15 PGA Tour Courses You Can Play | Podcasts

For most of us, watching the pros play on the PGA Tour is as close as we’ll ever get to playing the same courses as them.

Clubs such as Augusta National, East Lake, and Firestone shut their doors to the general public, with only rich members and their guests allowed to play.

However, it may come as a surprise that there are still multiple high profile courses that are happy to accept the general public through their gates.

Here are my top 15 PGA Tour courses you can play in America that have hosted an event in the last year.

15 – TPC San Antonio, AT&T Oaks Course (San Antonio, Tex.)

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The AT&T Oaks Course closing hole as seen during the Valero Texas Open (Credit: Cohen/Getty)

The Valero Texas Open dates back to 1922, but it was only in 2010 that it moved to its current home at TPC Antonio.

The AT&T Oaks Course was designed by Greg Norman with help from Sergio Garcia, and it sprung to fame in 2011 when Kevin Na recorded a 16 on the ninth hole in the opening round of the tournament.

TPC Antonio also has another 18-hole course, the AT&T Canyons Course, which has hosted the San Antonio Championship on the Champions Tour since 2011.

Tee times on both courses are reserved for those who stay at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa, with packages including golf starting from $220 per person, per night.

14 – Golf Club of Houston, Tournament Course (Houston, Tex.)

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The 17th hole during the 2012 Shell Houston Open (Credit: Getty)

2016 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Shell Houston Open moving from the Member Course to the Tournament. While the Member Course is, as the name suggests, for members only, the Tournament Course is open for public play.

Green fees start from $99 at certain times in midweek, while at weekends expect to pay anyway between $125 and $200 depending on the time of day.

Designed by Rees Jones and 2001 PGA championship winner David Toms, the par 72 course plays just over 7,400 yards from the back tees.

In recent years, the Shell Houston Open has been the last stop on the PGA Tour before the Masters. While many of us dream of being able to one day stroll up the 18th fairway at Augusta, the Golf Club of Houston is not a bad option to fall back on.

13 – TPC Louisiana (Avondale, La.)

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The 18th hole during the Zurich Classic of New Orleans (Credit: Getty)

TPC Louisiana was designed by Pete Dye in 2004 and began hosting the Zurich Classic of New Orleans a year later. The tournament had to be moved in 2006 due to the effects Hurricane Katrina had on the course, but it returned to the PGA Tour schedule in 2007 – where it has remained ever since.

Recent winners of the event include Justin Rose, Jason Dufner and Bubba Watson. The par-72 course plays just under 7,400 yards from the back tees, but scoring-wise it is one of the easier on the PGA Tour – with the average winning score being almost 17-under-par since 2005.

Current rates to play the course range between $99 and $179 for non-residents and $49-$89 for Louisianans.

12 – PGA West, TPC Stadium Course (La Quinta, Calif.)

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The signature par-3 17th hole (Credit: Marilyn Chung/The Desert Sun)

The Stadium Course returned to the PGA Tour’s CareerBuilder Challenge rotation in January after a 19-year absence.

Designed by Pete Dye and opened in 1986, it shortly after played host to the formerly known Bob Hope Classic in 1987, but was removed the following year due to complaints from players that it was too hard.

However, the course returned to our TV screens in 2016, joining the La Quinta Country Club and PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course, which can also be played by the public.

Green fees range from $89 on weekdays to $159 on weekends, with tee times available for resort guests and the general public.

11 – Copperhead Course at Innisbruck Resort (Palm Harbor, Fla.)

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The Copperhead Course is one of four courses at Innisbrook (Credit: Salamander Resorts)

The Copperhead Course at Innisbruck is the course of choice for the Valspar Championship – an event held in March as part of the PGA Tour’s ‘Florida swing’.

Located less than an hour’s drive outside downtown Tampa, Innisbruck has hosted a tour event since 2000, with recent winners including former Masters champions Jordan Spieth and Charl Schwartzel .

Being a resort, only guests can stay and play the four courses, although, with one night and a round of golf starting from $99-$189 per person depending on the season, it’s definitely worth it to play the Copperhead.

10 – PGA National, The Champion Course (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)

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The 17th hole marks the final test of the bear trap (Credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

The Champion Course at PGA National has played host to the Honda Classic on the PGA Tour every year since 2007. It is also home to the Bear Trap, which is made up of arguably the toughest three-hole stretch on tour – the par-3 15th, par-4 16th, and par-3 17th holes.

As with Innisbruck and San Antonio, PGA National is a resort, so access is restricted to guests only. A one-night stay and day of golf on a choice of four courses will cost between $165-$339 per person depending on the season, although the downside is that a surcharge of around $100 applies for the Champion Course.

If you are just looking for golf, the resort is currently offering a full day’s access to all five courses for $159 for the first player and $99 for each additional person. The Champion Course surcharge still applies, however.

9 – TPC Deere Run (Silvis, Illinois)

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The 16th hole during the 2012 John Deere Classic (Credit: Getty)

TPC Deere Run has had its fair share of action since it began hosting the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic in 2000.

The tournament gave wildcard exemptions to Michelle Wie in 2005 and 2006, saw Paul Goydos shoot 59 in the first round in 2010 and was the scene of Jordan Spieth’s breakout victory in 2013.

The John Deere Classic is also the last opportunity for many golfers to gain qualification for the Open Championship the following week, with the sponsor arranging a flight for players to the U.K. that departs following the conclusion of the event.

Green fees for the general public are the cheapest on the list, starting at just $69.

8 – Harbour Town Golf Links (Hilton Head Island, S.C.)

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The famous 18th hole at Hilton Head (Credit: Golf Advisor)

Harbour Town Golf Links is one of the oldest stops on the PGA Tour, having hosted the RBC Heritage since 1969.

