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KemperSports’ “Scariest” Holes

Golf is a hard game, made even harder by certain holes that have the ability to make you rethink why you play the game in the first place. In celebration of Halloween, take a minute to read about some of the “scariest” and most challenging holes at KemperSports-managed courses where even the pros struggle to break par!

Cantigny Golf: Woodside Course – Hole #2

From the championship tees, the No. 2 par 5 plays 553 yards. It features a creek that runs along the right side of the hole off the tee and cuts across the fairway twice, once at 120 yards out and again right in front of the green. This is a true risk-reward hole. The long ball hitters can go for it in two, but the ideal play is to place your second shot on the approach, leaving you with less than 80 yards into the green, which also gives you the ideal angle onto the green. If you finish this hole with the ball you started with, consider it a hole well played!

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Chambers Bay – Hole #7

Chambers Bay’s seventh hole arguably proves as the most difficult hole across all skill levels. It is not only the longest par 4 on property, but the playing angles around an expansive waste area can make this hole play longer because of the dogleg right. Once you have avoided the waste area off the tee, the hole only seems to get harder with a 20-foot elevated green guarded by a significant false front. When you find the putting green, a perpendicular ridge defines three distinct shelves, creating one of the most difficult par 4 players may come across in their golfing career. The seventh hole played as the hardest to par (stroke play) in the last three USGA Championships (2015 U.S. Open, 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, and 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships)

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Galloping Hill Golf Course – Hole #14

The course, often referred to as “The Hill,” has a reputation as being one of the most challenging courses in the area, and hole 14 is the most challenging of the 18. Playing 437 yards from the black tees, this par 4 features a rolling fairway that has a blind tee shot and a blind approach shot, which leads to a fairly small green.

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The Jewel Golf Club – Hole #11

By just looking at the photo, you can see why this hole made our “most challenging” list! 209 yards from the tips, this par 3 is a forced carry over water to a green surrounded by bunkers. The spectacular views around you will make the challenge worth it! Nestled amongst the grand bluffs of the Mississippi River in Lake City, Minn., The Jewel Golf Club offers an unsurpassed golf experience.

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Lake Spanaway – Hole #12

Though not the longest par 4 on the course, hole 12 at Tacoma’s Lake Spanaway proves to be the most card-wrecking hole during a round. This hole plays significantly uphill off the tee before doglegging sharply to the left and continues to rise to the green. The fairway is heavily tree lined on both sides, and with the dogleg starting about 220 yards off the tee, it is very easy to slip into trouble. The green is elevated, making the putting surface difficult to see. The green is also flanked by bunkers left and right and the terrain falls sharply off on the left. Once you do finally make it to the green, putts have deceptive breaks due to the general tilt of the land. Walking away with a four is an achievement!

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Rock Spring Golf Club – Hole #3

Measuring 201 yards from the black tees, No. 3 is a classic Redan template that features a challenging tee shot to a right-to-left sloping green that is protected by a deep bunker along the left side. Rock Spring’s 6,600-yard, par-71 course sits on a rolling, tree-lined site and features many of legendary architect Seth Raynor’s trademark design elements with truly unique and creative green complexes. Fun fact: Rock Spring is one of only two public courses in the entire country designed by the legendary Raynor.

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Heron Lakes Golf Club: Great Blue Course – Holes #14-16

Heron Lakes’ trio of trouble is widely considered one of the most challenging stretches of golf across Portland. If you can make it to the green without your golf ball going in the water, consider yourself lucky! Every shot brings water into play and all three greens are surrounded by a lake. Here is the hole-by-hole breakdown:
Hole 14: par 4, 376 yards
Hole 15: par 3, 187 yards
Hole 16: par 4, 380 yards

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Whiskey Creek Golf Club – Hole #12

What makes the 12th hole at Whiskey Creek its most challenging also makes it one of the most picturesque holes on property. This arduous hole is bordered by natural valleys and out of bounds on both sides. The valleys are beautiful and filled with natural grasses and native wildflowers that move with the gentle breeze that flows through the property. Don’t let the views fool you though. This hole requires two very accurate shots where the slightest miss can easily find trouble.
The hole starts with an elevated tee shot over one of Whiskey Creek’s many natural areas to a fairway that looks and feels like an island. If the player is skilled enough to find the fairway, they will be faced with an approach shot over another natural area to a two-tiered green that is well protected by two large greenside bunkers. With two forced carries and out of bounds lurking off the tee, par is a great score on the No. 12 at Whiskey Creek!

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All of these courses will put any golfer to the test, so if you are ready for the challenge, make a plan now to check them out! If you want to learn about any of our other amazing courses, check out all our properties here.

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