Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Interview with Justin Thomas at 2021 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
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TPC golf courses are a chain of public and private golf courses operated by the PGA Tour. TPC officially stands for ‘Tournament Players Club’, though it is often interpreted as ‘Tournament Players Course’. The flagship TPC venue for the PGA Tour is TPC Sawgrass, now the headquarters of the PGA Tour.
There are more than 30 golf courses in the TPC Network, most of them in the US. Most either are or have been hosts for PGA Tour events. Many are private, members-only facilities, but some are open to the public who can pay and play. All Square reviews the best of those courses.
The first golf course to carry the ‘TPC’ designation was TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida. The venue was specifically built to host the PGA Tour‘s flagship event and golf’s unofficial ‘Fifth Major’, the Players Championship. One of its innovations was ‘stadium seating’ around the greens in the form of slopes, where fans get views of the action below. Hence the name ‘The Stadium Course‘. Opened in 1980, it was designed by Pete and Alice Dye. It’s known for its signature hole, the par-3, 137-yard 17th, known as the ‘Island Green’, one of golf’s most recognizable holes. It’s a pricey venue for the paying public, but this is a wonderfully challenging bucket-list course.
This Jack Nicklaus-design sits along Colombia‘s northern Caribbean coast, near the city of Cartagena. It’s one of only two TPC courses in South America. Opened in 2014, the par-72 layout forms the centrepiece of a luxury Hilton hotel development and hosted the Cartagena de Indias at Karibana Championship on the then-named Web.com Tour in 2015. With its immaculate condition and subtle intricacies, this 7,064-yard course will appeal to golfers of all levels. While the front nine in surrounded by thick forest, the back nine is marked by wide-open Caribbean vistas. The hotel offers several stay & play golf vacation packages.
Edit: The course is no longer part of the TPC Network.
This Rees Jones design is located on the eastern coast of Baja California Sur, a state in northwest Mexico. The 7,237-yard course climbs through inspiring canyons on the front nine, visits the beach briefly for the 12th and 13th, before you head towards the climax. The par-3 17th hole has now become one of the world’s great destination par 3s. The elevated tee looks down upon an hour-glass-shaped green cut into seaside cliffs. The course is adjacent to the Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at The Islands of Loreto, making this perfect for a golf vacation, and with affordable green fees it’s one of the best bargain golf destinations in Mexico.
This Texas venue features 36 holes designed by two of the world’s most respected golf course architects: Pete Dye and Greg Norman. Dye crafted the par-72, 7,106-yard AT&T Canyons Course, the previous host of the Champions Tour’s San Antonio Championship. His signature wide fairways and panoramic views of the Cibolo Canyons create a beautiful and enjoyable test for golfers of all abilities. Norman’s par-72, 7,435-yard AT&T Oaks Course hosts the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open each year. Norman incorporated the distinct local flora into the design, resulting in a strikingly beautiful course to challenge golfers of all skill levels.
TPC Harding Park in San Francisco will stage the PGA Championship in 2020 and has hosted two WGC events and a Presidents Cup. The venue is framed on three sides by Lake Merced and is routed across sandy ground making it reminiscent of a classic links. Tall Cyprus trees line most holes making the fairways seem narrow, and tight greens make posting a low score difficult. A dramatic closing stretch along the cliffs overlooking the lake begins at the par-4 15th and ends at the venue’s signature hole, the wonderful dogleg par-4 18th.
This course hosts the annual TPC Colorado Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour, the level below the PGA Tour. It’s long at 7,900 yards, but multiple tees will give recreational golfers an opportunity to play the course at any length they find enjoyable. Featuring sweeping majestic views of the Rocky Mountains, it’s nestled alongside the sparkling blue waters of Lonetree, McNeil and Welch Reservoirs. In addition to private memberships, TPC Colorado also has a limited number of tee times available for the public to book.