The Most Beautiful Courses of the PGA Tour
Few athletic endeavors feature the scenery that accompanies an 18-hole journey on the golf course. PGA players are treated to some of the most breathtaking courses in the world when the tour makes stops in cities across the globe.
These courses have something to offer all varieties of golfers—from seaside greens to forest-hugging fairways. Here's a peek at 10 premier PGA Tour destinations.
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Location: Pebble Beach, Calif.
Marquee Events: The course has played host to six major championships, including five U.S. Open tournaments (1972, 1982, 1992, 2000, 2010). Pebble Beach welcomed the PGA Championship in 1977 and is home to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, an annual event since 1947.
What Stands Out: Pebble Beach is laid out along the rocky Pacific coastline in central California. The entire course is scenic and features the sound of waves breaking at the bottom of outstretched cliffs.
The eighth hole is particularly adored, as the fairway runs along an inlet and presents a challenging drive. The approach shot is aimed directly at an elevated space and a green that faces seaward.
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Location: Southampton, N.Y.
Marquee Events: This Long Island treasure is rich in golf history, having hosted the U.S. Open on four occasions. The tournament came to Shinnecock Hills in 1896, 1986, 1995 and 2004. The course is slated to host the U.S. Open yet again in the summer of 2018.
What Stands Out: Plenty of charm can be attributed to the age of this course. Shinnecock opened in 1892, and the course architecture reflects the era—particularly its iconic Redan hole.
The seventh hole has a tilted, undersized green that is truly unique in today's game. A clubhouse that has stood for more than a century features a wraparound porch and is a must-visit for golf junkies.
Location: Augusta, Ga.
Marquee Events: Augusta is the annual home of the Masters, one of golf's most prestigious events. The tournament has taken place at the course every year since 1934 and features the greatest golfers on the globe.
The Masters is the only major championship that occurs at the same course every year.
What Stands Out: Few courses give off the vibes of Augusta, a place brimming with historical relevance. Amen Corner, Eisenhower Tree, Ike's Pond and Rae's Creek are just a few of the locations that have become ingrained in the minds of golf aficionados.
From its bridges to its presidential cabin, Augusta is the crown jewel of the golfing community.
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
Marquee Events: Ailsa in Turnberry is a routine host of the Open Championship. The British Open has come to the course four times (1977, 1986, 1994 and 2009). The '77 "Duel in the Sun" between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus still lives on in PGA lore.
What Stands Out: Another seaside course is highlighted by its expansive coastal landscape. Ailsa shoulders the Firth of Clyde and features a functional lighthouse set upon the sea.
Pinehurst Resort's No. 2 Course
Location: Pinehurst, N.C.
Marquee Events: A variety of events have taken place here, including the 1951 Ryder Cup. The PGA Championship was held at Pinehurst in 1936, and two U.S. Open titles were decided on this course (1999 and 2005). The U.S. Open returns to Pinehurst in 2014, beginning June 12.
What Stands Out: The course was established in 1907 and quickly became a beloved destination for golf enthusiasts. Flowers bloom year-round throughout Pinehurst, and tall, protruding trees highlight a path through 18 holes of hallowed ground.
Location: Farmingdale, N.Y.
Marquee Events: Bethpage Black has twice hosted the U.S. Open (2002 and 2009). In 2012, it welcomed The Barclays, which will return in 2016.
What Stands Out: The course, which opened in 1936, is municipal and one of the premier public venues on the planet. It features significant elevation variations and a natural setting that takes its players far away from the ordinary on Long Island.
Location: San Diego, Calif.
Marquee Events: Torrey Pines has been home to the Farmers Insurance Open since 1968. The South Course hosted the 2008 U.S. Open, its first major tournament try.
What Stands Out: This public course has a unique background, as it was built on the site of an old Army base. Camp Callan once stood where the course currently lies. The combination of San Diego weather and Pacific breezes makes Torrey Pines a golfer's paradise.
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Marquee Events: The Stadium Course hosts The Players Championship each year. The Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass was designed in 1980 and is the location of PGA Tour headquarters.
What Stands Out: Massive palm trees reach toward the sky throughout the course, which features one of golf's most unique holes. The 17h hole is known as the "Island Green," a 132-yard challenge that concludes with a 78-foot green located on a pond peninsula.
Old Course at St. Andrews Links
Location: Fife, Scotland
Marquee Events: The Old Course is a staple of the Open Championship, having hosted the event 28 times since 1873. The most recent British Open to be held on location was in 2010, the 150th anniversary of the inaugural tournament.
What Stands Out: This is essentially known as the birthplace of golf. The sport was played on the links of St. Andrews during the 15th century, and the course features some of the most unique hazards on tour—namely, the Road Hole Bunker.
The Blue Monster at Doral Golf Resort
Location: Doral, Fla.
Marquee Events: The Blue Monster Course is the annual host of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. The tournament has taken place here every year since 2007.
What Stands Out: The course is known for its challenging layout that dares competitors to take risks. No hole illustrates this fact better than No. 18, a water-filled par-4 filled with palm trees and a meticulously manicured slanted green.
Doral is loaded with scenery, which isn't hard to find just north of Miami.