What is the world's hardest golf destination?
TravelGolf.com’s Chris Baldwin’s recent newsletter on how Arizona desert golf is harder than just about everywhere else in America poses the question: What is the world’s hardest golf destination?
I have a hard time believing it’s the Valley of the Sun or similar desert golf.
The only desert golf I’ve played is in Las Vegas and it wasn’t remarkably more difficult. In fact, Bali Hai Golf Club has fairways so wide, if the pilot of a 747 happened to miss its landing strip across the street at McCarran International Airport, it wouldn’t think twice about touching down on one of Bali Hai’s welcoming par 5s.
In the desert, balls travel 10% further thanks to the altitude, and there are fewer “target golf” style courses like in the southeast that zig-zag between finger lakes, demanding precision over power.
Northern Ireland comes to mind - courses like Royal County Down, Royal Portrush and Enniscrone are bold and intimidating. In Scotland, you can take a good spanking in one of the Old Course’s 100-plus bunkers in St. Andrews and on the vexing greens of Kingsbarns. Or you could walk off the 18th green giggling mad at Carnoustie.
It could be South Africa, just read Tim McDonald’s report on Skukuza golf course in the middle of the famous Kruger National Park. It’s not the course, but its inhabitants that’s frightening: defenseless humans share the plains with wild hippos, elephants and flesh-eating “Big Cats". Getting “eaten alive” on a golf course was never so literal.
Here in Myrtle Beach, there are scores of user-friendly plays. If you ever want to shoot your all-time low, just go to the West Course at Myrtle Beach National or the Palmetto at Myrtlewood. But there are other courses like Pawleys Plantation, Long Bay, Tiger’s Eye and The Moorland at Legends with sinister reputations.
In Kohler, four Pete Dye courses have the recipe to whip you into a broken man. At the Straits course, my scorecard was filled with more 8s and 9s than Tri Delt at Indiana University.
So what are your votes, traveling golfers? Any destinations you go to for a good old fashioned beat down?
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But what about Whistler with the Chateau, Big Sky and Furry Creek nearby, enough to bring the best to their knees!
Koa Lau on Ohau by it self needs to be mentioned!
Then there is Bandon Dunes, if Pacific doesn't get you The Trails will!