Worst Golf Holes


Valid point. I think the north course that Ron Kern did may have some promise, but this course is just not good. This hole in particular gave me a visceral reaction though, so I knew it was destined for this thread.


I had activate an account so I could contribute my candidate for the absolute worst golf hole. This beauty is located at Big Oak GC in Geneva, NY (located in the finger lakes). This is pretty decent front nine (for the $30 green fee) but the back nine is truly an afterthought, poorly designed appendage.

The eighteenth hole (pictured here) starts with a 220 yard tee shot through a 15 yard chute of tall fully mature leafy trees. It may remind you of the 18th at Augusta National (which was likely the inspiration for this gem) except that this hole is absolute garbage (in terms of design and condition). The tee box has virtually no living grass (due to being in constant shade), and the “chute” is actually misaligned to the target fairway area. I.e., in designing this turd, they actually screwed it up making it turdier (if that is a word).

My playing partner and I each hit two solid shots, all knocked down and lost in the thick foliage (and foliage = a mix of poison ivy, weeds, blood sucking bugs and snakes). We decided to just go out and place ball in the fairway - and end our match there. Play a baby push draw – lost. Play a baby pull fade - lost. The shot you must play is dead straight – which should (if struck well) put you in the rough.

The capper is a near 90* dog leg, with an uphill approach to a dead flat green guarded by a dirt bunker.


This chute is similar to the one I described above at Big Oak.

Except this course looks manicured (read – someone actually bothers to mow and water it occasionally - as opposed to using the fairways to experiment with clover and broad leaf weeds as turf grass).


I love this, and don’t think it’s an issue at all. One of the top rated courses in Maryland (Whiskey Creek, and Ernie Els design) has an old stone house dead smack in the middle of hte 18th fariway.

This is looking back up from the green.


To hell with centerline bunkers. Try reaching the green from a stone house after foolishly sending your tee shot down the middle of the fairway. Hell yeah.


We could transform the centerline bunker into a centerline halfway house. Get a ham sandwich and a drink right on the way.


While entirely egregious this sounds like a sneaky cool idea if done properly. The dutch inspired halfway house at Pine Valley is undoubtedly in play off the 8th tee(albeit NOT in the middle of the fairway)… and it is SICK


execution of the #humblebrag might be too good…


Don’t worry I just walked it during the Crump Cup and snagged the picture off Google Images


There is no way I would have confessed to that; you’re a better man than I.

Still, great to see pictures of PV in the “Worst Golf Holes” thread!


Sometimes this stuff works and sometimes not. I haven’t played Whiskey Creek, but the hole looks OK to me. The hole is plenty wide, there seems to be real risk/reward benefit to playing one side or the other, and it’s a par 5, so if you end up behind the building, you can play out and still have some chance of getting on the green in regulation. Also, it was an existing historical feature on the site, not something contrived and built.

The totem pole hole doesn’t look wide and the pole, I mean I’m just guessing here, but it sure looks contrived and like it was put there as part of the golf hole. Now, it’s narrow, not wide like a building, so unless you’re right up by it it can be played around rather easily, but it still seems to fail a lot of the test.

Troon North has a hole like this, one that I think works. It’s a par 5 that plays downhill and at the corner of the dogleg is a large, tall boulder. The dogleg is severe, almost 90 degrees and the boulder sits on the inside corner of the fairway.

From the tee, it’s about 260 to the boulder, and about 250 from the boulder to the green (downhill, especially on the tee shot). If you can hit a tee ball the skirts between the rock and the desert on the right, it’s not hard at all to get home in two. But if you play safely to the left, you’ve made the hole long enough that it’s a three shot hole. Again, a natural, existing feature, clearly visible from the tee, and because it’s a par 5, if you end up behind it you can play around it and still have some chance of reaching the green (also as you can see in the picture, the ground is crowned just a bit around the rock helping to encourage rolling balls to run away from it so not too many shots end up right behind it).


I’ll defer to Brendan Porath on the art of the “centerline cave” that is in play this week in Mayakoba
(of which I am a BIG fan of btw)


Furman Univeristy Golf Course in Greenville, SC. Hole #9. 430 yards. It’s the narrowest fairway on the course and plays effectively about 1/5 of how wide it is due to the roughly 30-40 degree left-to-right tilt of the fairway. Just about anything that lands in the fairway rolls down to the right into the two fairway bunkers, which were put in to prevent anything that lands in the fairway from rolling into the creek to their right under the trees. The only way to hold the fairway is to hit a pretty big hook that is killed when it lands on the tilted fairway. This shot is pretty much blocked out by the beginning of the trees on the right, unless you can launch your drive about 20 degrees. If you’re lucky enough to find the right edge of the fairway or the relatively playable rough between the fairway bunkers, you are rewarded with being forced to play a pretty big cut due to the end of the tree line encroaching on the fairway and having to carry a greenside bunker.


Interesting, I’ve played Furman twice and never really considered this course as one that I’d put forth a submission here, but your points are sound. Went back and looked and I made bogey in each round on that hole. The bogey in the second round was the only one I made on that front nine, fwiw.


Nice take. While not as egregious as some here, I’ve always disliked this hole for the reasons you mention. Anything in the right section of the fairway will not stay there. Luckily, the rest of the course is pretty solid.


Number 5 at Eagle Springs just north of St. Louis. My work league in St. Louis plays here. The entire course is pretty lame, very short, and the greens are always slow. All of this makes it a great spot for the old guys to have a golf league. This hole is terrible… It’s a laughably short par 5 at ~450 yards. The dogleg is very sharp and guarded on the inside by a massive sycamore tree that splits and hangs out over the left half of the corner. The most I’ve ever hit off the tee was a 4 iron that I intentionally ballooned to get over the trees and still had 220 in. Typically I hit a 7 iron to the middle of the corner and have ~260-270 to the green. However, the green is probably 40 feet above you at the corner. No one likes 7 iron, 3 wood to a par 5. Dumb.

Have to caveat this with the fact I’ve played this hole historically well. 2 eagles and 6 birdies in 20ish rounds on the front nine. It’s just a really lame and boring par 5.


Yep, I’ve always seen Furman as a really good classic golf course. The 8th hole is such a good short Par 3 it makes me gush.


I have driven by Furman several times now during family vacations and I can never stop. Sad.


I’ve ejected on that hole so many times. Should be so easy, but it isn’t.


If I’m being honest, it’s not egregious, but when I it was at school at Furman, it always pissed me off that it was the last hole in my emergency evening 9. So it hold a special place of hate in my heart.