We get emails from subscribers all the time, telling us how much more fun it is to watch a professional golf tournament on TV at a course they've played.
I totally agree - not only is it an extra thrill to see a course I know on TV, but when I get to play a course that's hosted televised golf before, I always find myself thinking about shots I've seen over the years from that course's particular tournament.
So in light of all that, I wanted to give you a one-stop guide to all the public-accessible and resort courses you're going to see on TV over the upcoming golf seasons for the three major U.S.-based tours: the PGA Tour, the Champions Tour and the LPGA Tour.
If you're a fan of professional golf courses like we are here at Golf Vacation Insider, you're going to love this list:
PGA TOUR (2015-16 season)
COURSE: Silverado Resort (North Course) – Napa, Calif.
EVENT: Frys.com Open
DATES: Oct. 15-18, 2015
NOTES: A relative newcomer to the Tour schedule, the North Course represents the sterner test of the recently renovated Silverado's two 18s.
El Camaleon Golf Club – Playa del Carmen, Mexico
OHL Classic at Mayakoba
Nov. 12-15, 2015
This Greg Norman design, hewn out of coastal jungle, has been the site of some intense finishes in its short tenure on the PGA Tour schedule.
Sea Island Resort (Seaside Course, Plantation Course)
Nov. 19-22, 2015
Originally designed by Harry Colt and Charles Alison, the Seaside Course has been updated by Tom Fazio in recent years to give both resort guests and professional golfers a pleasant ride (Kevin Kisner won this year's tournament at 22-under par). The Rees Jones-designed Plantation, which hosted one of the event's rounds for the first time this year, plays second fiddle.
Tiburon Golf Club (Gold Course) – Naples, Fla.
Franklin Templeton Shootout
Dec. 10-12, 2015
Tiburon boasts two Greg Norman designs on site, both known for stacked-sod bunkers and little to no grass rough of any kind - sand and water are the principal hazards.
Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Grande Lakes – Orlando, Fla.
PNC Father-Son Challenge
Another Norman course, this flat, walkable 18 winds along Shingle Creek at the "headwaters of the Everglades."
Kapalua (Plantation Course) – Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Jan. 7-10, 2016
The previous year's Tour event winners gather to take on this exciting early Coore & Crenshaw design on the island of Maui, where many of the year's longest tee shots will be hit down the ski-slope-like 17th and 18th fairways.
PGA WEST (TPC Stadium Course, Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course) – La Quinta, Calif.
Jan. 21-24, 2016
Two of this event's three host courses are public. The TPC Stadium Course replaces the Palmer Private Course as the final-round site for the first time in many years, and we will be watching the pros get swallowed up by Pete Dye's hellacious bunkers.
Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course, North Course) – La Jolla, Calif.
Farmers Insurance Open
Jan. 28-31, 2016
Along with Bethpage Black, Torrey Pines is one of two municipal venues on this year's Tour schedule, its Rees Jones-redesigned South Course yet again testing players in late January.
TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) – Scottsdale, Ariz.
Waste Management Phoenix Open
Feb. 4-7, 2016
TPC Scottsdale's status has been elevated by some recent renovations, not that many of the 20,000 rabid fans, who pack into the stadium seating around the short par-3 16th hole, will notice or care.
Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course – Pebble Beach, Calif.
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Feb. 11-14, 2016
What praises can be sung of Pebble Beach that haven't already been sung? Not many. For its part, Spyglass stuns with its seaside first five holes before heading into the forest to deal out a lot of punishment for the rest of the round.
PGA National Resort (Champion Course) – Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
The Honda Classic
Feb. 25-28, 2016
Long, narrow and with water seemingly at every turn, a round at the Champion is a true indication of what kind of game it takes to play the PGA Tour. Beware the Bear Trap.
Trump National Doral (Blue Monster Course) – Miami, Fla.
World Golf Championships – Cadillac Championship
Mar. 3-6, 2016
The Donald asked Hanse to turn the Blue Monster into a Monster again, and Hanse came through - in the two years since the course was renovated, the winning scores have come in at single digits under par, which hadn't previously happened at Doral since 1985.
Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead Course) – Palm Harbor, Fla.
Mar. 10-13, 2016
A new coat of grass and rebuilt bunkers will greet players this year at Innsbrook, but little about the straight-shooting Larry Packard layout, long a Tour favorite, will be different, architecturally speaking.
Bay Hill Club & Lodge – Orlando, Fla.
Arnold Palmer Invitational
Mar. 17-20, 2016
Annie's place keeps getting refined, and the pros and visiting amateurs alike keep coming back. Why wouldn't they, when they could run into a golf legend in the 19th hole?
Coco Beach Golf & Country Club – Rio Grande, P.R.
