Top 50 toughest golf courses in the U.S.

They may not be the courses you want to play everyday, but every golfer from time to time wants to see how their game stacks up on the most difficult golf courses they can find.

We pored over more than 1 million reviews at Golf Advisor to uncover the most difficult public golf courses according to you, our reviewer community. When you write a review, one of the optional fields is “Course Difficulty.” There are five choices, and we converted each option (from Extremely Easy to Extremely Difficult) into a numerical rating from 1 to 5 to determine an average difficulty score for each public golf course in the United States.

About 35% of our reviews have a difficulty rating, giving us more than 350,000 ratings dating back to September of 2012. Our community’s skill level in golf is pretty reflective of the overall avid, amateur golf population:

The resulting 50 courses include watery southeast courses, undulating mountain courses and tactical desert courses. It’s also extremely heavy in the usual architecture suspects: Pete Dye (7), Jack Nicklaus (9) and the Jones family tree (9).

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Top 50 Toughest Public Golf Courses in the U.S. based on Golf Advisor reviews