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PGA Tour: Five toughest courses in 2023

With 38 PGA Tour events to take in across 2023, there are a wide range of courses that will be hosting the tournaments and there are some that will present sterner tests than others.

Before we get into the five toughest courses on our list, the chosen venues for the four major championships have been left off - these being Augusta (The Masters), Los Angeles CC (US Open), Royal Liverpool (The Open) and Oak Hill CC (PGA Championship). 

A special mention also goes to The Riviera Country Club, which stages The Genesis Invitational, after it only just failed to make the list. 

There are similarities from this course to Augusta National and a good performance provides a potential early inclination for a Masters winner in April. 

Moving swiftly on, here are our five toughest courses on the PGA Tour in 2023. 

Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course)

Host of the Farmers Insurance Open since 1968, the South Course at Torrey Pines is an absolute beast and is the longest on the PGA Tour, measuring a mammoth 7765 yards. 

The San Diego track has hosted the US Open twice, with Tiger Woods winning an epic playoff against Rocco Mediate in 2008 and Jon Rahm claiming the spoils in 2021 after finishing the event on six-under-par. 

Situated atop cliffs towering above the Pacific Ocean, the sloping fairways, tight fairways, punishing rough and protected greens make this a real test. 

Bay Hill Club & Lodge

At 7466 yards, the par-72 Bay Hill Club & Lodge is the 10th longest course on the PGA Tour and it was statistically the hardest course on the US circuit during the 2020/21 season. 

The average score was 74.106 and it ranked 2.106 shots over par, highlighting just how difficult a test this course can be when the conditions turn. 

Scottie Scheffler won the Arnold Palmer Invitational this year after finishing on five-under-par. There have only been two times before where a worse score has won the tournament - Mike Nicolette in 1983 (-1) and Tyrrell Hatton in 2020 (-4). 

TPC at Sawgrass (THE PLAYERS Stadium Course) 

The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is the host venue for The Players Championship, which has been dubbed the unofficial 'fifth major' due to the high-class fields that participate and the prize money on offer. 

While birdies can be had, high numbers can easily be racked up when the wind picks up and this was seen during the 2022 tournament as the field struggled with the blustery conditions. 

The wind troubles were especially evident on the par-three 17th hole, with several of the tee shots to the island green that is surrounded by water ending up in the drink. 

The 18th is also a fantastic closer with the par-four hole protected by water all the way down the left side, and this hazard usually results in players going out to the right, which can see them blocked out and stuck in claggy rough if they push their tee shot too much. 

Muirfield Village Golf Club

This par-72 course measures 7,392 yards and has been the host of The Memorial Tournament since 1976, when Roger Maltbie beat Hale Irwin in a playoff. 

Muirfield Village Golf Club was the second-hardest course in regards to strokes over par during the 2020/21 season, averaging 2.007. 

Designed by Jack Nicklaus, there was a complete renovation after the 2020 Memorial event, with every green complex redone, bunkers were enlarged and deepened, and some positions of greens were moved. 

Olympia Fields Country Club (North Course)

The North Course at Olympia Fields has a long, prestigious history, having hosted the US Open in 1928 and 2003, while also staging the PGA Championship in 1925 and 1961. 

In more recent times, the 2017 Women's PGA was held here and also the 2020 BMW Championship, part of the FedEx Cup playoffs. 

Spaniard Rahm managed to come out on top in the BMW that year, finishing on four-under-par before overcoming Dustin Johnson in a playoff. 

The North Course is routed over naturally rolling terrain, and makes liberal use of Butterfield Creek, which winds its way through seven holes to catch any errant shots. 

Additional length has been added over the years, with the par-70 now measuring 7,343 yards, while bunkers have also been deepened to make life tougher.

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