Puerto Rico Open
Mar. 24-27, 2016
The former Trump International Golf Club has reverted to its original name after some financial turmoil. It serves as an "opposite-field" Tour venue this year, while the biggest names duke it out for the WGC - Dell Match Play in Austin, Texas.
Golf Club of Houston (Tournament Course) – Humble, Texas
Shell Houston Open
Mar 31-Apr. 3, 2016
The annual Masters tune-up returns to this Rees Jones layout, where the Tour seeks to replicate the sort of turf conditions some of the field will face the following week, in the hopes of attracting more big names.
Harbour Town Golf Links
Apr. 14-17, 2016
The Pete Dye/Jack Nicklaus collaboration where the Golden Bear first cut his golf course sign teeth has been associated with PGA Tour golf since it first opened in 1969. The tight, tree-lined layout is a great test of tact, rather than brute power.
JW Marriott TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course) – San Antonio, Texas
Valero Texas Open
Apr. 21-24, 2016
This Greg Norman/Sergio Garcia collaboration normally ranks in the bottom half of Tour courses according to the pros, but there is no denying the fun and novelty of the par-3 16th hole, with a bunker in the middle of the putting surface.
TPC Louisiana – Avondale, La.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Apr. 28-May 1, 2016
Known as the best-eating week of the year on Tour, the course itself gives a representative taste of Pete Dye's own favorite ingredients - extensive mounding, pot bunkers, waste bunkers, and plenty of water.
TPC Sawgrass (Stadium Course)
THE PLAYERS Championship
May 12-15, 2016
The preeminent built-for-tournament-golf-viewing venue stands the test of time, providing a big challenge to the best golfers in the world and plenty of bucket-list experiences to the rest of us. How can you call yourself a golf connoisseur without taking on the island-green 17th at least once?
TPC Four Seasons Resort – Irving, Texas
AT&T Byron Nelson
May 19-22, 2016
This layout played as a par-69 last year due to torrential rains. Here's hoping the weather cooperates a little more this year.
The Greenbrier (Old White TPC) – White Sulphur Springs, W.V.
The Greenbrier Classic
July 7-10, 2016
After a number of weeks at private layouts, the Tour returns to West Virginia tycoon Jim Justice's pride and joy, a layout that Lester George reinvigorated a few years ago, back into the vision C.B. MacDonald originally had in the early 20th century.
Grand National Golf Club (Lake Course) – Opelika, Ala.
July 14-17, 2016
Grand National had a strong first showing in 2015 as an opposite-field host venue. Once again, it will sit opposite the Open Championship. You can play it for well under $100 most times of the year.
Royal Troon Golf Club (Championship Course) – Troon, Scotland, U.K.
The Open Championship
July 14-17, 2016
Royal Troon returns as host for the first time since 2004. We can be sure of two things: the Postage Stamp par-3 eighth will confound some players, and the winner will be better-known than Todd Hamilton was a dozen years ago.
Glen Abbey Golf Club – Oakville, Ont., Canada
RBC Canadian Open
July 21-24, 2016
The golf course's future is in doubt (its owner evidently wants to plow it under and sell it for real estate), but for now, the Toronto-area Jack Nicklaus design will host Canada's national championship yet again.
Olympic Golf Course – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Olympic Men’s & Women’s Golf Competition
Aug. 11-14, 2016
One of the longest golf course development sagas is all but finished, and the countdown begins until golf returns to the Olympics. We wish they were playing match play, but we're excited nonetheless to see what transpires.
TPC Deere Run – Silvis, Ill.
John Deere Classic
Aug. 11-14, 2016
Relegated to opposite-field status because of the Olympics this year, the field will nevertheless be full of birdie-makers. Deere Run is one of the more reasonably-priced TPC courses, with rates topping out below $100 most of the year.
Bethpage State Park (Black Course) – Farmingdale N.Y.
Aug. 25-28, 2016
Back on golfers' bucket lists ever since Rees Jones Open-Doctored the course back into prominence, it will host the first PGA Tour Playoffs event for the first time since 2012. Expect fairly high scores and massive crowds to fill your TV screens.
CHAMPIONS TOUR (2016 season)
Hualalai Golf Club – Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii
Mitsubishi Electric Championship
Jan. 19-23, 2016
Hualalai is one of Hawaii's most peaceful retreats - what better place to kick off the laid-back Champions Tour schedule than at this oceangoing Jack Nicklaus design?
Omni Tucson National Golf Club (Catalina Course) – Tucson, Ariz
Tucson Conquistadores Classic
Mar. 18-20, 2016
The Bruce Devlin/Robert Von Hagge-designed Catalina Course hosted a number of PGA Tour events, including Phil Mickelson's first win as an amateur in 1991. Marco Dawson won the first Champions Tour event held there in 2015.
