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The Ten Toughest Courses

Are tough courses, and then there are these ten monsters
Jeff Williams
From the Print Edition:
Kevin Bacon, May/Jun 00

(continued from page 6)

Some would say that Jack Nicklaus's Tournament Course at PGA West is easy--easy in comparison to Pete Dye's Stadium Course in the same development. Then you start to play the Tournament Course and you come to understand that it's about as painless as a tooth extraction.  

Again, Nicklaus gives you a fairly generous landing area for your tee shot, a fairly difficult approach to the greens. But in some cases the tee shot isn't all that easy, either. Consider the 572-yard par-5 15th, which has a bunker eight feet deep running right up the middle of the tee shot landing area.   There is plenty of water on this course. Yes, it's in a desert, but the Palm Springs area gets its water from a giant aquifer that runs underneath the Coachella Valley. While it brings life to the desert, the water becomes death for golf scores.  

Both the ninth and 18th holes at the Tournament Course are threatened by water. Your tee shot on the 18th, if pushed to the right, can roll out onto a beach and trickle into a lake. The par-3 eighth has water on three sides of the green, and there is more water still on the par-3 12th. Death by water in the desert; a mirage with penalty strokes.  

So there you have it, our top 10 toughest golf courses in America. We have left out many worthy candidates. Pete Dye's courses alone could fill out the list. We've left out some really tough layouts, like Dye's Honors Course in Tennessee and his and Greg Norman's Medalist Golf Club in Florida. We've left out wonderful old Pine Valley in New Jersey, which still strikes fear in most players. And any course that the USGA sets up for the U.S. Open automatically takes a temporary spot in the Top 10 Toughest.  

If you're ready, if your clubs and swing are at their best, if your body and mind are tuned, then hoist a bag on your shoulder and accept the challenge. And bring balls. You'll need them.

 Jeff Williams writes about golf for Newsday.    

THE TEN TOUGHEST GOLF COURSES IN THE UNITED STATES   So you think your course is a challenge? Here, in descending order, are 10 courses that will change your mind.  

No.1 Koolau Golf Course, Oahu, Hawaii  

No.2 The International Golf Club, Bolton, Massachusetts  

No.3 Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin  


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