The overwhelming number of courses available to play in PGA Tour 2K21, especially considering all of the ones created by talented members of the community, can make it hard to decide which virtual links you should hit up next. I’ve recently tried to help out by highlighting some of the better fantasy courses and mini-putt designs if you’re seeking something a little different. But PGA Tour 2K21 also has plenty of real courses that have been meticulously recreated. As always, you would be wise to check out the course list curated by the fine folks over at the premier online competitive PGA Tour 2K21 website, TGC Tours, where they are always dedicated to listing only the best courses. With that in mind, I’m also putting together my own list of the best US courses in PGA Tour 2K21 right here.
From running my own online society in PGA Tour 2K21 (shameless plug: join Legacy Leagues Golf if you haven’t already), I’ve tried to get creative in how I schedule different seasons within the society based around certain themes. Aside from the enjoyment of getting to assign names to events according to my own whims, which often involves using my favorite restaurants or fictional companies from movies and TV, this can also translate to some intricate planning. In all my years of presiding over the same society, I’ve organized everything from journeys to fictional tropical courses with events all named after legendary hip-hop albums to elaborate tours of real-life Australian courses perfectly arranged from east to west.
For the purposes of this article, I thought I would put together a short virtual tour of US courses that you can play if you’re looking for a selection of some of the better realistic representations of the top courses around the US. I’ve tried to be as precise as possible in the spelling of the names so as to make it as easy as possible for anyone to find them when searching through the thousands of courses that have been added to the game by the community. You’ll probably notice that some of these have “Lidar” (Light Detection and Ranging) or “L” in their name, which is a technology that uses lasers to help better represent the layout of terrains.
Grab your suitcase and your golf bag, but no need to book any tickets because this Canadian is taking you on a road trip all across the United States of America!
The Best US Courses In PGA Tour 2K21
Cypress Point Club – Monterey, CA
California has been well represented in the game thanks to designers throughout the community doing their best to recreate the state’s many standout courses. Rather than teeing off our cross-country trip with anything too difficult though, let’s begin at Cypress Point Golf Club, a relatively short and scenic course that should help build our confidence here at the outset. Take in some great views of the Pacific, drain some birdies, and relish a great warmup for our US tour.
Hobble Creek G.C. – Springville, UT
One of the great things about community courses is that they don’t always have to be the most famous ones for them to have found their way into the game. Case in point is this lesser-known Utah course that designer Brandon Pugh originally attempted to bring to life for The Golf Club 19 after having played on it almost nearly every day as a kid. It’s another fairly simple and straightforward layout that should keep your score low, but you can also feel the care that has gone into every detail.
Sand Hills GC Lidar – Mullen, NE
Consistently ranked as one of the best courses in the US, this emulation of Sand Hill Golf Club captures its spare and natural feel. Just as its name would suggest, the biggest challenge here will be contending with the bunkers that have been strategically strewn about the rolling hills. If you happen to be wondering about the absence of a clubhouse or parking lot, you’ll be happy to know that the designer considered adding these but decided against it because, in reality, these are all located at least 750 yards from the actual course.
Austin Country Club (L) – Austin, TX
As someone who has always wanted to visit Austin but never had the chance in real life, I’ll have to settle for the next best option of visiting its local golf course within PGA Tour 2K21 until I can make it happen. Situated on the shores of Lake Austin, there are some pretty sights to be seen as you work your way through the holes, and you likely won’t have to suffer too many frustrations throughout considering it’s not the most difficult of layouts. Enjoy yourself and work on your game here before we ramp up to some greater challenges on the tour.
Alotian Club LiDAR (t) – Roland, AR
An upscale, ultra-exclusive course like the Alotian Club is the kind that most people will never be lucky enough to access or even glimpse in the real world, so it’s incredibly fortunate when someone in the design community takes the initiative to have it added to PGA Tour 2K21. The fairly new course that was dreamed up by a billionaire investment banker showcases some creativity in its elevation changes right from the first tee, but it still shouldn’t be tricky enough to have your score ballooning too high.
Valhalla Golf Club (L) – Louisville, KY
This is the kind of generically named course that can present some issues when trying the find the best one to play since there are pages of search results returned when looking for “Valhalla.” Fortunately, there’s a good rule of thumb to keep in mind whenever looking through similarly branded courses. The one that has the most number of plays (while maintaining a high community rating) is generally the one you want to pick. That’s the case with this private one designed by Jack Nicklaus that will make birdies harder to come by thanks to its long par 3s and 4s that don’t leave a lot of room for error.
Black Lake GC Michigan – Onaway, MI
This tour isn’t only about hitting up the most exclusive golf clubs, and to help illustrate that let’s head to this course in Michigan that’s typically regarded as one of the best public courses in the country. With its wide fairways and limited hazards throughout, your biggest worry here will likely be avoiding the kind of shank on a drive that can see your ball find the trees usually lining the fairways.
Winged Foot West (Open) – Mamaroneck, NY
As we get later into this golf trip, it’s only fair that we start to put the skills to the test that have no doubt been developed from playing all of these courses so far. This New York course that’s hosted the US Open a number of times (last in 2020) should fit the bill because perhaps the most accurate way to describe its layout is unforgiving. Thin strips of fairway force you to be accurate, and even if you do manage to hit the greens on your approaches, you must be careful of your ball placement on the greens because many of them have some wicked slopes that can give fits to even the strongest of putters.
Pinehurst No. 2 TGC19 – Pinehurst, NC
Not only are there a lot of different versions of this particular course among the community, but there are plenty of recreations of other courses at Pinehurst as well to make it even harder to find the one being highlighted here. Look for the “TGC2019” at the end (and the large number of plays) to find an effort that does an admirable job of making you experience the various ways this course can leave you scrambling. This is especially true in the stretch run, where some longer holes can make it imperative to find the fairway (or green on lengthy par 3s) if you want a shot at scoring under par.
A Course Has No Name – Augusta, GA
Because PGA Tour 2K21 went so far as to censor any courses with any terms even related to the trademarked Augusta National course in Georgia that hosts The Masters tournament every year, it can be tricky to find the best community recreations of it. There’s one that’s been dubbed “A Course Has No Name” that presents a formidable enough challenge to have you struggling to stay above par just like the real pros, but sadly that one has also been removed from search results. Your best bet is to search for one of the many TGC Tours societies in the game, find in their schedule where they have played a Masters event in the past (usually it will be around the same time of year as the PGA one), and then favorite the course once you manage to find it so you can play on it later.