Rankings of the top 5 most challenging golf courses in the world

Rankings of the top 5 most challenging golf courses in the world

Every golf course has its own unique beauty and presents a unique challenge. In certain games, players may find it difficult to navigate the numerous hazards, while in others, they may need to achieve a very low score to place well.

Having said that, playing the most difficult golf courses is certainly especially fulfilling for true golfers. Whether you receive a score of 100 or below, completing a course of this nature is always a life-changing experience.

The world’s top five most challenging golf courses

Since not all golf courses are challenging for the same reasons, the solution is not straightforward. Nonetheless, everyone agrees that the following courses rank among the hardest in the world:

1. The Championship Course at Carnoustie Golf Links

On its official X (previously Twitter) account, this Scottish golf course bills itself as “Golf’s Greatest Test.” Its worldwide renown among gamers does, in fact, justify the moniker.

The course is currently 7402 yards in measure and is graded par 72. Although 63 is the record for 18 holes (Tommy Fleetwood, 2017), this is an amazing achievement. The clearest example of the course’s rating of 77.4 is the story of Sergio Garcia, who broke down in tears at the 1999 Open Championship because of Carnoustie’s difficulty.

Among other elite contests, The Open Championship has been held on the Championship Course eight times, twice for the Women’s British Open and once for the Senior Open Championship.

The history of the course is vast. Even though the club was established in 1842, it is said that golf has been played there since the 16th century. In addition to The Nestie, a free five-hole golf course, the site offers two other golf courses: Burnside and Buddons.

2. Golf Club Augusta National

The Masters Championship’s home course is regarded as the world’s finest golf club. Although there are other factors at play in addition to the course’s difficulty, this particular element has been crucial in elevating The Masters to the status of the premier tournament on the global professional circuit.

The course is presently 7,510 yards long and has a par of 72. With a score of 78, it breaks the record set by Nick Price (1986) and Greg Norman (1996), who scored 63. Since 1934, The Masters have been held annually at Augusta National. Since 2019, it has also served as the venue for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

3. Royal County Down Golf Club

There is also the Northern Irish facility, which has a long history. It was established in 1889 and has held several major events, including the Senior British Open and the Irish Open. It consists of two courses, the Championship Links being the most famous.

Two of the designers were none other than Harry Vardon and Old Tom Morris. The par 71 course is currently 7,186 yards long. The rating for the course is 75.

4. Winged Foot Golf Club

Having opened for play in 1923, this New York course has played host to the US Open six times, the US Women’s Open twice, and the PGA Championship once. Its championship course, the 7,426-yard West Course, has a rating of 76.4, is par 72, and measures 72.

In the history of the US Open, two majors were won at Winged Foot: the 1974 tournament (Hale Irwin, +7) and the 2006 tournament (Geoff Ogilvy, +5).

5. Muirfield

Muirfield, the present location of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, opened its doors in 1891. The Open Championship was held there 16 times, the first in 1892 and the most recent in 2013. The course is par 71 and measures 7245 yards. It has a 73 rating.


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