16 PGA Championship courses you can play

Some critics of the PGA Championship claim it lacks a true identity that distinguishes it from the U.S. Open. Over the years, the PGA has been held at many prestigious private clubs with narrow fairways, fast greens and nasty rough.

But it has also been held at several courses that are accessible to you and me, unlike the U.S. Open (for the most part).

With the PGA of America moving its headquarters to Texas, where it is building two brand-new, public-accessible golf courses, perhaps there is an opportunity for the PGA Championship to embrace public courses as the venues for its annual test of the best golfers in the world.

At any rate, you and your fellow golfers can continue the debates over this major championship at more than a dozen of its past host courses. Just pay your green fee and walk in the footsteps of the pros.

Here’s where you can do that.

California


Jack Nicklaus won four times at Pebble Beach, including a U.S. Open.

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Pebble Beach Golf Links – Pebble Beach, Calif.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1977
Architects: Jack Neville and Douglas Grant
Green fee: $575

TPC Harding Park – San Francisco, Calif.

Will Host the PGA Championship in: 2020
Architects: Willie Watson and Sam Whiting
Green fee: $177

Florida


The 15th hole at PGA National’s Champion Course kicks off the infamous “Bear Trap,” which is one of the most challenging stretches of holes on the PGA Tour.

Courtesy of Getty Images

PGA National Resort & Spa (The Champion) – Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1987
Architect: Jack Nicklaus
Green Fee: $347

Indiana


View from the Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort

French Lick Resort (Donald Ross Course) – French Lick, Ind.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1924
Architect: Donald Ross
Green fee:  $125

Minnesota


A view of a fairway at Keller Golf Course (David A. Parker)

David A. Parker

Keller Golf Course – Maplewood, Minn.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1932, 1954
Architect: Paul Coates; renovation by Richard Mandell
Green fee: $47

North Carolina


The first hole introduces the new look of Pinehurst No. 2, a Donald Ross classic restored by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in 2011.

Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Tanglewood Golf Club (Championship Course) – Clemmons, N.C.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1974
Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
Green fee:  $59

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (No. 2) – Pinehurst, N.C.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1936
Architect: Donald Ross
Green Fee: $495

New Jersey


View of the 16th hole from Seaview – The Pines Course

Seaview – The Pines Course

Seaview Resort (Bay and Pines Courses) – Absecon, N.J.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1942 (parts of both courses)
Architect: Donald Ross
Green Fee: $119

New York


Bethpage Black’s pedigree as both a championship venue and a public gem gives it a unique appeal among golfers.

Warren Little/Getty Images

Eisenhower Park Golf Course (Red Course) – East Meadow, N.Y.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1926
Architect: Devereux Emmet
Green Fee: $70

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

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 2019
Architect: A.W. Tillinghast, Rees Jones
Green Fee: $150

Pennsylvania


This bridge leads to the holes of Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort on the island in the middle of the Delaware River.

Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort – Shawnee-on-Delaware, Penn.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1938
Architect: A.W. Tillinghast
Green Fee: $90

Hershey Country Club (West Course) – Hershey, Penn.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1940
Architect: Maurice McCarthy
Green Fee: $140
(Note: This course is accessible by non-members who stay at Hershey Lodge, The Hotel Hershey or Hersheypark Camping Resort.)

South Carolina


Few modern golf courses carry as much history as Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course.

Courtesy of Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Ocean Course) – Kiawah Island, S.C.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 2012, 2021
Architect: Pete Dye
Green Fee: $480

Turtle Point Golf Course

Kiawah Island Stay & Play Package

FROM $177 (USD)

KIAWAH ISLAND, SC | Enjoy 5 nights’ accommodations in a Resort Class Villa at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and play 4 rounds of golf at Osprey Point, Turtle Point, Cougar Point and Ocean Course.

Texas


In Dallas, Cedar Crest Golf Course was designed in 1919 by A.W. Tillinghast and later updated by D.A. Weibring in 2004.

User ‘Filthy20’/Golf Advisor

Cedar Crest Golf Course – Dallas, Texas

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1927
Architect: A.W. Tillinghast
Green Fee: $45

Virginia


Belmont Golf Course in Richmond, Va. has been renovated and reimagined by Davis Love III’s design firm.

Courtesy photo

Belmont Golf Course (formerly Hermitage Golf Club) – Richmond, Va.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1949
Architect: A.W. Tillinghast
(Note: Davis Love III and his design firm are currently converting Belmont from 18 holes to 12 holes, plus a short course. The new course will open in late-May, 2021.)

Wisconsin


The American Club, and Whistling Straits in particular, have set the standard as a bucket-list golf destination in Wisconsin.

Getty Images

Whistling Straits (Straits Course) – Haven, Wisc.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 2004, 2010, 2015
Architect: Pete Dye
Green Fee: $410

Whistling Straits Golf Course

Destination Kohler – Champions’ Trail Golf Package

FROM $617 (USD)

KOHLER, WI | Enjoy 2 nights’ accommodations at The American Club or the Inn at Woodlake and 3 rounds of golf at Blackwolf Run (River or Meadow Valleys Course) and Whistling Straits (Straits or Irish Course)

Have you played any of these PGA Championship courses? Please share your comments below!