While Houston has often been the venue the week before the Masters, Hilton Head Island traditionally hosts the week after. Although this may deter some of the top players from competing, the course is very highly rated by those who do play, and the likes of Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar have won here in recent years.

It is relatively short in yardage compared to most other PGA Tour courses, although most fairways are narrow and tree-lined. This Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus designed classic will set you back anywhere between $150-$290 to play depending on the season.

The course is currently closed due to the effects of Hurricane Matthew but is expected to reopen in November.

7 – Plantation Course at Kapalua (Maui, Hawaii)

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The Plantation Course is one of the most visually stunning venues on tour (Credit: Golf Advisor)

While many of us are huddled around the fire in January, a lucky few PGA Tour golfers who won an event in the previous season head to Hawaii to play in the Tournament of Champions.

Since 1999, the venue for this event has been the Plantation Course at Kapalua, on the northern shores of the island of Maui. Recent winners include Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, and Dustin Johnson.

The standard green fee is $299, although the rate is reduced to $239 around midday and $199 after 1pm. There is a discount for resort guests and the Bay Course is also open to the public.

6 – TPC Scottsdale, Stadium Course (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

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Rickie Fowler tees off the 16th hole during the 2015 Phoenix Open (Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty)

The Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale will host the Waste Management Phoenix Open for the 30th time in 2017. It will also mark the 20th anniversary of Tiger Woods’ famous hole in one at the 16th hole.

The hole has become world-famous for its unique atmosphere – surrounded by grandstands on all sides and able to hold 20,000 fans. The event itself also is one of the best attended on the PGA Tour, with over 550,000 spectators passing through the gates in 2016.

Green fees are currently as low as $123 in the afternoon during the week – but expect to pay as much as $237 on weekends.

5 – Trump National Doral Miami, The Blue Monster (Doral, Fla.)

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The 18th green at the WGC-Cadillac Championship (Credit: Getty)

Although Doral won’t host a PGA Tour golf tournament in 2017 for the first year since 1961, it still earns its place on the list due to its notoriety and long-time association with the tour.

The Blue Monster course initially hosted the Doral Open from 1962-2006, before hosting the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship from 2007-2016. The tournament will be re-branded and moved to Mexico in 2017.

Donald Trump bought the Doral resort in 2012 and it underwent a $250million renovation earlier this year. Whatever your opinion is of the billionaire businessman and presidential candidate, at least he keeps his golf courses open to the public.

However, if you want to play the Blue Monster, it will currently set you back $390 during the day or $235 late afternoon.

4 – Bethpage State Park, Bethpage Black (Farmingdale, N.Y.)

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The par-4 18th hole during the third round of the 2016 Barclays (Credit: David Cannon/Getty)

Bethpage Black is one of the best-known public golf courses in the U.S., and recently played host to the 2016 Barclays in August. It is also scheduled to host the 2019 PGA Championship and 2024 Ryder Cup.

Designed by A.W. Tillinghast and opened in 1936, the Black Course is considered one of the hardest in the world – a par 71 playing almost 7,500 yards off the back tees, with a course rating of 78.1 and slope rating of 152.

Green fees are a reasonable $130 weekdays ($78 twilight) and $150 weekends ($90 twilight), with New York State residents able to play for half price. There are also further discounts for seniors.

3 – Torrey Pines, South Course (La Jolla, Calif.)

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An aerial view of Torrey Pines (Credit: Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

The South Course at Torrey Pines played host to Tiger Woods last major victory at the U.S. Open in 2008. It has also hosted the Farmers Insurance Open on the PGA Tour yearly since 1968, with the North Course also being used for the event. The U.S. Open will return to Torrey Pines in 2021.

Designed by William F. Bell and opened in 1957, it is still one of the longest courses on tour playing over 7,600 yards. Outside of the majors and WGC events in 2016, Brandt Snedeker’s total of 6-under-par was the worst winning score on the PGA Tour.

If you are a San Diego resident, green fees are a mere $61 on weekdays and $76 on weekends, although that price increases typically to $183 weekdays and $229 weekends for non-residents. There is also an advanced booking fee, but discounts on twilight rates and for seniors and juniors.

2 – TPC Sawgrass, Stadium Course (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)

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The par-3 17th hole is famous for its island green (Credit: Chris Condon/PGA Tour)

TPC Sawgrass is the home of PGA Tour headquarters, and its Stadium Course has hosted the Players Championship annually since 1982.

With an overall prize fund of $10.5million, $1.89million of that going to the winner, the Players Championship is currently the richest tournament in professional golf. In the last five years, winners have included Jason Day (2016), Rickie Fowler (2015), and Tiger Woods (2013).

The green fees are expensive, as you would expect for such a famous course, with prices varying from $250-$400+. If you are looking for a weekend away, however, you may find better value for money by staying at the resort – where some packages offer golf at the Stadium Course, as well as the Dye Valley.

As is the case with Harbour Town, TPC Sawgrass is currently closed due to damage from Hurricane Matthew and is to reopen on November 15.

1 – Pebble Beach Golf Links (Pebble Beach, Calif.)

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The par-3 7th green at Pebble Beach looks out at the Pacific Ocean (Credit: Joann Dost)

It should come as no surprise to any golfer that Pebble Beach Golf Links is number one on this list. The course has hosted five U.S. Opens, a PGA Championship, and 2017 will mark 70 years of hosting the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Pebble Beach is one of a number of courses in the Monterey Peninsula area that include Spyglass Hill, Monterey Peninsula CC and the very exclusive Cypress Point.

The eye-watering green fees of $525 make Pebble Beach one of the most expensive courses in the world to play. Nevertheless, it still ranks at the top of the list for most golfers to play, and honestly who can blame them?