Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
For most of us, we can only ever dream of playing on the PGA Tour and while some host venues keep their fairways firmly closed to the average Joe, there are some fantastic courses that offer the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of your heroes.
From the iconic Pebble Beach to the classic gem at the Riviera Club, we take a look at the finest PGA Tour destination.
When Jack Nicklaus suggests a course may be the best in the world, there’s a good chance it probably is. Unbelievably spectacular, Pebble Beach Golf Links will leave you speechless by the sheer audacity of its holes, which cling perilously close to the clifftop. Opened for play in 1919, the course has played host to five US Open’s, and is arguably the most iconic course in America.
A regular haunt of Hall-of-Fame athletes and Hollywood stars, a round at Pebble Beach certainly doesn’t come cheap.
With a collection of the world’s most photographed holes, however, every golfer should play here once in their lifetime.
The layout is also a regular stop on the PGA Tour, having rolled out its green-carpet fairways to the game’s best golfers on an annual basis since 1947.
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Home to the PGA Tour headquarters, the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in one of the most recognizable golf courses in the world. The first true stadium course, the venue was built specifically as the home of the Players Championship. Designed by Pete and Alice Dye, the venue now does exactly that, playing host to the celebrated event since 1982.
Despite being a championship calibre course, the Stadium is accessible to all levels of player and amateurs will find a balanced layout that tests every aspect of your game. As a result, it has become a must-play for all-golfers travelling to Florida.
With its signature island green the par-3, 17th hole is immortalised as one of golf’s most iconic holes. Meanwhile, the 18th, guarded by water down the left, makes for a formidable finish.
Bay Hill is best known as the home of golfing legend Arnold Palmer. The King is said to have fallen in love with the Floridian complex when he played an exhibition match to celebrate its opening in the 60’s. He would later buy the Club and make it his home for more than forty years. Home to the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the two loops of nine that make up the championship course are widely considered to form one of the hardest collection of holes on the PGA Tour.
It’s hard to believe but it’s been over twenty years since Tiger Woods aced the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The shot would immortalise the par-3 in golfing folklore and today golf fans continue to head to the stadium hole in their droves to soak up the party atmosphere.
With over three decades of tournament action, TPC Scottsdale has cemented its place as one of the PGA Tour’s most recognisable venues. Designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, the layout was sculpted from the Sonoran Desert and is set against the backdrop of the McDowell Mountains.
Designed by Pete Dye, the Stadium Course at PGA West was originally dropped from the PGA Tour roster after only a year because many of the players complained that it was too hard. It has recently been reinstated and is a welcome addition for golf fans who can again witness their heroes grappling with this fearsome test.
Golfers heading to the Californian venue should be sure to bring plenty of balls. Water features on over half of the holes. Nowhere more so than the 17th hole, known as Alcatraz, where golfers must play to an island green. Host to the PGA Tour’s CareerBuilder Challenge, the course has witnessed numerous historic moments, including Lee Trevino’s unforgettable hole-in-one.
If there was ever a course that could be described as a perfect 10 it would probably be Riviera Country Club. The course is a masterpiece in architectural design and has been hosting PGA Tour events as far back as the 1920’s.
The original construction for the build was $250,000 a humungous sum at the time and the course was the first to see huge swaths of land moved in the design process.
The venue has played host to the US Open and PGA Championship and has long been a place where Hollywood’s elite go to unwind. Legends Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, and Humphrey Bogart are just a few of the stars of the silver screen to have been members at the Californian venue.
Despite its storied history, the greatest chapter may still be to come. The club has been selected as the site to host the 2028 Olympic golf event.
Situated in Charlotte, Quail Hollow shot to fame in 2003 when the venue hosted the Wachovia Championship (now known as the Wells Fargo Championship). Stretching 7442 yards from the championship tees, the course is one hell of a test. As a result, it consistently brings the greatest players to the surface. Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, and Rory McIlroy have all won at the North Carolina venue, conquering the demanding stretch of final holes better known as the ‘Green Mile’ in the process.
Quail Hollow would also host the PGA Championship in 2017 when Justin Thomas claimed his first major title.