California, Hawaii, Arizona, Florida, Illinois
5 Beautiful Golf Courses the Pros Love to Play
One thing is for sure: There is no shortage of gorgeous golf courses in the USA.
But when it comes to choosing your next set of fairways, take a cue from the world’s most famous golfers, and head to one of these beautiful courses.
TPC Scottsdale: Scottsdale, Arizona
Pro golfer Phil Mickelson spent his college years in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, so it’s not surprising that his favorite greens sit among the Valley of the Sun’s rusty-hued desert landscape. Lined with towering palm trees and prickly saguaro cacti, TPC Scottsdale consists of two 18-hole courses: the Champions Course and the Stadium Course, which plays host to one of the most highly attended championships, the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Both courses are maintained to PGA standards year-round. You can tee off to views of the rugged McDowell Mountains for around $80 during peak hours and $50 in the evening.
Professional golfer Phil Mickelson is fond of the desert scenery at Arizona’s TPC Scottsdale golf courses.
Innisbrook: Tampa Bay, Florida
Less than 20 kilometers north of the vacation hub of Clearwater, Florida, Innisbrook boasts four spectacular 18-hole championship golf courses and one beautiful nine-hole course — each promising a challenging game with beautiful views. Every year, this expansive golf destination hosts the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship. Come March, the pros descend on Innisbrook’s beautiful Copperhead Course.
Professional golfer Luke Donald has had exceptionally good luck here, taking home the winning title in 2012, after a sudden-death playoff; and tying for fourth in 2013. When the pros aren’t vying for a title, you can aim for par on the course’s lush fairways. While here, keep your eyes peeled for local critters, like alligators and blue herons.
British golfer Luke Donald made PGA history when he claimed the Valspar Championship title after a sudden-death playoff at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course.
Pearl Country Club: Oahu, Hawaii
With stunning views of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, the Pearl Country Club delights golfers with rolling greens lined with stately palm trees. The island vistas and challenging terrain are especially beloved by female pro golfer Michelle Wie. The Honolulu native was the first woman to ever compete in the club’s Hawaii Pearl Open, which the Pearl Country Club has hosted every February since 1979. Since then, she has gone on to win several high-profile tournaments, including the U.S. Women’s Open in 2014.
When the Hawaii Pearl Open isn’t in play, you can aim for par along the course’s 18 picturesque holes. Don’t let the tropical views distract you from your game on Hole 4 — reportedly the most challenging hole on the course. A full round here will cost you $140; if you don’t mind playing later in the day, you can tee off for between $50 and $70. The Pearl Country Club also features a driving range and a golf school should you desire a bit of practice before tackling the fairways.
Hawaii's Pearl Country Club is the unofficial home course of female pro golfer Michelle Wie.
TPC Deere Run: Silvis, Illinois
Formerly an Arabian horse farm, the tree-lined greens and undulating fairways of TPC Deere Run in northwest Illinois draw avid golfers from across the Midwest and from around the world. About a two-hour drive from Chicago, Illinois, this 18-hole, par-71 course challenges even the world’s best golfers with its hilly terrain and tricky bunkers. But the scenic TPC Deere Run course holds a special place in many professionals’ hearts — including that of Texas-born pro Jordan Spieth. It was on these verdant greens that Spieth claimed the top spot in the John Deere Classic during a three-way sudden-death playoff. Held every July, the John Deere Classic serves as a qualifier for the British Open.
When the pros aren’t competing, you can test the greens for yourself for less than $100.
TPC Deere Run is one of the most popular golf courses in the Midwest, loved by pros and amateurs alike.
Torrey Pines Golf Course: San Diego, California
The stunning ocean vistas, dramatic cliffs and challenging fairways of the Torrey Pines Golf Course are enough to enchant any golfer — even Tiger Woods. In fact, Woods has won eight championships at this course, including his 75th PGA Tour win.
While Woods may love this course because of his outstanding record here, you’ll be impressed by Torrey Pines’ spectacular views of La Jolla, located just north of downtown San Diego, California. Each of the 18 holes presents its own unique challenges, from hilly fairways to curving bunkers to cliffside greens, where hitting the ball just a few meters too far could send it careening into the Pacific Ocean.