Brandon Tucker

Managing Editor

Brandon Tucker is Managing Editor for Golf Advisor and has been with the TravelGolf network since 2003 when he came onboard as an intern. Today, Tucker oversees the network of sites and also contributes golf and travel articles, photo essays, videos and more. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 courses. Brandon graduated from the Indiana University School of Journalism with a minor in music. At IU, he was a columnist for the Indiana Daily Student, a reporter for IUSTV and hosted a radio show on WIUS. Since college, he served as a reporter and photographer for WTXL, an ABC News affiliate in Tallahassee, Fla., and as a producer of onboard television for Norwegian Cruise Lines. Tucker currently lives in Austin, Texas. He's played some great golf courses around the world, but says the northern part of his native Michigan is still his favorite golf spot. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.

  • 5.0 stars from 5

    French Lick Springs Resort

    "Sublime morning on an infamous test"

    The last time I was in French Lick, just prior to the Dye Course opening, a Hurricane blew through, wrecking havoc on this part of the Midwest just prior to the Valhalla Ryder Cup. So I suppose I was due for some idyllic weather this time around. That's just what we got, and our first-off tee time on the Dye Course in late-April blessed us with an incredible morning sunrise. Well known as one of resort golf's toughest rounds, the Dye Course was really about as "gettable" of conditions as we'll ever get (I'm told it can blow up here - but we had no wind). And despite a few swing gags (Dye's always had my number off the tee) I was able to finish my round pretty strong - enough to leave with a few good memories of my game and not just good photos. Frankly, this is a distracting place to play because so many greens and tees have incredible backdrops. The course actually reminds me of Castle Stuart in that regard, so many green sites have infinity backdrops or incredible vantage points. We could have played in under 3 hours if it weren't for all of our picture-taking. I don't love some of Pete Dye's stuff just because I prefer the shaping of holes to be a little more mellow. (I know, if he woke up one day with my career he'd jump out a window). But you can't argue with the course he managed to build on this elevated and severe site. He's always been a genius in terms of golf course construction, and this one's up there with any other in the Midwest. It's certainly fitting that a Dye design will be on some of Indiana's highest ground. The Hoosier-born genius certainly deserves a lofty place in this state and this game for many years to come. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Onion Creek Club

    "Fun little taste of the Austin old school"

    I finally had the chance to check out Onion Creek, which, back in the 1970s, was a really big deal in Austin. Swankier neighborhoods and clubs, not to mention a million or so more residents, have surfaced in town since, but there's still a lot to like about the layout here. We played the North Course, which is an interesting concept of starting out with four holes from the original 18, followed by nine newer holes from Coore-Crenshaw, wrapped up with five holes from the Original. There are a few holes I'm not wild about. Nos. 7 and 8 don't have a whole lot to 'em. But of the C & C holes I really like Nos. 9-10 as well as the par-5 12th. Like a lot of courses laid out in the 70s-80s, the homes encroach the fairways a little too much, especially on a 2-3 club windy day that we had. We all hit a ball or two into a backyard. I hope to come back and see how the Original routing fares, as I hear there are some good holes I missed out on. This is a facility that is usually private but they offer some public play on occasion. It's definitely worth checking out if you need a break from some of the south side publics like Grey Rock & Clay-Kizer. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    TPC Louisiana

    "Standout NOLA public course and one of TPC's most accessible"

    TPC Louisiana carries the distinction of being one of the more affordable PGA Tour venues on the current schedule. And with the Zurich Classic field continuing to improve since the move to team format, the course should grow in prestige among golf travelers. I had the chance to play the course just days before it closed for tournament prep, so naturally the course conditions were aces. TPC is certainly the alpha experience for public golf in NOLA. The property is nothing but golf and native areas, so it's secluded and beautiful at every turn. The Pete Dye design is about what you'd expect from him: very tactical around the smallish greens, though pretty forgiving off the tee. Water is in play a lot, as seems to be commonplace on the bayou. I like Dye designs that finish with a risk-reward par 5 moreso than his tournament courses with a daunting par 4 -- at least it's better for amateurs. The 18th is a great finishing hole, even though I dunked my approach shot. I certainly donated my share of balls to the water. The facilities are really great here, including a nice restaurant for lunch and a full locker room in case you need a shower on a humid day. I love the driving range and practice facilities, and it's also walkable. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    The Donald Ross Cse

    "100 years later, still one of the best resort Ross designs"

    Pinehurst may be the mecca of Donald Ross designs you can play, but French Lick shouldn't be too far behind. The Ross course, celebrating 100 years in 2017, holds its own as one of the architect's most interesting (and challenging) you can play. It hosted the 1924 PGA Championship, and good players are still in for a challenge no matter which tee box they play. I have to admit, I actually vividly remember more holes of the Ross than the French Lick Dye course. I think it's a testament to how unique each hole looks off the tee box and how distinctive each green is. It's true that most of the greens are elevated, so this isn't a course poorer players are going to do well on. But what Ross managed to do with this pretty severe piece of land (for the Golden Era) is pretty remarkable. I just love the shaping and the roll to the fairways. If you're a fan of the classics, this course has to be on your radar if you're around Louisville or Indianapolis. more »