory. Seemed impossible. We called it Tan-Ter-ible after that