When it comes to golf, people are always looking for the best of the best.
The top drivers, the top golf shoes, the top tips the top courses.
What you don’t get to hear much about is the worst of the worst!
Your favorite golf course is going to be much different from your friend’s favorite golf course.
Choosing the best places to play is certainly a personal decision.
However, these five courses are not making it to very many top lists.
Each of them has a different reason for being on the worst end of things, and you will soon see why!
Top 5 Worst Golf Courses In The World
1. Furnace Creek Golf Course
Location: Death Valley, CA
If you have never heard of Death Valley, it is best to start there.
Death Valley, California, is a desert valley.
It is one of the hottest places not just in the United States but on the planet Earth.
You can compare the heat in this area of the world to the temperature you would feel in the Middle East and the Sahara.
Indeed, when you are thinking of crossing a desert, you may not think about having your golf clubs on your back.
Yes, even in the middle of the summer.
When playing Furnace Creek, you will be 214 feet below sea level.
Temperatures will quickly reach 115 degrees.
Being down in a 214-foot hole in the middle of the summer with no breeze and no cold air could take anyone down.
Now add in playing golf, and things can get even trickier.
The design of the Furnace Creek Golf Course is not terrible; the problem is the fact that when playing golf in conditions like these, it becomes more about survival than scoring.
You will most likely want to get this round of golf completed as fast as you possibly can, and it will probably not have a significant effect on your game.
When playing Furnace Creek, you will notice that there are no sand bunkers.
The bunkers will be grass because the sand doesn’t tend to last when one of the windstorms picks up.
Be thankful that there is no sand blowing in your face while playing this course!
Furnace Creek is the lowest altitude golf course in the world, and on some of it’s worst days temperatures of 130 degrees have been recorded.
If you have any type of medical condition, this is a golf course to stay very far away from.
Playing in the winter is much more bearable, but you are still going to need to be prepared for some warmer days.
Unless you are a thrill seeker interested in survival type golf, this may be a golf course you skip.
2. Royal Columbo Golf Course
Location: Sri Lanka
The Royal Columbo Golf Course in Sri Lanka has been around quite some time.
Some may say that the history and the years behind this course should keep it off of the worst list, but we tend to disagree.
There are a few things about this golf course that would keep most amateur golfers from spending their Saturday morning at Royal Columbo.
Overall the facilities and the design of the golf course are at best mediocre.
Unless things have changed recently at Royal Columbo, you are forced to play with a caddy.
We are all for keeping the locals employed, but it seems unfair to be forced into using a caddy, especially when they are not well trained.
Certainly, paying for a tour-level caddy is worth the money and is truly a treat to play with, but being forced to take an untrained caddy along for a walk is not pleasant.
Unfortunately, we haven’t even really gotten to the reason why Royal Columbo makes the worst list.
The course layout and design are a bit boring.
You will not find many variations in the structure of each golf hole.
The course conditions are never all that well kept up either.
The worst part is the train.
Yes, you read that right.
There is a train that travels through Royal Columbo.
It’s not just one hole that you will see this train; it cuts through four holes of golf.
The train is loud, it is distracting, and sometimes the passengers will yell and scream at the golfers on the course.
Golf is supposed to be a game of peace and serenity.
It is a way to enjoy nature while still being athletic and enjoying a sport.
Having to listen to a train coming through the course while you are about to tee off or make a putt is just not enjoyable.
Although some may consider this a novelty, we think of it as an inconvenience.
If you want to see Royal Columbo when you are in the area to get a feel for the culture and history, that is fine.
Don’t be surprised if this is not the most enjoyable round of your golfing career.
3. One Boat Golf Club
Location: Ascension Island
The One Boat Golf Club is located in a part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena.
This golf course is located on a volcanic island.
The One Boat Golf Club is a par 67 golf course.
Even the government in Saint Helena calls this the world’s worst golf course.
We have to agree that if not the worst, it is pretty close to the top.
The One Boat Golf Club does not have greens; instead, it has “browns.”
The browns are made of crushed compacted lava.
They also have a bit of beach sand mixed in.
Once the greens are smoothed out, and in place, they flatten them with diesel oil.
Where most golf courses will have a maintenance crew to come out and take care of the greens each morning, the One Boat Club does not.
Every few months, they will add oil to the greens to make sure they are smooth, but some will argue it doesn’t do all that much.
One Boat Golf Club is going to be very far from your traditional golf environment.
There isn’t any grass at all at the One Boat Golf Club.
If you aren’t sure if you are on the fairway or not, you can look for the large volcanic rocks and boulders that will indicate that you have left the fairway.
The One Boat Golf Club is not a bustling environment like you would quite expect.
