Golf Advisor's 25 toughest courses, based on your reviews



No. 25: The 16th hole at Olde Stonewall in Elverson, Pa. makes for a thrilling tee shot. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
No. 24: The Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston, Mass. is among New England's top-rated public golf courses. (Courtesy of Crumpin-Fox/Facebook)
No. 23: Muskoka Bay Club in Gravehurst, Ontario features a bold Doug Carrick design that parades through a beautiful pine- and rock-peppered forest. (Andrew Penner/GolfAdvisor)
No 22: The uphill 13th hole at The Rock Golf Club in Minett, Ontario is narrow and slants right to left. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor)
No. 21: From the opening hole, Pete Dye's Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. is a tough loop. (Courtesy of TPC Network)
No. 20: The Shattuck Club in Jaffrey, N.H., designed by Brian Silva, is scenic and difficult. (Courtesy of The Shattuck Club)
No. 19: The Stadium Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. features plenty of intimidating shots. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
No. 18: In San Jose, Calif., the Ranch Golf Club features plenty of tough looks, including this bunker in the middle of the green. (myers1398/Golf Advisor)
No. 17: The AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio is a difficult play, even for the pros. (Courtesy of TPC San Antonio)
No. 16: Pete Dye's Bulle Rock is one of the Mid-Atlantic's toughest rounds. (Courtesy of Bulle Rock G.C.)
No. 15: The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina is a Ryder Cup and PGA Championship venue. (Courtesy of Kiawah Island)
No. 14: Make sure you visit the back tee on the 15th hole for this view of Ko' olau Golf Club on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor)
No. 13: The now semi-private, Rees Jones-designed Echelon Golf Club is a great choice when visiting Atlanta. (Courtesy of Echelon G.C.)
No. 12: Rio Secco, designed by Rees Jones, is carved out of desert just outside Las Vegas. (Oleg Volovik/Golf Advisor)
No. 11: One of West Virginia's most challenging resort experiences outside of the Greenbrier is the Resort at Glade Springs. (Courtesy of the Resort at Glade Springs)
No. 10: Tom Fazio carved out a challenge at Camp Creek Golf Club in the Florida Panhandle. (Brian Oar/Golf Advisor)
No. 9: The Tradition Club at Royal New Kent is a prime example of the imagination of the late architect Mike Strantz. (Courtesy of Lester Poole/Royal New Kent)
No. 8: There are countless bunkers to navigate on the famed Straits Course at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor)
No. 7: The elevated tee shot on the par-4 12th hole of the Prince Course at Princeville Resort is intimidating, with trouble on each side. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
No. 6: Ballyhack Golf Club presents a links-inspired experience in Virginia. (Courtesy of Ballyhack G.C.)
No. 5: Designed by Jack Nicklaus, The Idaho Club features holes carved through forest. (Courtesy of The Idaho Club)
No. 14: Wisconsin's Erin Hills is set to host a unique U.S. Open in 2017. (Andrew Hollingworth/Golf Advisor)
No. 3: The par-3 14th hole on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club is one of the most famous par 3s in the world. (Getty Images)
No. 2: Designed by Indiana native Pete Dye, the Kampen Course at Purdue University is one of the best public college golf courses in the country. (Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor)
No. 1: It's a maze of bunkers on the par-5 fourth hole on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in New York. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor)

We're counting down the top 50 toughest golf courses according to reviews submitted through Golf Advisor. We've ranked them based on each course's difficulty rating (scored 1-5 based on the selection made by the golfer on the review form). The Top 25 features major championship and PGA Tour venues as well as some of the most notorious courses in destination golf.

For more on how we uncovered the Top 50 and to view courses 50-26, click here.

Golf Advisor's 25 toughest courses

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25. Olde Stonewall Golf Club

Ellwood City, Pa.
Yardage: 7,103 | Slope/Rating: 148/74.2
Architect: Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry
What they're saying: "The further up the hills you go the more accuracy is required." - GLBrocks

24. Crumpin-Fox Club

Bernardston, Mass.
Yardage: 7,007 | Slope/Rating: 141/73.8
Architect: Robert Trent Jones Sr. Roger Rulewich
What they're saying: "Tough to score well here the first time around; I can't wait to go back now that I know what's out there." - threedollardip

23. Muskoka Bay Club

Gravehurst, Ontario, Canada
Yardage: 7,367 | Slope/Rating: 146/76.1
Architect: Doug Carrick
What they're saying: "Every hole makes you stand in awe from the tee boxes. It is by far the most challenging course I have played." - sprogis1

22. The Rock Golf Club

Minett, Ontario, Canada
Yardage: 6,649 | Slope/Rating: 144/72.0
Architect:
What they're saying: "Lots of blind tee shots, narrow fairways, rocks and other obstacles to bounce off. Between two of us, we lost 13 balls." - ghawke

21. PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass

Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Yardage: 7,215 | Slope/Rating: 155/76.8
Architect: Pete Dye
What they're saying: " I would recommend taking a forecaddie as they really help with the sight lines and finding your ball in the deep rough (sinks right to the bottom every time)" - rdbuchan87

20. The Shattuck Golf Club

Jaffrey, N.H.
Yardage: 6,764 | Slope/Rating: 153/73.5
Architect: Brian Silva
What they're saying: "They make no secret about the course being a 'ball eater'." - Jselesnick

