16 PGA Championship courses you can play

Famous layouts and some hidden gems are part of the championship's storied history.
TPC Harding Park anchors a fun, friendly and diverse San Francisco municipal golf scene.

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.

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.

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

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1924
Architect: Donald Ross
Green fee:  $120

Minnesota

A view of a fairway at Keller Golf Course (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.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1974
Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
Green fee:  $57

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 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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 2012; will host in 2021
Architect: Pete Dye
Green Fee: $480

Texas

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

Cedar Crest Golf Course - Dallas, Texas

Hosted the PGA Championship in: 1927
Architect: A.W. Tillinghast
Green Fee: $43

Virginia

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 plan is for the new course to open in 2021.)

Wisconsin

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

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

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

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for Golf Advisor. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
81 Comments
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Commented on

The average "public" golfer stands a better chance at playing a private course (as a guest) than at the astronomical greens fees listed above for these "non-private" courses. These quasi public courses are "public" in name only. Even the more reasonably priced courses will balloon their fees after a "big PGA, USGA tournament" is held there. I make these comments as observations only, since I do not have any solutions to offer ..... I leave that to people smarter than I.

Commented on

Torrey Pines hasn't hosted the PGA Championship, but it is public and has hosted the US Open

Commented on

Played Pebble Beach 2X in 2003. Absolutely worth every penny for the experience. Back then it was $480 per round, so $575 now still seems worth it. If you are a fan of the game, there is no place like it on earth, except for possibly St. Andrews. Expensive “bucket list” trip before I got married. We combined It with 2 rounds at Spanish Bay and one at Spyglass Hill.

Commented on

I played the Straits sister course many years ago on a cold, rainy, windy day. I believe it was in November. I think I’m the only player who finished the back 9. Was just passing through so I couldn’t pass it up. I think it was $120. Drinks by the huge fireplace in the clubhouse after the round along with gourmet food made it a very worthwhile and memorable round.

Commented on

Tanglewood just underwent a multimillion dollar renovation in 2018 and is an excellent course. Probably one of the best “hidden gems” in the state if not country, less than $40 during the week.

Commented on

I've played both courses at Whistling Straits as well as Pecan Valley, San Antonio, TX (not listed), which I believe hosted the PGA in 1965. I don't know Pecan Valley's current status but in 2003 when I played, it was a terrific course with streams throughout and lots of trees.

Commented on

I play Beth Page 3 times a week, NY resident rates are cheap, Red Course is my favorite . If you dont score we'll on first 3 holes on Black, look out ! 17 ( par ) and 18 are not that tough. Black is a long, tough walk, ( no electric carts ) And on Wed Nights in the summer, ladies night, Great band out side !

Pebble Beach, awesome, but a one time treat $$$$

San Diego , has great pubic Course

PGA National in Florida a great get away . Stream Song , is SO SO over rated $$$ World Woods, is a tenth of the price, 36 awesome holes, 2 acre putting green practice area . A practice area that has a par 3/4/ and 5

Hit them straight, and stay healthy .

Commented on

sorry but the majority of the courses are for the wealthy.

Commented on

A course that costs $200 + to play is public in name only. Most of the “public” can’t or shouldn’t afford to pay that. These courses have owned the land for a long time in most cases. So what is the justification for charging such an exhorbidant amount?

Commented on

The justification is that people will pay it.

Commented on

I noticed some of the public golf courses were reasonably priced while others were only accessible to the elite rich. I heard that you can't even play Pebble Beach now without staying at the Lodge. It's a package costing $3000. I've played Pebble one time but will never be able to again since I'm not in the PGA of America anymore.

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16 PGA Championship courses you can play
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