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The Most Difficult Golf Courses in the PGA Last Season

10. Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lounge

10. Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lounge
  • Avg Score: 0.66 over par
  • Bogeys: 1,172
  • Double Bogeys: 143

Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge, originally known simply as Bay Hill, boasts a unique history intertwined with "The King" himself. In 1960, Arnold Palmer partnered with developers to create the course, christened Bay Hill for its location near a bay and surrounding hills. After opening in 1961, Palmer and golf architect Ed Seay revamped the course in 1976, including the iconic 18th hole.

Situated in Orlando, Florida, Bay Hill Club & Lodge challenges golfers with its water hazards and undulating greens. In 1979, Bay Hill secured its place in PGA Tour history by becoming the permanent host of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. This annual tournament, held every March, continues to attract the world's best golfers and serves as a lasting tribute to Palmer's legacy. It is one of only five tournaments on the PGA Tour given "invitational" status.

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9. Colonial Country Club

9. Colonial Country Club
  • Avg score: 0.73 over par
  • Bogeys: 1,149
  • Double Bogeys: 106

Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, boasts a rich history dating back to 1936. Founded by golf enthusiast Marvin Leonard, the course quickly gained recognition for its challenging design. The course was particularly long for the 1940s. While it may seem a manageable length by today's standards, remember this course predated modern equipment advancements and improved conditioning and training. Its tree-lined fairways and strategic bunkering demand accuracy and course management, making it an exciting challenge for PGA players.

In 1941, Colonial became the first course in the Southern United States to host the prestigious U.S. Open. It also hosted the 1975 Players Championship event. Since 1946, Colonial has hosted the Colonial National Invitation (or more recently called the Charles Schwab Challenge for sponsorship reasons since 2019). This tournament is the longest-running non-major PGA Tour event held at the same location every year.

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8. Spyglass Hill Golf Course

8. Spyglass Hill Golf Course
  • Avg score: 0.80 over par
  • Bogeys: 453
  • Double Bogeys: 49

Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr., Spyglass Hill Golf Course opened its rugged terrain to golfers in 1966. Originally named Pebble Beach Pines, it was renamed after a location in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island novel. Spyglass Hill quickly gained a reputation for its challenging layout, featuring dramatic elevation changes and unforgiving ocean breezes.

Since 1967, it's been a regular stop on the PGA Tour's West Coast Swing, sharing hosting duties for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with Pebble Beach Golf Links and formerly Monterey Peninsula Country Club. This prestigious tournament allows professional golfers to compete alongside celebrities, making it a unique and highly anticipated event on the PGA Tour calendar.

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7. Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club - Copperhead Course

7. Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club - Copperhead Course
  • Avg score: 0.94 over par
  • Bogeys: 1395
  • Double Bogeys: 126

Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course has carved its name into PGA Tour history. Designed by Larry Packard in 1974, it was originally part of a 27-hole layout before becoming the iconic course it is today. The Copperhead's challenging design, particularly the infamous "Snake Pit" finishing stretch, has been a formidable test for professional golfers since the 1990s, when it hosted the JCPenney Classic, a mixed-team event.

Since 2000, it's been the undisputed champion of the PGA Tour's Valspar Championship, consistently attracting the world's best players to vie for the title. The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Florida tests golfers with its tight fairways and challenging greens.

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6. Augusta National Golf Club

6. Augusta National Golf Club
  • Avg score: 0.96 over par
  • Bogeys: 934
  • Double Bogeys: 113

Augusta National Golf Club, a legend in itself, was born in 1932 from the dream of golfing icon Bobby Jones. Built on the former Fruitland Nurseries site, Jones envisioned a world-class course in his native Georgia. Designed by Alister MacKenzie alongside Jones, Augusta National opened for play that same year. Since 1934, it has become the permanent residence of the Masters Tournament, one of the four men's major championships in professional golf. This unique tradition makes Augusta National the only major played on the same course every year.

As a private club, Augusta National remains highly exclusive. It extended membership invitations only to men until 2012 when Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore were offered membership. Its iconic holes, undulating greens, and notorious Amen Corner test the nerves and shot-making abilities of the world's best golfers. Its pristine landscaping and famously beautiful Azalea blooms are the envy of homeowners every spring.

