The Return of ‘TPC Impossible’: Toughest composite course on PGA Tour in 2022
Arguably the greatest grand opening in modern golf course design took place last year with the unveiling of TPC Impossible.
OK, so we’re a lot biased.
The composite course that features the most difficult holes from the 2021-22 PGA Tour season, by number, drew more bruised egos than rave reviews, but who’s counting? No other golf course in the world could claim holes from Augusta National, Kiawah’s Ocean Course and Torrey Pines (we hear that course produces some great leaderboards).
While it may be fictional, TPC Impossible is just that – impossible. The poor souls, also made-up, who got the chance to test their games on it agreed. Many of them, in fact, complained that it was too hard, so what did we do? We went to work to make it harder – by more than a half-shot.
Why be complacent? Only three holes from last year’s routing were kept as part of this extensive, $7.4 billion redesign (or is it a renovation?) – Augusta National’s fifth hole, Memorial Park’s 14th and Port Royal’s oceanside par-3 16th – and the par was bumped up from 68 to 70 while more than 400 yards were added, pushing the total length over 8,000.
We said last year that TPC Impossible made the Green Mile look like the Green Millimeter and the Bear Trap like the Bear Claw. The reimagined TPC Impossible takes things a few steps further, making Hogan’s Alley look like the Katy Freeway (26 lanes!) and the Horrible Horseshoe like the Hanging Horseshoe.
Anyway, here’s the new-and-improved TPC Impossible:
Scoring average: 38.066-38.619–76.685 (+6.685)
1 – Augusta National
Length: 445 yards
Scoring average: 4.3
Birdies were tough to come by on the opening hole at this year’s Masters. Just 17 were made while players combined for 10 double bogeys and one other. It didn’t help that the fairway ranked second toughest to hit all week.
Next toughest: Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Par 4, 495 yards, 4.292
2 – TPC Twin Cities
Length: 468 yards
Scoring average: 4.422
Players found the water off the tee a whopping 73 times – or 16% of all tee shots – in 72 holes during the 3M Open. As a result, 43 double bogeys (a season high) and nine triples were made. No other second hole on Tour yielded more than 26 doubles and four triples or worse.
Next toughest: The Country Club, Par 3, 215 yards, 3.389
3 – The Country Club
Length: 499 yards
Scoring average: 4.248
While the toughest third hole last season, it was only the sixth toughest among the 18 holes at TCC. But the third green was the most difficult to hit from the fairway (48%) during the U.S. Open. Cameron Young made a quad here in Round 2 of the U.S. Open, though three holes after that he aced the sixth hole.
Next toughest: TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, Par 3, 225 yards, 3.189
4 – St. George’s Golf and Country Club
Length: 474 yards
Scoring average: 4.401
Not only did the field find the green in regulation just 37% of the time – and only 10% when approaching from the right rough – but the scrambling rate was just 40%. No wonder there were 160 bogeys, 22 doubles and three triples.
Next toughest: Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, Par 4, 505 yards, 4.345
5 – Augusta National
Length: 495 yards
Scoring average: 4.332
Of the par-4s at Augusta National, only the 11th hole yielded fewer birdies. Just 13 birdies were made in 72 holes at No. 5, which produced the highest putting average, the fewest one-putts (78) and the second most three-putts (28). Scottie Scheffler parred this hole each round en route to winning the green jacket this year.
Next toughest: Colonial Country Club, Par 4, 481 yards, 4.302
6 – PGA National (Champion)
Length: 479 yards
Scoring average: 4.378
Players just couldn’t hit this green at the Honda Classic, as there was a 29.7% GIR percentage. That percentage included only 12 of 73 players notching a GIR in the third round. And if you found the right rough off the tee, you found the green with your approach less than 16% of the time.
Next toughest: Southern Hills, Par 3, 214 yards, 3.237
7 – Monterey Peninsula Country Club (Shore)
Length: 226 yards
Scoring average: 3.312
The first non-par-4 at TPC Impossible. In three rounds during this year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, this hole yielded 11 birdies and 53 bogeys or worse. Much harder than that other memorable seventh hole on the MP.
Next toughest: TPC Sawgrass (Stadium), Par 4, 451 yards, 4.227
8 – Spyglass Hill
Length: 399 yards
Scoring average: 4.417
Another Pro-Am rota layout. More three-putts (17) than birdies (15) were recorded on this hole in three rounds.
