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

    Golden Horseshoe Golf Club - Green Course

    "A step below Gold but a nice addition"

    Golden Horseshoe kept it in the Jones family when they added onto the famous Gold Course with the Rees Jones-designed Green. It's a totally different experience here, and while the courses border each other, the clubhouses are about a mile or so away. The Gold feels a little more like a resort course being so close to the Colonial Williamsburg lodging, while this semi-private facility feels a little more member driven. The Green has its moments with some tricky par 3s and a great par-5 finisher. An Audubon Sanctuary course, virtually every hole is surrounded by dense canopy, providing a sense of solitude. It is a little more player-friendly than Gold, with mounding generally running alongside the fairways, but certainly of championship quality. I would either play this course before the Gold, or play Gold twice. Playing it after the Gold, one of my favorites of the year, left me wanting a little more. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Reynolds Lake Oconee - Great Waters

    "Fabulous lakefront Nicklaus setting"

    Like my colleague Jason Deegan alludes to in his 2014, review, I think what makes Great Waters so excellent is that the design blends wonderfully into the rolling land and lakefront property. The front nine begins with anticipation: "When, exactly, am I going to see the lake?" The front nine meanders through rolling, densely forested terrain, and once you tackle the long, par-3 8th hole, the lake reveals itself in a big way on the elevated tee of the 9th. The routing really never leaves it after that, if only for brief moments. It's a very wet, drama-laden finish that I compare a bit to Edgewood Tahoe. Reynolds is planning a big renovation with Nicklaus design in the spring of 2018. I didn't see a whole lot that needed to be tweaked besides some pesky overhanging trees. I'll be curious to hear details when it's announced. We played the course just a few weeks after overseed, so the grass was really wet, but the greens were some of the smoothest I'd seen in a long while. A real joy. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Cabo del Sol - Ocean Course

    "Stellar ocean golf"

    There's a whole lot going on in Cabo's hotel and golf scene but it's safe to say that Cabo Del Sol's Ocean Course remains the top draw for public play. The Nicklaus design features back-to-back beachfront par 3s on the front nine and a closing stretch on the back along the beach as well. The inland holes are pretty doggone good too. The experience includes free tacos at the turn and also a margarita at the end of the round. Peak season green fees for the Ocean are $375, certainly one of the more expensive experiences in resort golf, but Cabo is a pricy destination and the conditions, service and layout certainly deliver. I had a little hiccup with the shuttle service to my tee time. Leave enough time to get there, or just do like I did for my next tee time and walk to the club from the Sheraton. 10 mins. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Gozzer Ranch Golf & Lake Club

    "If it's good enough for the Great One..."

    I fell in love with Coeur D'Alene when I had the chance to taste the good life for a couple days in 2010. The Tom Fazio design really couldn't be a better blend of interesting holes but imminently playable for members out to have good times. The scenery is unreal thanks both to natural beauty and Fazio's ability to shape holes, in this case out of pretty severe and sloping rock. Discovery Land rolls out all the stops (comfort stations are stocked with all sorts of goodies) but the casual nature of the place -- like all the outdoor areas -- is sublime. Icing on the cake: Wayne Gretzky was at the outdoor bar when we were there, so I got to say hi to a hockey hero. There was a member-guest tournament about to take place and I saw names like Brett Hull on the board, too. I don't think there is a better modern club I've played in the west. It's special. If you get the invite, get on the first plane to Spokane. (Editor's note: I'm leaving the value rating blank because they're working with a level of coin up here of which I'm not familiar!) more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Hamilton Island Golf Club

    "Splendid remote course"

    I played Hamilton Island in 2010, not long after it opened. It is a five-star setting on its own island (you take a short boatride from the resort to get there). There really aren't many more scenic courses I've ever played, and I was on the course on a cloudy day. (Images in sunshine look even more incredible.) It's a tricky, rugged and rocky site for golf, and the layout suffers a little to that degree, but you'll still love the experience and it's one of the real gems in the Whitsundays. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Cabo del Sol - Desert Course

    "More than a second fiddle to Ocean"

    I may have known all about the Ocean Course at Cabo Del Sol. But admittedly, I didn't really know what to expect when I set up a round on the Desert Course. Little did I know I'd be in for a treat and had one of my favorite rounds of the year. I had a taxi to the airport scheduled at 10 am so I was first off at 7. A couple days earlier, I had a 7 am tee time on the Ocean and the club's shuttle took over 30 minutes to get me, so this time I just walked up the 8th and 9th holes to the clubhouse from my hotel room at the Sheraton Grand in less than ten minutes. I was paired with two members who also liked to play fast, and we zipped around in 2:25 and had a lot of fun on a forgiving layout but one with a lot of hole variety. Tom Weiskopf knows how to build desert golf courses like no other, and there were many standout holes. Also, in typical Weiskopf fashion, there were two short par 4s (both on the front). It's well off the ocean, but plays up into the mountainside and has great ocean views from afar. Some of the better holes play downhill towards the water for a great backdrop. Conditions and amenities are similarly excellent to the Ocean Course, and you can play it for over $100 less. ($255 peak season). I've only played two courses in Cabo, and both were at Cabo Del Sol, but couldn't have been more impressed with both courses. I'm curious what I'm missing at places like Palmilla or Diamante. more »

    3.0 stars from 5

    Morris Williams Golf Course

    "Greens are overseeded and have bounced back"

    I'd avoided Mo Willy all year due to reports of sketchy greens. Finally made it back out and it was good to see them rolling pretty well. A little on the slow side, about two weeks after overseed, but rolled smooth and besides a few blemishes (hey, it's a busy muni), were solid. They might quicken up a bit in the next few weeks and firm up (approach shots were dropping on them like stones), which would be nice, but they've definitely turned the corner. I still think Clay has vaulted ahead of Mo Willy though in my preference of ATX munis. My buddy who plays in the AGA dragged me back to the tips. It's been awhile. Definitely a different animal vs. the blues, especially the 9th tee where you're forced to hit a fade due to an overhanging tree. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Reynolds Lake Oconee - The Creek Club

    "Certainly never boring"

    A few days removed from this round and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the layout. But I will say this: architectJim Engh delivered a polarizing course that is sure to leave a lasting impression. The Creek is one of six courses at Reynolds Lake Oconee, and it's the only facility that is completely private. You have to be a platinum member in order to play here, or be escorted by one. That's interesting to me because it feels a bit like a wild "calendar golf" course that tourists would love to play and get a kick out of, like Tobacco Road, for example. Nevertheless, Oconee members enjoy the exclusive and one-of-a-kind facility. I've played some Engh courses before and so I had an idea of what to expect: Big fairways, spectacular vistas off the tee, split fairways, eye-popping bunkers and remarkable greens complex imagination. What's interesting to me is that it's both player-friendly and not at the same time: Fairways and greens are generally bowled, so errant shots are easily corralled, but bunkers are deep and often in front of elevated greens. The bowls surrounding greens also mean you usually park your cart well above the green and tip-toe down. I'd be curious how elderly players manage here between the deep bunkers and mounding. You can also putt it off the green if you're in the wrong spot. The 18th hole is, fittingly, an over-the-top finish. The elevated tee is spectacular, and Engh built three greens for this hole alone. We played high up to the left, but IMO the middle green seemed like the only one worth keeping. Anyways... I'm glad I played the course, it's certainly got five-star scenery, even though it's mostly away from the lake, though I don't think resort guests should be knocking down the gates to play it with a lot of great golf to play on property. But for members at a six-course facility, having one like this is probably a hoot once in awhile. more »