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5. Muirfield Village Golf Club

5. Muirfield Village Golf Club
  • Avg score: 1.5 over par
  • Bogeys: 1,344
  • Double Bogeys: 175

Born from the vision of golf legend Jack Nicklaus, Muirfield Village Golf Club emerged in 1974. Named after the Scottish course where Nicklaus secured his first career grand slam in 1966, Muirfield Village became a reality after six years of construction. This challenging course, consistently ranked among the top in the U.S. and the world, has been the prestigious host of the Memorial Tournament, a PGA Tour event, since its inception in 1976. The tournament honors individuals who have significantly impacted the game, and Muirfield Village itself continues to be a testament to Nicklaus's enduring legacy.

Muirfield Village Golf Club challenges players with its tight fairways and undulating greens. Nicklaus crafted the course with the intention to create a challenging yet fair game. He performed a major course renovation in 2020 and has referenced that it is mostly likely the final change to the course in his lifetime. Muirfield Village Golf Club hosted the Ryder Cup in 1987, the first time Team Europe won an event held on U.S. soil

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4. Torrey Pines Golf Course - South Course

4. Torrey Pines Golf Course - South Course
  • Avg score: 1.6 over par
  • Bogeys: 1,194
  • Double Bogeys: 116

The Torrey Pines Golf Course's South Course overlooks the Pacific Ocean in San Diego. Designed in 1957 by William F. Bell, it was built on the former grounds of Camp Callan, a World War II military base. Known for its dramatic oceanfront cliffs and challenging layout, the South Course underwent renovations by Rees Jones in 2001 and again by Tom Weiskopf in 2016. This renowned course has twice hosted the prestigious U.S. Open, in 2008 and most recently in 2021, with both tournaments producing thrilling finishes.

Torrey Pines also shares hosting duties for the annual Farmers Insurance Open alongside the North Course. Its rugged terrain and ocean breezes add complexity, making it a challenging venue for PGA events. The South Course is the longest annually played PGA event on the schedule at 7,802 yards. Owned and operated by the city of San Diego, this prestigious course is accessible to golfers of all skill levels who want to play amid the stunning coastline.

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3. Royal Liverpool Golf Club

3. Royal Liverpool Golf Club
  • Avg Score: 1.7 over par
  • Bogeys: 1,557
  • Double Bogeys: 206

Founded in 1869, Royal Liverpool Golf Club's course at Hoylake is one of the oldest and most revered in England. Originally a nine-hole layout that even shared space with a horse racing track, it has grown into a challenging par-71 links course. Royal Liverpool has hosted The Open Championship (commonly called the British Open on this side of the Atlantic) a staggering 13 times, most recently in 2023.

With its rich history and difficult layout, Royal Liverpool Golf Club provides plenty of intrigue and entertainment for players and viewers. The course's unpredictable weather and strategically placed hazards make it a true test of a golfer's skill and resilience.

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2. Los Angeles Country Club - North Course

2. Los Angeles Country Club - North Course
  • Avg. score: 1.8 over par
  • Bogeys: 1,738
  • Double Bogeys: 194

The Los Angeles Country Club's North Course boasts a rich history dating back to 1911. Taking on designs by several people, the course we know today is largely thanks to significant redesigns that occurred in the late 1920s. LACC's North Course hosted the 2023 U.S. Open, the only major championship held at the club to this date. The last time a men's major championship had been held in the LA area was 1995, and the last U.S. Open in the LA area had been in 1948.

Interestingly, the first Los Angeles Open (now known as the Genesis Invitational) was held on the North Course of the Los Angeles Country Club, though that tournament has since moved to a different venue. The North Course of the Los Angeles Country Club has tight fairways and subtle breaks. The pristine conditions and strategic design of the fairways and greens present an interesting challenge for even the most skilled golfers. Its demanding layout has earned it a reputation as one of the toughest tests in Southern California!

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1. Oak Hill Country Club - East Course

1. Oak Hill Country Club - East Course
  • Avg score: 2.7 over par
  • Bogeys: 1,846
  • Double Bogeys: 233

The East Course at Oak Hill Country Club, nestled in Rochester, New York, has a distinguished history dating back to 1924. Designed by legendary golf course architect Donald Ross, a 2019 restoration project by Andrew Green brought the course closer to Ross's original vision.

Throughout its existence, the Oak Hill Country Club East Course has been a frequent host of major PGA Tour events. It has hosted 3 U.S. Open tournaments, 4 PGA Championships (which it most recently held in 2023), two Senior PGA Championships, and one Ryder Cup tournament. This course has earned a reputation as one of the most challenging courses on the PGA Tour. A combination of demanding layouts, strategic hazards, complex greens, and significant length make the course a formidable trial.

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