Death Valley, CA, 2006

Devil’s Golf Course

My wife, Barbara, is a golfer. So are many of our neighbors. I am not. These Dog Days of summer in the Deep South, the midday temperatures routinely reach the mid 90’s, not counting the heat index. So, when they say they are going out to play golf, I think of this place. “The Devil’s Golf Course” is a section of Death Valley not far from Badwater, the lowest point in North America. This rough ground may look like a plowed field to someone who has walked through one, but these “clods” do not crush underfoot. It’s sun-baked as hard as stone and the ridges can be as sharp as a knife’s edge, and even walking carefully one could slice into a rubber soled shoe. And if you fall down….

For more photographs, go to

  1. Mildred

    Hey, Looks like a picture from Rover from Mars ……….What caused the earth to do this horror? Sad. Our entire planet was so beautiful once……and now, all drying up everywhere. Rivers, streams, lakes, ……..nothing is as it was and getting worse each day. Thanks for the picture….more will unfortunately be like this…one day that once thrived with beautiful life. Very, very sad.

    1. bdurrence

      In this case, the landscape is a natural result of terrain. As any water drains into Death Valley from the higher altitudes on the east and west, it has nowhere to go. In some areas, as the water evaporates in the very high heat and baking sunlight, it creates a salt pan; here it’s this broken field.

  2. John Bassett

    What kind of stone is this?

    1. bdurrence

      Just very hard salt-laden dirt.