Fallen Oak Golf Club at Beau Rivage – Biloxi, Miss.
Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic
Apr. 1-3, 2016
This Tom Fazio design is a few miles north of its parent Beau Rivage casino resort. When it's not hosting the Champions Tour, it serves as an upscale amenity for resort guests, with green fees reaching toward $400 at times during the year.
Big Cedar Lodge (Top of the Rock Course, Buffalo Ridge Course) – Ridgedale, Mo.
Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf
Apr. 24-26, 2016
This two-man event has received some added attention in the last couple years as the Nicklaus-designed par-3 Top of the Rock Course has been added to the rotation. The Buffalo Ridge course is a Tom Fazio design.
Harbor Shores Golf Club – Benton Harbor, Mich.
Senior PGA Championship
May 26-29, 2016
With a couple holes skirting the banks of Lake Michigan, Harbor Shores is one of Jack Nicklaus' recent success stories, with a wild set of greens.
University Ridge Golf Course – Madison, Wisc.
American Family Insurance Championship
June 24-26, 2016
A new event on the Champions Tour schedule, the American Family Insurance Championship will bring professional golf to this Robert Trent Jones-designed course, regarded as one of the best in academia.
En-Joie Golf Course – Endicott, N.Y.
DICK’S Sporting Goods Open
July 8-10, 2016
Another former PGA Tour host site given new life by the over-50 set, En-Joie is one of the most wallet-friendly professional golf courses anywhere, with green fees topping out at $64 on summer weekend mornings.
Carnoustie Golf Links (Championship Course) – Angus, Scotland, U.K.
Senior Open Championship
Surely the track nicknamed "Carnasty" will be a little less wild and wooly than it was for the under-50s in 1999, but it will still take a lot of patience and mettle to bring home the trophy.
Pebble Beach Golf Links, Poppy Hills Golf Course – Pebble Beach, Calif.
Nature Valley First Tee Open
One of professional golf's unique events, this tournament's format brings together Champions Tour players with accomplished junior golfers from around the country in a pro-am format. We always try to catch some of the action from this event, in order to watch the confluence of past and future.
LPGA TOUR (2016 season)
Ocean Club Golf Course – Paradise Island, Bahamas
Tom Weiskopf designed this scenic layout that has been named one of the best in the Caribbean by the major golf publications (and our own experience).
Wildfire Golf Club – Phoenix, Ariz.
JTBC Founders Classic
With courses by Faldo and Palmer, this JW Marriott-adjacent facility will provide a stern test of late-winter golf for women's golf's best this year.
Aviara Golf Club – Carlsbad, Calif.
For the fourth straight year, the Arnold Palmer-designed Aviara will host the Kia Classic, which is becoming known as one of the most prestigious events on the LPGA schedule.
Westin Mission Hills Resort (Dinah Shore Tournament Course) – Rancho Mirage, Calif.
The island-green 18th hole gets all the press at this Desmond Moorhead-designed major championship site. We recommend against jumping in the pond if you win your match, though - a plush victory robe will not be waiting for you.
Ko Olina Golf Club – Kapolei, Hawaii
LPGA LOTTE Championship
Ko Olina, designed by Ted Robinson, is regarded as the best course on the island of Oahu. This will be its fifth year hosting the LOTTE Championship.
Kingsmill Resort (River Course) – Williamsburg, Va.
You may know Kingsmill's River Course primarily as a former PGA Tour stop. But it has been an LPGA stop in recent years, having seen a number of dramatic finishes recently, in eluding a nine-hole playoff where Jiyai Shin outlasted Paula Creamer.
Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club (Bay Course) – Galloway, N.J.
The LPGA is fun to watch because it visits a number of venues that are too short by modern standards. Seaview's classic Donald Ross-designed Bay Course is one of these - at around 6,300 yards, it gives the ladies all they can handle with a combination of wind and firm turf.
Trump Turnberry Resort – Ayrshire, Scotland, U.K.
Women’s British Open
July 30-Aug. 2
This will be the world's first chance to see the changes made to the Ailsa Course by Donald Trump & Co., including the reinvention of the par-4 ninth into a cliff-hanging long par three. We will be DVRing this one.
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill (Senator Course) – Prattville, Ala.
Though the Judge Course is best known for its massively elevated first tee, the Senator Course is a fun layout in its own right, with a more open feel and huge putting surfaces.
Tiburon Golf Club – Gold Course
CME Tour Championship
The only course to appear twice on our list, this Greg Norman course will be hard-pressed to supply as much late-Sunday drama as it did this year, when Cristie Kerr outdueled the field on the back nine to win the season-ending event.
Please share your playing experiences at professional golf courses below in the comments!