There’s nothing quite like a well-kept golf course; one with pristine greens, incredible water features, and stunning views. However, the beauty of a course can be deceiving. Golf is a challenging game, and the course plays a huge role in how a player’s game turns out. Discover some of the hardest golf courses in the U.S. 

The Ocean Course

The Ocean Course is located at the Kiawah Island Gold Resort in South Carolina. Known for its sandy fairways and sweetgrass greens, this golf course is truly one-of-a-kind. According to the U.S. Golf Association, the course has a 155 slope rating and a 79.1 championship course rating. Although the course adopted the nickname “Looney Dunes” because of its rough winds at the 1991 Ryder Cup, many pro golfers still favor the course.

Oakmount Country Club

Many golfers fear the Oakmount course mainly for its notorious church pews bunker. The iconic obstacle is comprised of more than 100 yards of berms surrounded with sand on the third and fourth holes. On top of the bunker, Oakmount also has one of the toughest starting holes in professional golf. It only makes sense that the Pennsylvania golf course has hosted some of the most famous U.S. Opens.

Ko’olau Golf Club

This stunning Hawaiian golf course is so difficult that the United States Golf Association (USGA) claimed it to be over their set slope limits; the course ended up with a score of 162 when they tested it. The Ko’olau has since made changes and it now sits at a 153. Just a few of the reasons Ko’olau remains one of the most challenging courses is due to the surrounding Hawaiian jungle, 80 deep bunkers, and six deep ravines.

Bethpage Black Course

The Black course is one of five golf courses located at the Bethpage State Park in Long Island, New York. The Black course is long and made up of twisty fairways, challenging rough, deceptive plateau greens, and massive bunkers. The publicly owned course even features an intimidating sign warning players of its extreme difficulty. At the 2002 U.S. open, Tiger Woods became the only player to break par at the course.

Whistling Straits

There’s a reason why Whistling Straits is among the hardest golf courses in the United States. Located on an abandoned Army bombing range off the shores of Lake Michigan, the course features 967 bunkers that reach heights up to 70 feet. Inspired by famous seaside golf courses in Ireland, Whistling Straits will be hosting the Ryder Cup in 2020. Be sure to tune in and admire the beauty of this course for yourself!

These are just a few of the hardest golf courses located in the United States—courses that even PGA pro golfers fear playing. However, if you think you’re up for the challenge, we recommend trying a course simulator before visiting the real thing. Good luck out there!