Toughest Golf Holes in NJ


If Phil Mickelson’s had trouble with these holes, we can only imagine how we’d look teeing off at these challenging spots on NJ golf courses

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

Urban Agenda highlights some of the toughest spots to tee off in New Jersey.

Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, NJ

Hardest hole: 6 Center, nicknamed “Nickel & Dime”

Designed by A.W. Tillinghast in 1929, the Ridgewood Country Club’s hole number 6 on their center course is their most difficult spot to tee off. According to the Ridgewood Golf Pro, at the 6 Center, golfers aim for a very, very small green that makes for the perfect risk/reward hole. The 275-yard par-4 hole is dubbed the “Nickel & Dime” because in the 1930s players used a 5 iron and 10 iron, which is called a wedge today. In the 2014 PGA tournament in Ridgewood, Phil Mickelson couldn’t even conquer the Nickel & Dime. Twice, while at 6 Center, he hit the ball into the concession stands.

Essex County Country Club in West Orange, NJ

Hardest hole: 11

Another design by A.W. Tilinghast and Seth Raynor, the Essex County Country Club first opened in 1887. A highly rated course, one of its most infamous holes is the 215-yard par-3 hole 11. An Essex County Course Golf Pro calls the hole, “visually intimidating.” To reach the green, golfers must overcome a ravine and a series of bunkers. Although there isn’t an official name for the hole, the Golf Pro claims that everyone knows the wrath of hole number 11.

Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield Township, NJ

Hardest hole: 3 Lower

The 121-year-old golf course designed by Tilinghast deems the 503-yard par-4 hole number 3 its trickiest. Golf Pro Max says the hole is a tight tee shot with a creek running across the second fairway that prevents golfers from running up their first shot. With the PGA Tournament returning to Baltusrol this July, we’ll have to see how the pros handle this challenging hole.

Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, NJ

Hardest hole: 2, named “Middle Road”

In 1998, Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry designed the Hamilton Farm Golf Club along with its toughest hole: the Middle Road. The 125-yard par-5 hole is extremely elevated with lots of undulation. The main drive is up its right side and there are deep bunkers in the middle of the fairway on the second shot which makes it particularly challenging.

Rossmoor Golf Club in Monroe Township, NJ

Hardest hole: 12

Designed by Desmond Muirhead in 1966, the Rossmoor’s course contains two small lakes, and one of them splits hole number 12. This 163-yard par-3 back tee requires golfers to cross over water in order to get to its elevated green.