‘Absolute joke’: Billy Horschel rips impossible hole location at high school event

A girl putts on Friday to the 18th hole at River Valley Golf Course in Adel, Iowa.

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He sympathized and complimented the girls. Then Billy Horschel ripped the officials. 

Yes, a golf hole in central Iowa, set during a high school state tournament, has even reached the PGA Tour. 

In case you missed it, the 76 girls who played Friday’s second round of the two-day event at River Valley Golf Course in Adel, Iowa, finished with one of the wilder pin locations you’ll see. And scores soared and comments came. In question was a hole set toward the front third of a severely sloped back-to-front green on the 280-yard, par-4 18th, where multiple players putted off it and scorecards reflected the damage; according to the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s website, four players parred the hole, 12 bogeyed it, nine double-bogeyed — and 51 “othered.”

18th green River Valley Golf Course
Impossible pin location at 18 causes chaos at high school state championship
By: Kevin Cunningham

And folks weighed in. The scene went viral after Jake Brend, a reporter with the ABC affiliate in Des Moines, tweeted out a short clip of the damage

“That hole belongs on a crazy golf course,” one person wrote. “The grass should have been cut to a lower stimp in my opinion. Some of those putts got to within a foot from the pin and rolled off the green. I’m surprised there weren’t a few snapped putters in shot”

“This was heartbreaking to watch yesterday,” another person wrote. “It had NOTHING to do with reading a green. Our kids waited 45 min to even tee off on that hole. Putting took up to 30 min for a group. Took my daughter from 3rd place to 8th. She will still play in college. it will not define her!”

“I feel for these young ladies,” another person commented. “I commend for for not giving up, and continuing to putt their ball while moving, a la Phil Mickelson at the 2018 US Open at Shinnecock Hills.” 

Billy Horschel weighed in on Saturday on his Instagram story.

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(In case you forgot, Mickelson purposefully stopped his ball with his putter after putting it past the hole on the 13th at Shinnecock. He was penalized and took a 10 on the hole). 

On Saturday morning, Billy Horschel, never shy to express himself, joined in. 

“Feel bad for these girls!” he wrote on his Instagram story. “Absolute joke by these officials to embarrass these young ladies. These officials should be banned from setting up a course in the future. This isn’t a accident … they knew what they were doing when they set up that hole location. I bet these young ladies handled it better than I would!”

As for the golf course itself, GOLF.com reached out on Saturday morning, but a message has not been returned.  

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.