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

    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 »

    5.0 stars from 5

    The Cape Breton Highlands Golf Course

    "Still can't par Killiecrankie"

    This was my third time making it back to Ingonish, on Cape Breton Island's northeast corner, since 2012. Those of you who have been know what kind of commitment that takes. There are few courses in North America that take as long to get to from Texas than here, but it's worth it every time, and every time I come back, the course has been improved upon by the staff (and this time around, the hotel, too). Golf courses this special within a national park just can't be found in the U.S. Highlands is every bit as good as Stanley Thompson's Jasper Park and Banff Springs efforts in Alberta. Highlands is a different animal, though. It's a long walk. 8.1 miles according to my Garmin Vivoactive. But it winds so pleasantly from the more exposed peninsula and then deep into the mountains and winds along the Clyburn River. The hole variety and memorability takes no backseat to Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs and in someways exceed them. One of my favorite par 5s anywhere in the world is the 7th, Killiecrankie, despite the fact it has my number. One of my cardinal rules of golf travel is if you're going to Cabot Links, you can't leave until you come here. If you love golden era architecture and stunning parks scenery, you won't regret it. One off-course tip: The clubhouse's grill isn't much, but between the Keltic Lodge and the course, the Arduaine has a much more suitable lunch with lobster and ocean views. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Cabot Links

    "Rerouted since my last visit, but still excellent"

    This was my third time back to Cabot Links since it opened in 2012, so of course I knew what I was getting into, but as I was walking to what I thought was the first hole (the blind, dogleg right that heads over the big bunker), everyone in my group asked where I was going. Turns out, the course has been rerouted since 2014. Even the caddies in our group, new since then, thought I was hallucinating. Now, the course starts out fairly similar to Cliffs in that it's a south-facing par 5 that is all in front of you, and what used to be the demanding par-5 2nd hole is now the 11th. The old opener (now the 10th) reminded me a lot like Pacific Dunes' first. I think the new 1st and 2nd are among the less memorable holes, so maybe that's what Cabot was going after. This was my first trip to Cabot playing the Links and Cliffs. Having played Cliffs twice before my round on Links, I was curious how I'd find the round. My takeaways were that there are long par 4s on Links, whereas there isn't really a brutish 4 on Cliffs. Maybe it's just because my swing was a little lazy having played a full 18 on Cliffs in the morning, but I think there are some legitimately more difficult holes on Links (the slope/rating for the par 70 Links is much lower, however). I'd say the main difference between Links and Cliffs is that it seems that on practically every tee, Cliffs is trying to outdo itself with spectacle. Links, meanwhile, has ups and downs to it, with some holes more mellow than others, that make the standouts that much better. And there's something much more authentic about playing a links right in the town with church steeples as aiming lines. Cliffs has a more spectacular 18, no question, but I think Links still holds its own and is a totally different piece of property and design. It's a slightly easier walk but not by much. If playing 4 rounds at Cabot, I think I'd still split it up 2-2. And you can't beat finishing up on 18 with the sun setting and the light coming on the green. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Cabot Cliffs

    "Wildly fun and scenic links"

    I had high hopes for Cabot Cliffs. I'd been to Cape Breton twice before and the third time around, finally got a chance to play the course (twice, actually). Expectations were certainly met and in some ways exceeded. We've been seeing images for the famous cliffside 16th hole for years now, and have heard about the controversial, short par-4 17th. But frankly I was blown away by many other holes on the course. The par-4 2nd is incredible, and I love the par-3 14th and par-5 15th holes. There are a lot of birdie opportunities with the equal amount of par 3s, 4s and 5s. I don't think I've ever played a course with three par 5s in four holes, and they all play a different direction. That's important because the wind can blow up here on this exposed position (though holes that wind farther inland tend to get a little more benign). I vividly remember every hole a week or so after we played it. Every tee box has a different look and challenge to consider. It's really one of the great amateur courses in the world. I'm sure better players could chew it up since it's just 6,700 yards from the tips, but catering to the pros is never the point of a Mike Keiser-backed project. We played the course twice with caddies and while the afternoon round got a little slow, we were one of the first groups off the following morning and got around in 3:30. What a treat that was! more »