The 11 toughest tee times in America

It’s hard to get to Fishers Island. It is almost impossible to play it.

LC Lambrecht

The courses on our latest US Top 100 vary widely in their difficulty, and we don’t mean the shots it takes to get around them. We mean ease of access – clubs that are so unique they’re not easily recognized. With that in mind – and using the new Top 100 as an excuse to revisit this list – here in our step-by-step rankings, we’ll focus on the 11 courses where the toughest part is coming.

Augusta National, Augusta, Ga.

Hello friends. Please enjoy our broadcast with minimal commercial interruption. Marvel at the colors of magnolias and dogwoods as you hear the soothing birdsong. By Sunday night, you’ll swear you know every hill and hollow of Alistair McKenzie’s most famous course, which is good, because unless you’ve made friends with your fellow Peyton Manning fans, playing it yourself isn’t going to be in the game. cards. (Ranked 7th in GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in America)

Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, Ill.

One of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association, which was formed in 1894, the Chicago Golf Club has been around for a long time to attract many members. There are only two hundred. And when you play, one must be with you. (Ranked 13th in Golf’s Top 100 Courses in America)

Crystal Downs Country Club, Frankfort, Mich

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As architecture buffs begin to rave about Alistair McKenzie’s stateside masterpieces, you’re sure to flock to this northern Michigan treasure, the coastal beauty of Cypress Point and the institutional name of Augusta National, but for many. Eyes, either of them are fine. (Ranked 20th on Golf’s Top 100 Courses in America)

Crystal Downs Country Club in Frankfort, Mich

Patrick Coin

Cypress Point Golf Club, Monterey, California

“They had a big membership drive in Cypress one year,” Bob Hope once told the club he was at. “Fire 40 members” Today there is a list of about 250 people who are ready to access the beaches that can be passed for the national park. (Ranked 2nd in GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in America)

Garden City Golf Club, Garden City, NY

What’s in a name? The origin of Devereux’s superior Emmett design, the Zish-Shish Club was originally known as the Garden City Men’s Club, a name that excluded roughly half of humanity. Currently, women have very limited access. The same goes for the rest of us. (Ranked 28th on Golf’s Top 100 Courses in America)

Garden City Golf Club in Garden City, NY

Patrick Coin

Fishers Island Club, Fishers Island, NY

An island, both literally and figuratively, this Seth Raynor design sits in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the eastern tip of Long Island, accessible only by boat or private plane and inaccessible to the average bike. The money here is old and quiet. In the year In 1979, when GOLF included Fishers Island in its first ranking of the world’s greatest courses, a club representative wrote a letter to the editor: Thanks for the kudos, it read. Now, please remove us from your list.. (Ranked 9th in America’s Top 100 Golf Courses)

Nanea Golf Club, Big Island, Hawaii

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Nania is not Hawaiian for the “nuya business”. But it can be. Founded by Charles Schwab and supermarket magnate George Roberts, this luxe club has been described as tropical Augusta, serving as a palm-fringed retreat for the rich and privileged, a way to avoid publicity while avoiding the limelight. (Ranked 91st on Golf’s Top 100 Courses in the United States)

Nanea Golf Club in Hawaii.

Carl McKee

Ohope Match Club, Cobbtown, Ga.

At this rustic hideaway, designed by Gil Hanse and Jim Wager for tech tycoon Michael Walrath, par is so low it’s not even listed on the scorecard. The only thing that matters is how you deal with your opponent. Well, knowing the member is also important. There are fewer than 100, and Ohope does not allow unaccompanied play. (Ranked 39th on GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in America)

Pine Valley Golf Club, Pine Valley, NJ

Since everyone is all about data these days, let’s run some numbers. Pine Valley is a world-class course, so everyone wants to play. Unfortunately, most of the members do not live in the area and absentee guests are not allowed. The club doesn’t organize regular fundraisers or corporate trips (a common way to get other premier private courses) and math is hard on you. (Ranked #1 in GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in America)

Pine Valley Golf Club in Pine Valley, NJ

LC Lambrecht

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Seminole Golf Club, Juno Beach, Fla.

To get a feel for life in Seminole, picture your standard Florida golf community. Now imagine the opposite. Ben Hogan once said of this Donald Ross design, “If I were a young man going on the Pro Tour, I’d try to arrange to be on Seminole.” Good advice. Then again, Hogan offers a lot of advice that’s easier said than done. (Ranked 21st in GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in America)

Sand Hills Golf Club, Mullen, Neb

Drive deep into the cornfields of Nebraska, then drive a little farther and a little farther, until the terrain turns into a mountainous dune landscape. When you arrive on the grounds of this private clubhouse, a Bill Pond-Ben Crenshaw wonderland, you’ll realize your mistake this year ahead of Augusta National: Everyone arrived by private jet. (Ranked 6th in GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in America)

josh sens

Josh Sens Contributor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sense has been a contributor to GOLF Magazine since 2004 and now contributes to all GOLF forums. His work has been anthologized in Best American Sports Writing. He is co-author with Sammy Hagar of We’re Having Fun So Far: A Cookbook and Party Guide.


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