19. TPC Stadium Course at PGA West

La Quinta, Calif.
Yardage: 7,300 | Slope/Rating: 150/76.1
Architect: Pete Dye
What they're saying: "This course boasts more very deep bunkers than you will encounter anywhere." - laxdca11

18. The Ranch Golf Club

San Jose, Calif.
Yardage: 6,747 | Slope/Rating: 150/72.8
What they're saying: "The frustration of the course is that If you do not hit your ball just right, it is gone!!!" - bjfranzen

17. AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio

San Antonio
Yardage: 7,435 | Slope/Rating: 148/76.5
Architect: Greg Norman
What they're saying: "Some devilish pin positions out there, and there really isn't an easy approach shot on the course" - BrandonTuckerGA

16. Bulle Rock Golf Club

Havre de Grace, Md.
Yardage: 7,375 | Slope/Rating: 148/76.6
Architect: Pete Dye

What they're saying: "There is not a round of golf here I haven't felt tested for 4 hours and left exhausted, both physically and mentally." - bfalker

15. Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort

Kiawah Island, S.C.
Yardage: 7,356 | Slope/Rating: 144/77.3
Architect: Pete Dye
What they're saying: "you'll probably shoot your highest round of the season - if not of your entire gilding career. I shot 86 and striped it all day." - in2themystyc11

14. Ko'olau Golf Club

Kaneohe, Hawaii
Yardage: 7,310 | Slope/Rating: 153/78.2
Architect: Dick Nugent
What they're saying: "There must have been 10+ 200 yard carries, the finishing hole had two canyon carries." - Timoatop

13. Echelon Golf Club

Alpharetta, Ga.
Yardage: 7,558 | Slope/Rating: 154/77.8
Architect: Rees Jones
What they're saying: "As someone new to the game, I probably bit off more than I could chew, but it was worth it." - asw1614

12. Rio Secco Golf Club

Henderson, Nev.
Yardage: 7,313 | Slope/Rating: 153/75.0
Architect: Rees Jones
What they're saying: "Had a great day, but trouble is all around. Forced carries can be tough for seniors/short hitters." - PingDave

11. Woodhaven at The Resort at Glade Springs

Daniels, W.Va.
Yardage: 7,122 | Slope/Rating: 149/75.1
Architect: Ault, Clark & Associates
What they're saying: "I had made a joke to my friends over social media that I am playing on the Wii Golf course." - u827694085

10. Camp Creek Golf Club

Panama City Beach, Fla.
Yardage: 7,159 | Slope/Rating: 152/76.0
Architect: Tom Fazio
What they're saying: "The greens are large and very undulating which requires precision on approach shots." - samallenkawa

9. Royal New Kent Golf Club

Providence Forge, Va.
Yardage: 7,336 | Slope/Rating: 147/76.5
Architect: Mike Strantz
What they're saying: "Play the wrong tees and I guarantee you'll have a miserable time, so swallow your pride." - pjbalbi

8. Straits Course at Whistling Straits

Sheboygan, Wis.
Yardage: 7,790 | Slope/Rating: 152/77.2
Architect: Pete Dye
What they're saying: "Caddies in white uniform sing 'fore' like angels and the wind whistles in harmony." - Gyoju

7. Prince Course at Princeville Golf Club

Princeville, Hawaii
Yardage: | Slope/Rating: 140/76.2
Architect: Robert Trent Jones Jr.
What they're saying: "If you aren't straight off the tee and fairways you will require a couple dozen golf balls." - thisisjoelrobinson
(Editor's Note: The Prince Course is currently closed for renovations.)

6. Ballyhack

Roanoke, Va.
Yardage: 7,294 | Slope/Rating: 155/76.1
Architect: Lester George
What they're saying: "don't know of any course with a higher slope rating. You'd have to be a pro to enjoy playing here. It takes the difficulty rating to a new level." - nuckles

5. The Idaho Club

Sandpoint, Idaho
Yardage: 7,089 | Slope/Rating: 148/74.6
Architect: Jack Nicklaus
What they're saying: "Play the correct tees, bring lots of balls and enjoy the scenery and the experience." - jsullivan4419

4. Erin Hills

Erin, Wis.
Yardage: 7,800 | Slope/Rating: 145/77.9
Architects: Ron Whitten, Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry
What they're saying: "Despite the difficulty, this is one of the most beautiful and unique golf courses in America." - MikeBaileyGA

3. Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club

County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Length: 7,143 yards | SSS: 73
Architect: H.S. Colt
What they're saying: "It's all marram grass and dunes, all big drives and wicked putts -- a veritable amusement park of golf." - KielChristianson

2. Kampen Course at Purdue Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex

West Lafayette, Ind.
Yardage: 7,465 | Slope/rating: 146/76.5
Architect: Pete Dye
What they're saying "The greens were flawless, undulated in all directions, and were extremely fast." - dshot22

1. Black Course at Bethpage State Park

Farmingdale, N.Y.
Yardage: 7,468 | Slope/rating: 152/78.1
Architect: A.W. Tillinghast
What they're saying: "Brilliant use of the natural typography and an atmosphere of equity could well mean that Bethpage Black is a golfer’s ultimate American dream." - MattAdamsGA

What are the toughest courses you've ever played? Let us know in the comments below, or leave a course review on Golf Advisor.

Jun 10, 2016

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Brandon Tucker

Managing Editor

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.


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