We ranked every PGA Tour course—from best to worst
There are plenty of reasons why a course is selected to host a PGA Tour event beyond its architectural merits. Of course, the layout must sufficiently test the best players in the world, but the regional market, logistics and history all play important roles in landing a tour event as well.
That said, it’s no secret the tour travels to many of our country’s finest courses. Of the 38 events played in the United States during the 2022-’23 PGA Tour season, 17 are currently ranked on at least one of Golf Digest's national rankings—America's 100 Greatest, Second 100 Greatest and 100 Greatest Public.
In this collection, we rank the 38 U.S. courses across 19 different states that will host a PGA Tour event this season, based on the scores from our 1,900 course-ranking panelists. You’ll likely find few surprises in our top five courses—three of which will host a major championship this year. (This list only includes events played in the U.S.—there are nine international events scheduled this season.)
You might be surprised how the architectural merits of a layout don’t always align with the prestige of the tour event played there. Our panelists evaluate courses on seven scoring criteria, ranging from Shot Options and Layout Variety to Conditioning and Aesthetics.
See the collection below to learn more about each course and read reviews from our course-ranking panelists, all arising from our new searchable course database, Places to Play, which features course reviews, experts’ opinions and star ratings.
1. Augusta National Golf Club (Masters Tournament)
There will be no surprise with the No. 1 course on this list. Augusta National has been ranked first, second or third on our biennial America's 100 Greatest Courses ranking in each edition.
The club made a significant change this fall, lengthening the par-5 13th hole by about 30 yards. No club has tinkered with its golf course as often or as effectively over the decades as has Augusta National Golf Club, mainly to keep it competitive for the annual Masters Tournament, an event it has conducted since 1934, with time off during WWII. All that tinkering has resulted in an amalgamation of design ideas, with a routing by Alister Mackenzie and Bobby Jones, some Perry Maxwell greens, some Trent Jones water hazards, some Jack Nicklaus mounds and swales and, most recently, extensive rebunkering and tree planting by Tom Fazio. The tinkering continued in the summer of 2018 as the club lengthened the par-4 fifth by extending its back tee on newly acquired land. Soon to come, the lengthening of the famed par-5 13th.
2. Pebble Beach Golf Links (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am)
Pebble Beach, CA
Editor's Note: Courses such as Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Country Club's Shore courses, which are not the main host courses of tour, were not included in this list. Read our experts' reviews of Spyglass Hill and MPCC's Shore course here.
3. Muirfield Village Golf Club (The Memorial Tournament)
4. Los Angeles Country Club: North (U.S. Open)
Los Angeles, CA
5. Oak Hill Country Club: East (PGA Championship)
6. The Riviera Country Club (The Genesis Invitational)
Pacific Palisades, CA
7. Congaree Golf Club (The CJ Cup in South Carolina)
8. TPC Sawgrass: Stadium (The Players Championship)
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
9. Olympia Fields Country Club: North (BMW Championship)
Olympia Fields, IL
10. Quail Hollow Club (Wells Fargo Championship)
11. East Lake Golf Club (Tour Championship)
12. Kapalua: Plantation (Sentry Tournament of Champions)
From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten: Most golf fans are familiar with Kapalua Golf Club’s Plantation Course, home of the PGA Tour's opening event each year. Located on the north shore of the Hawaiian island of Maui, the Plantation was built from open, windswept pineapple fields on the pronounced slope of a volcano and is irrigated by sprinklers pressured solely by gravity. As the first design collaboration by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, it unveiled their joint admiration for old-style courses. The blind drive on the fourth, the cut-the-corner drives on the fifth and sixth are all based on tee shots found at National Golf Links. So, too, are its punchbowl green and strings of diagonal bunkers. It's also a massive course, built on a huge scale, Coore says, to accommodate the wind and the slope and the fact that it gets mostly resort play.
13. Harbour Town Golf Links (RBC Heritage)
Hilton Head Island, SC
14. Colonial Country Club (Charles Schwab Challenge)
Fort Worth, TX
15. Sea Island: Seaside (The RSM Classic)
Saint Simons Island, GA
16. Torrey Pines Golf Course: South (Farmers Insurance Open)
La Jolla, CA
17. PGA West: Stadium (The American Express)
La Quinta, CA
18. Austin Country Club (WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play)
19. Sedgefield Country Club (Wyndham Championship)
20. TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Championship)
21. TPC San Antonio: Oaks (Valero Texas Open)
San Antonio, TX
22. TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic)
23. Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge (Arnold Palmer Invitational)
From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten:
I've always been fascinated by the design of Bay Hill, Arnold Palmer's home course for over 45 years (although Tiger Woods owns it, competitively-speaking, as he's won there eight times.) For one thing, it's rather hilly, a rarity in Florida (although not in the Orlando market) and dotted with sinkhole ponds incorporated in the design in dramatic ways.
I always thought the wrap-around-a-lake par-5 sixth was Dick Wilson's version of Robert Trent Jones's decade-older 13th at The Dunes Club at Myrtle Beach. Each of the two rivals had claimed the other was always stealing his ideas. But the hole I like best at Bay Hill is the par-4 eighth, a lovely dogleg-right with a diagonal green perched above a small circular pond. Okay, I admit that it reminds me of the sixth at Hazeltine National, another Trent Jones product, but I don't think Wilson picked Trent's pocket on this one, as both courses were built about the same time, in the early 1960s.
24. Innisbrook Resort: Copperhead (Valspar Championship)
Palm Harbor, FL
25. PGA National Resort & Spa: Champion (The Honda Classic)
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
One of five courses at PGA National, the Champion Course has hosted the Honda Classic since 2007. (The event dates back to 1972, though with Honda pulling out as a tournament sponsor, the event is in question going forward.) Originally designed by Tom and George Fazio for tournament play, Jack Nicklaus redesigned the course in 2014, creating the infamous three-hole stretch aptly named "The Bear Trap." Routinely one of the toughest courses on tour, The Champion is a true ball-striking test that plays a lot differently than most courses, where winning scores push over 20 under par.