Most times, the golf clubhouse is closed, and you put your greens fees into a box they leave for you.
Overall the cost to play this golf course is rather inexpensive, but we don’t recommend using your golf clubs.
Since there is no grass and rocks everywhere, One Boat can do some pretty severe damage to your golfing equipment.
You can rent clubs from a local spot in town, which is what we highly suggest doing.
Anytime you are hitting off of sand or dirt, you can make some small imperfections in your clubs.
We worry most about the greens on this golf course ruining your putter.
If you happen to play with high-end design, the sand and oil could do some severe damage to the face.
Certainly, it will not be worth having to buy a new putter just to play One Boat.
This is an experience type golf course, but it is going to be far from ideal if you are working on your game or scoring.
Regardless of how good you are at golf, its not worth ruining your complete set of golf clubs to say you played well at One Boat.
4. Chambers Bay
Location: Tacoma, WA
Some golf courses made this list for their condition, others for the design or imperfections, and Chambers Bay makes a list for en entirely different reason; it’s difficulty.
Playing a challenging golf course is a good thing for some players.
It allows you to step outside of your comfort zone as a player and work on different shots in your game.
Difficult golf courses can sometimes help you focus and have some of the best rounds of your life.
Sometimes golf courses take this too far, and the course goes from playable to impossible
Chambers Bay has hosted a US Open, and it has tons of unique features that viewers found quite interesting.
However, golfers didn’t find these features quite as exciting.
For starters, there is a shared fairway between the 1st and the 18th hole.
This is interesting but also a bit inconvenient.
Another hole has an 80-foot drop with two greens.
Certainly, an 80-foot drop is nothing like playing in a 214-foot hole like the Furnace Creek Course, but it still makes for a unique golf hole.
The Chambers Bay course was previously a gravel mine, and some concrete structures around the course will bring up memories from those days.
The greens at Chambers Bay are not only tricky to putt on, but they are difficult to read.
When the professionals played this golf course, they struggled to have any idea what the ball was going to do even when very close to the hole.
Gary Player, a former US Open winner, is not a fan of Chambers Bay.
In fact, he called it “impossible.”
The problem with making a golf course so complicated and then making it accessible to the public is that the rounds of golf can take a very long time.
If you want to venture out and test your game, you may be out there a while.
Prepare to be tested both physically and mentally while playing Chambers Bay.
If Gary Player thought it was hard, imagine what it may do to a 20 handicappers game.
5. Francistown Golf Club
Last on our list is Francistown Golf Club in Botswana.
The worst part of this golf course is that there is no grass.
If you think the game of golf is challenging when there is grass, get ready to see how it can be without grass.
Although when you hit your drive, you may enjoy some extra roll out of dirt fairway, try to get a ball to spin or stop on a green.
When you play Francistown Golf Club, it is almost impossible to distinguish fairway from rough.
It can be hard even to determine which way the golf course is headed.
Be prepared to spend a day being exposed to some sand, dust, and dirt.
You may not want to wear your white pants the day you play this course.
Since the course conditions are so rough, there is a local rule that you can place a tee in the ground or use a piece of carpet to hit your shot.
Yes, your caddy will walk around with a piece of carpet in addition to carrying your golf clubs.
Since there is no grass at Francistown, you may be wondering how the rough can be that difficult.
Unfortunately, the rough is filled with thorns and small brush plants; in all honestly, you will very likely sacrifice your ball if it heads into the rough.
The greens are certainly not green, and in fact, they are called browns.
They are a mixture of sand and engine oil.
When your shot lands on the green, you are allowed to move any rocks between you and the cup.
You are also able to smooth the path between your ball and the hole.
This makes putting on the browns a bit easier, but it is still a skill that most golfers have not quite developed.
The problem most golfers have with Francistown is that it becomes difficult to watch a good shot continually turn bad.
Since the fairways are so rough and the greens are so hard, you can be headed right at the pin only to watch your shot take a giant leap.
That giant leap may have you ending up in the rough, back in the thorns and faced with more trouble than before.
Nobody said golf was a fair sport, but Francistown makes it even more unfair.
With the amount of rain they get in a year, it would not be possible to have a lush green golf course.
Considering the closest green course is several hundred miles away, most golfers that play Francistown seem just to take what they can get.
As golf lovers, this much we can understand.
A golf course comes in all shapes and sizes.
What you think is an excellent course that may be rated terribly by a golf course review website.
Most people like a golf course because it fits their game well.
If you happen to slice the ball and you play a course with no trouble down the right side, you may have a new favorite.
If you are a great putter and play a course with challenging greens, your game may excel, and this course will move towards the top of your list.
However, there are a few things that all golfers consider part of a great golf course.
Those things are condition, quality, and design.