SILVIS, Ill. -- A common perception of golf is that it's expensive and exclusive, that recreational golfers can never get access to the picturesque tracks that the pros play when we watch them on TV. Whether this perception is on the whole justified is a matter for debate, but it can be demonstrably debunked in at least one case: The TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., near the Quad Cities.
The TPC Deere Run is the venue of the John Deere Classic, the PGA Tour event that is held every year the week before the British Open. The rest of the year, recreational golfers of all skill levels can play where the pros play for about $75, and it's worth every dime (and then some).
With five sets of tees, the TPC Deere Run measures anywhere from 5,179 yards up to 7,075 yards and will challenge all aspects of your game, just as it does the pros' games. Elevation changes, woods, water, and fast-and-true greens befitting a Tour venue -- along with friendly, first-class service -- all await visitors to the crown jewel of the golf-rich Quad Cities area.
There's a great mix of long and short holes, vistas over the Rock River, and the famous 18th green, where Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson have hoisted multiple trophies, Paul Goydos has putted for 59, and Jordan Spieth has holed out on the way to his first PGA Tour win. If you're listening, you'll hear the cheering crowd as you finish your round, too.