My Five: The PGA Tour's Best Courses

April 21, 2011
I'm limiting the pool to those courses that are the sole venue for their event, which eliminates Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill, among other worthies. There are a thousand reasons to like a course, almost all of them subjective, but the most important factor is the kind of golf it both demands and produces. Year in and year out, these five elicit interesting play, interesting leader boards, and winners of substance. Most tellingly, they are respected by the players.
TPC Stadium

1. TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, Ponte Verde, Fla.

(The Players Championship)
For all the bad jokes about railroad ties and island greens, a great course that is vastly underrated. I can't think of one weak hole, and nearly each one is distinctive. Pete Dye's masterpiece has it all -- strategic challenge, fascinating risk/reward choices, and a white-knuckle finish. Dye pushed the envelope with his 1979 design, and though time has softened some of the hard edges, a lot of players have never taken to the place. But few courses this side of Pine Valley have as many good holes, with the 9th and the 11th two of the great par 5s in the world. The final three make up the best finish in tournament golf -- think Augusta National closing with Amen Corner.
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
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