To an average golf fan, you might think that the PGA Tour schedule consists of playing the best golf courses in the world, but their rankings prove otherwise. There are plenty of Tour stops that are staples in the Top 100 golf course rankings, but most are not every year stops. With the exception of playing Augusta National every year for the Master’s, most major championships are rotated between Top 100 spots. This year, the Tour will make stops at 9 Top 100 courses in its season.
Most courses on the PGA Tour schedule are fan friendly and easily accessible for TV crews, grandstands, and are also located in great locations for fans to come watch. It is unfortunate that some of the best golf courses in the world are just not accessible for holding a PGA Tour event. When a lot of these golf courses were built, they were built in small, tight areas that do not make the location suitable for all the traffic and space needed to host a tour event. In my opinion, it’s sad that the general golf public will never get to see or know about some of the top places.
This year on the PGA Tour they will stop at 9 Top 100 courses, 7 Top 200 courses, and Royal Portrush, which is ranked 7th overall for golf courses not in America. There are 50 events in the PGA Tour season, with some of them being secondary fields, so the percentage of top notch courses to tournaments isn’t terrible, but you would expect a lot better. I’m sure to the average golf fan, they would think all the TPC courses the pros play are some of the best, when the only TPC course in the Top 100 or 200 is the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, which is home to The Players Championship.
There are many reasons the PGA Tour does not schedule on some of the top courses in the United States, and it is mainly because of accessibility, space, and private status. We typically see the pros play in top notch conditions every week, with sunshine, smooth greens, and finely manicured fairways. The courses they play are not “goat ranches” by any means, but their rankings and statuses are not what people would think they are.
As a fan of golf and a serious player, I would gladly stop and play any of the courses the pros play, to test my abilities against theirs. Being a member at a course where there has been several Amateur Championships, as well as Web.com Tour Championships, I can tell you that there is a certain level of pride for each club in gaining the status of hosting professional tournaments, and that is not to be diminished in any way.