"SCARIEST" GOLF COURSES ON THE PGA TOUR

PGA National.jpg

We’ve all experienced a little bit of fear out on the golf course. Whether it’s staring down at a 200+ yard carry over water, looking out at a fairway lined by white stakes, or preparing for an approach shot into the green with hazards all around, it can take courage and commitment to avoid catastrophe.

Golf can be an intimidating, challenging, and even scary game. This is only magnified under the pressure of playing at the PGA TOUR level on PGA TOUR golf courses, where the entire layout can present a daunting test.

To determine some of the hardest golf courses that professionals face on the PGA TOUR, we asked a few of the best players in the world to break down the most difficult courses they play and how they adapt their mindsets to overcome any lingering fear.

RORY MCILROY

What is the Hardest Golf Course on the PGA TOUR?

The PGA National's Champion Course, which hosts the Honda Classic, is the most challenging test I face on the PGA TOUR each year. The course is heavily defended by bunkers and water hazards, so when the wind blows (which is most days!) it makes for a tough test.

What Makes it the Most Difficult Golf Course?

Water is present on 16 of the 18 holes, so there is a premium on accuracy off the tee and with approach shots to the green. And after 14 challenging holes we reach the infamous Bear Trap, which can ruin a good scorecard in one shot!

What Strategy or Mindset Do You Use to Play Well at that Venue?

Position off the tee is hugely important around the PGA National as the rough is generally thick and water is everywhere. Then from the fairway, it is possible to attack the pins as the greens are quite large. I have had mixed results at the Honda Classic over the years.... with a win and a 2nd to my name but also some missed cuts! Every year, you learn something new about the place.

Bear Trap.jpgBeware of The Bear Trap at PGA National

JUSTIN ROSE

What is the Hardest Golf Course on the PGA TOUR?

TPC Sawgrass is definitely the most challenging test we face year in year out on TOUR.

What Makes it the Most Difficult Golf Course?

The closing stretch is just so tough… it’s hard not to get ahead of yourself [mentally].

What Strategy or Mindset Do You Use to Play Well at that Venue?

You really need to stay focused and not press. Each shot is so demanding that you cannot afford to think ahead to what’s to come on that final three-hole stretch.

Sawgrass 17.jpgThe short par-3 17th has proven to be more difficult than it appears on paper

JON RAHM

What is the Hardest Golf Course on the PGA TOUR?
THE PLAYERS Championship (TPC Sawgrass).

What Makes it the Most Difficult Golf Course?

There’s trouble lurking everywhere. And that’s even before you have to hit tee shots on 17 and 18!

What Strategy or Mindset Do You Use to Play Well at that Venue?

Just do my best to find ways to hit good shots and try to miss in spots where I can play my ball.

Sawgrass 18.jpgThe final hole at TPC Sawgrass presents a tight tee shot and lots of water

While TaylorMade’s PGA TOUR staff may not feel the same fear that some of us amateurs experience over our shots, they face serious challenges out on the courses the play. From the assessments of McIlroy, Rose, and Rahm, it is clear that tight fairways and lurking hazards present the toughest challenges for the Tour’s elite.

For all golfers, the key to surviving the most difficult golf courses is to play for your misses, stay in the moment, and focus on the individual shot at hand.

Go out and face your fears.