Next toughest: The Renaissance Club, Par 4, 448 yards, 4.392
9 – Bay Hill
Length: 480 yards
Scoring average: 4.312
Bay Hill is well represented at TPC Impossible, and that doesn’t even include its three toughest holes. The front-nine finisher is the fourth most difficult at Arnie’s Place with a tournament-low 21 birdies being recorded here at this year’s API.
Next toughest: TPC Twin Cities, Par 4, 502 yards, 4.298
10 – Vidanta Vallarta
Length: 475 yards
Scoring average: 4.409
This hole played tougher at the Mexico Open than the hardest hole at the U.S. Open. It’s a 475-yard par-4 where you can’t really hit driver (278.9-yard average), probably can’t hit the green in regulation (32.9%) and definitely will struggle to gain strokes with the putter (-0.03 SGP).
Next toughest: The Country Club, Par 4, 499 yards, 4.391
11 – TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm
Length: 470 yards
Scoring average: 4.489
There are some difficult No. 11 holes on the PGA Tour, but this one was the third hardest of any hole number – and the hardest non-No. 18 – thanks to 153 bogeys, 34 doubles, six others and some really poor weather. Martin Laird notched a ‘9’ here during this year’s Wells Fargo.
Next toughest: Augusta National, Par 4, 520 yards, 4.477
12 – Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club
Length: 490 yards
Scoring average: 4.306
Torrey’s 12th hole got dethroned this year by the second toughest hole at the 2021 Zozo. Twelve doubles and 93 bogeys were carded at No. 12 during that event – oh, and 17 three-putts.
Next toughest: Torrey Pines (South), Par 4, 505 yards, 4.29
13 – The Country Club
Length: 440 yards
Scoring average: 4.341
No hole at TCC caused more doubles (28) while the field found the fairway off the tee just 42.5% of the time. Jinichiro Kozuma recorded a quad here in Round 2 of the U.S. Open. On the flip side, Matt Fitzpatrick drained a huge birdie at No. 13 on Sunday en route to his maiden major title.
Next toughest: St. Andrews Links (Old), Par 4, 465 yards, 4.301
14 – Memorial Park
Length: 529 yards
Scoring average: 4.353
We didn’t touch a thing when it came to TPC Impossible’s 14th hole as Memorial Park’s monster par-4 again shows up on this list. A 27.9% GIR rate in 2021, and when players did hit the green, they averaged 59 feet, 2 inches from the hole.
Next toughest: Harbour Town, Par 3, 192 yards, 3.273
15 – Bay Hill
Length: 467 yards
Scoring average: 4.307
Out of bounds lurks left and a crop of trees right on this dogleg-right hole. We’re honestly surprised the fairway was just the seventh hardest to hit at this year’s API. Not a popular hole on Tour, but it’s perfect for TPC Impossible.
Next toughest: The Country Club, Par 4, 510 yards, 4.305
16 – Port Royal Golf Course
Length: 235 yards
Scoring average: 3.341
Another hole with seemingly nowhere to bail out off the tee – only this happens to be a par-3 with the ocean left, a hill right and usually strong winds and inclement weather affecting the shot. Just hit it on the green, right? Well, just 90 of 399 tee balls did so at the 2021 Butterfield.
Next toughest: Vidanta Vallarta, Par 4, 505 yards, 4.338
17 – St. Andrews Links (Old)
Length: 495 yards
Scoring average: 4.456
The Road Hole continues to stand the test of time as one of the hardest holes in golf. Its 199 bogeys or worse allowed ranked second highest on Tour last season.
Next toughest: Vidanta Villarta, Par 3, 226 yards, 3.28
18 – The Renaissance Club
Length: 483 yards
Scoring average: 4.617
The Scottish Open’s finishing hole was the hardest hole on the PGA Tour last season. Its six birdies allowed was the fewest of any hole and its 211 bogeys were the most by 48! Amazingly, no player made worse than double on the hole, though 40 doubles were carded. Xander Schauffele bogeyed No. 18 Friday-Sunday during his victory this year.
Next toughest: TPC Sawgrass (Stadium), Par 4, 462 yards, 4.53