Golf was invented as a walking game. But in the modern age of course construction where layouts are longer and cover expansive areas across sometimes hilly topography, they can be a difficult slog. Here’s 5 of the toughest for walking golfers.
1.WHISTLING STRAITS (Straits course) – Wisconsin, USA

Massive sand dunes and nearly 1,000 bunkers litter the walking-only layout that has hosted three PGA Championships and will hold the 2020 Ryder Cup. Like so many of the US courses used for championships in recent years, it covers an immense area (560 acres) and designer Pete Dye, in trying to extract the best golf holes from the rugged terrain, left some long treks between greens and tees. The Straits course is a beast and anyone venturing out to test their mental and physical golfing prowess had best be prepared for a long day.


Set at the base of the Ko’olau Mountain range in Hawaii, Ko’olau stretches to 7,310 yards (6,684 metres) across dramatic topography, which offers some of the most breathtaking views you will find on a golf course. The views won’t be the only thing taking your breath away as you climb across the natural folds in the landscape and traverse several ravines throughout the round.

Ko'olau Golf Club, Hawaii
 3.JADE DRAGON SNOW MOUNTAIN – Yunnan Province, China

Here is one course that would be absolute madness to play on foot. Here’s why

It’s not a memorable design, but it is the longest golf course on the planet at 8,548 yards (7,816 metres) and includes the longest par-5 in the world at 711 yards (650 metres).The thin air of its location, more than 3,000 metres above sea level in the Himalayas, does make the golf ball fly 15 to 20 percent further.

The thin air at this altitude can make breathing tough, which is why carts are compulsory and oxygen masks are in every cart.

4.KAPALUA RESORT (Plantation course) – Hawaii, USA

The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort – home of the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions – (pictured above) was simply not designed to be a walking course. The layout is routed over hundreds of acres of old pineapple plantation and grazing land – up and down the side of the West Maui Mountains and there are several lengthy green to tee walks. Most players use a cart but if you want to walk the course, which is not encouraged by the resort, it is manageable.

5.CARNE GOLF LINKS – County Mayo, Ireland

Remote and spectacular, Carne is set among exposed rugged dunes on the Atlantic coast in north-west Ireland. Not only is the terrain often dramatic as it rises and falls over the dunes, it is rare to play here without it being windy.

Carne’s toughest cardio workout comes at the final hole. Having traversed dunes for hours the approach to the final green on the 495-metre par-5 is all uphill – the payoff is the view of Blacksod Bay once you reach the green.

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