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.


  • 4.0 stars from 5

    Reunion Resort

    "Scottish skies for our Watson round"

    This was my first ever round on a Tom Watson design, so I was pretty curious to see what his style was like. Like a lot of spots in this part of Florida, the land itself was pretty nondescript, so a lot of shaping was done to add some drama. There are loads of bunkers out there, both waste areas and traditional, and they are often massive. Your sand game will certainly be tested many times. The greens are also multi-tiered and you really need to be dialed in with your approach shots or you'll be putting over big ridges. The drive through wetlands on an elevated wooden bridge between the 17th green and 18th tee is a neat little touch to wrap up the round. The pace moved nicely despite a busy morning during PGA Show week, the bev cart came early and often, and the carts were equipped with GPS. Operationally this place was humming smoothly. I took advantage of the free valet. So where does Reunion stack up in the Orlando resort scene? I think I prefer the nearby Championsgate setup a little more for daily-fee play thanks to a more golfer-focused 19th hole. But all-in-all this is a solid experience near Disney World. The Watson plays next to the Palmer course, and frankly, some of the holes looked really cool, and I found myself wondering if I was on the wrong course. Perhaps next time. more »

    2.0 stars from 5

    Hancock

    "Fun for casual practice, that's about it"

    This is the closest course to my house, but I almost never play it. It's a short nine holes, but it's not easy easy, so while I'd like to, I don't bring beginners here (Lions or Clay is better for that). It's also really not any more affordable than the other munis and is a far inferior experience. The 9th hole may be the silliest hole I've ever seen. My aim off the tee is the practice putting green. So if there are little kids putting I end up having to lay up and it ends up behind a tree or in the woods. Then there are power lines running across the green about 10 feet off the ground. There are so many great golf icons in the central Texas area that I'd love to see one of them give this place a redesign to make it more beginner-friendly. I think that's the only way this place makes sense. But I'll come swat balls out here around lunch or during twilight as a kind of glorified range. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Mission Inn EL Campeon Resort & Club

    "Always a slam dunk getting back to El Campeon"

    This is the third time I've played El Campeon now, and it's becoming a bit of a tradition when I go to Orlando. We made the trip out here during PGA Show week and it was clear we weren't the only group with that idea in mind. The place was humming, and golfers were enjoying the sunshine after a few days of breezy and cold weather. In terms of uniqueness to the surrounding courses in Central Florida, there's just no other course in El Campeon's league. The combination of a historic, hilly course with a smaller and quieter resort component just can't be found anywhere else. The 1000-plus room hotels near I-Drive and theme parks just can't offer the kind of personal service this place can. It's certainly worth the extra 15-20 minutes compared to some other courses closer to the theme parks or downtown. I forgot that El Campeon can be pretty tough, especially if you're above the hole on some of the elevated greens. The hilliest holes come midway into each nine, but the closing stretch is so strong. I love the 18th tee shot that allows you to bite off as much dogleg as you're willing to gamble. This is the central Florida course I recommend the most to those who ask, and after my most recent visit, I won't be changing my stump speech anytime soon. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Torrey Pines Golf Course

    "Post-renovation, the North is a wonderful complement"

    I played the North course the day after getting beat up on the South. As I mentioned in my South review, the rough is wet and thick at Torrey right now thanks to some heavy (and welcomed) winter rains. Suffice to say, I welcomed the fact it wasn't as tough. Tom Weiskopf led the renovation of the North, which plays right next to the South, and his aim was to provide something playable and fun. That said, it can still tip-out quite long and is still used in the first two rounds of the Farmers Open. Weiskopf flipped the nines, and the best part of the course comes midway into the back nine. The par-4 14th hole plays downhill towards the coast, and the scenic par-3 15th tee shot is perhaps the most thrilling shot in property. But I really love the drive on the par-4 16th that plays uphill along the bluffs. So where does it stack up among the best courses in San Diego? Based on the ones I've played, which is about a dozen, I think it's fringe Top 5 but closer to top 10. This course gets on average 80,000 rounds a year, so if you're prefer the more wide open fairways of high-end/resort courses, this isn't your horse. But from a scenery perspective, the North comes pretty close to the South, and playability wise, if you don't feel like getting beat up on the South, the North will be loads of fun. more »