Sports Illustrated lists the top nine scariest golf course names:
1. Purgatory Golf Club
2. The Devil’s Claw at Whirlwind
3. The Blue Monster at Doral
4. Hell’s Point Golf Club
5. Deep Cliff Golf Course
6. Shark River Golf Course
7. Devil’s Lake Golf Course
8. The Monster Course at Concord
9. Bigfoot Golf & Country Club
My thoughts on the list: Golf course names are, predictably, not that scary. How about these:
- Scariest shot: Long bunker shot with water behind the green.
- Scariest closing hole: Long par four with water right, perhaps.
- Scariest looking golf clubs: Cleveland VAS irons – the ones Corey Pavin used to play. I used them for several years.
I played for the first time in months today. I’ve been hitting range balls every few days for weeks now, savoring the final golfable days of the fall season in New England. The course was beautiful, empty and quiet. The foliage was in full swing. For nine holes, I walked through a corridor of color. The brick red and muted yellow leaves reminded me of high school golf. Back then, the leaves were distractions. They coved up my ball in the fairway and littered my putting line. This afternoon, though, the leaves were a perfect backdrop.
Saying I played nine holes is a little misleading. I basically took the range onto the course and got my $22 worth by playing five to eight balls per hole. It was much more enjoyable than hitting balls on the range, although my weaknesses were highlighted. I drove the ball well. I hit my irons well. I hit some miraculous flop-shots. Putting it all together, however, is something that I’m saving for my next late-fall round.
The toughest courses on the PGA Tour in 2007:
1. Oakmont Country Club (The U.S. Open)
* Avg strokes over par = 5.705
2. Augusta National Golf Club (The Masters)
* Avg strokes over par = 3.881
3. Southern Hills (The PGA Championship)
* Avg strokes over par = 3.016
4. Firestone South C.C. (WGC – Bridgestone)
* Avg strokes over par = 2.787
5. Carnoustie Golf Links (Open Championship)
* Avg strokes over par = 2.381
Looking at the top five courses with regard to the winning score, it is even more apparent that the U.S. Open and the Masters were the toughest tests of golf. Angel Cabrera’s winning score of +5 at the U.S. Open is just under the average strokes over par. Zach Johnson’s winning score of +1 at the Masters bested the average strokes over par by 2.881 shots.
The bottom three courses were less difficult for their tournament’s winners. Tiger Woods won the the PGA and the WGC with totals of -8 and Padraig Harrington shot -7 at the Open.
It seems clear that the U.S. Open and the Masters did a better job of keeping the entire field together, although there was a playoff at the British Open.