Play Where the Pros Play: The top 50 public courses of the Tour - part 2

The competition to be ranked among the top 25 public courses to host a Tour event was fierce.

These premier tournament tracks include a current PGA Tour and LPGA Tour venue, both along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama. Two others are highly regarded university tracks that regularly host college events. Plus, almost all of them have won some sort of "best of" ranking in their respective states.

If you want to "Play Where the Pros Play," these are definitely courses to consider adding to your bucket list. Click here to read part 1 of the story, featuring courses ranked 50-26.

Tournament: 2003-2012 Miccosukee Championship
Comment: This 27-hole Mark Mahannah masterpiece from 1970 is soaked in water. Golf Advisor reviews generally stay in the four- and five-star range. The 302-room casino resort offers multiple restaurants and a spa.

Tournament: 1991-2000 South Carolina Classic
Comment: Lakes, dogwoods and azaleas decorate this Ellis Maples design open to limited public play.

23. The Country Club at Soboba Springs, San Jacinto, Calif.

Tournament: 2009-12 Soboba Golf Classic
Comment: Architect Cary Bickler gave the original Desmond Muirhead design from the 1960s a modern makeover in 2005. The course, where Rickie Fowler shot a record-setting 65, offers nice views of the mountains and water on 10 holes.

Love watching the ball soar against a mountain backdrop at #SobobaSprings, former @SobobaClassic @NationwideTour

A photo posted by Jason Scott Deegan (@jasondeegangolfadvisor) on

Tournament: 1990-2001 Cleveland Open
Comment: This private club is accessible through a stay-and-play at the Quail Hollow Resort just east of Cleveland.

Tournament: 1999 Nike New Mexico Charity Classic
Comment: When talk of closing this legendary college tournament site surfaced, the Bernalillo County government kicked in $1.5 million for upgrades in 2012.

Tournament: 2015-16 Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank
Comment: Links Magazine ranked this Johnny Miller course one of 15 "hidden gems" in the country.

19. Riverdale Dunes, Brighton, Colo.

Tournament: 1996-97 Nike Colorado Classic
Comment: Pete and Perry Dye created a faux links mixed with man-made dunes and water on 11 holes.

Tournament: 1998 Nike Tour Championship
Comment: An extensive $5 million remodeling several years ago made this RTJ Golf Trail course more playable for everyday golfers and still maintained that challenge for the LPGA pros. More than 5,000 trees were removed, and the green complexes were altered and mostly softened.

17. The Course at Wente Vineyards, Livermore, Calif.

Tournament: 2006-08 Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship
Comment: This celebrated "vineyard" course east of the Bay Area racks up five-star ratings on Golf Advisor, doubling the number of four-star reviews.

16. Highland Oaks Golf Club, Dothan, Ala.

Tournament: 1999 Nike Tour Championship and 2000 Tour Championship
Comment: Highland Oaks is the most out-of-the-way stop on the RTJ Golf Trail, and still one of its best.

T-14. Devil's Claw Course and Cattail Course at Whirlwind Golf Club at Wild Horse Pass, Chandler, Ariz.

Tournament: 2001-05 Gila River Classic
Comment: Devil's Claw hosted the first two tournaments, followed by the final three on the Cattail Course. Both are Gary Panks designs managed by Troon that get plenty of five-star mentions on Golf Advisor.

Tournament: 2010-13 Stadion Classic at UGA
Comment: The hilly Robert Trent Jones Sr. course rates among the best in the state and among the best university courses in the country. Nearly 70 percent of the Golf Advisor reviews are five star.

12. Troy Burne Golf Club, Hudson, Wis.

Tournament: 2004-05 Scholarship America Showdown
Comment: The quality of the course can be seen by the quality of its winners --Kevin Stadler and Jason Gore. One Golf Advisor review by a Minnesota golf writer calls it the no. 1 course in the Twin Cities, even though it's a half-hour away and across state lines.

11. Missouri Bluffs Golf Club, St. Charles, Mo.

Tournament: 97-98 Nike St. Louis Golf Classic
Comment: Scenery from this Tom Fazio design dating to 1993 helped Missouri Bluffs earn more five-star reviews than any other star ranking at Golf Advisor.

10. Cherokee Ridge Country Club, Union, Ala.

Tournament: 1994-97 Nike Alabama Classic
Comment: This private course began allowing public play in 2012. Much of the front nine is guarded by a 17-acre lake, while the back nine turns through a forest, with three holes reconfigured to include a view of an 80-foot waterfall feeding Lynn's Creek.

9. Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Tournament: 2013-15 Tour Championship and 2010-12 Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open Presented by Planters
Comment: A 2014 refurbishment of the 1987 Pete Dye/Bobby Weed design returned greens to their original size. The work reconstructed all the greens, tees and green-side bunkers. A new irrigation system, improved drainage and new grass on the greens, fairways and tees improved year-round playing conditions.

Tournament: 1997-2004 Hershey Open/Reese's Cup Classic
Comment: The Country Club of Hershey's West Course hosted the 1940 PGA Championship and an LPGA event for two decades, but the George Fazio-designed East is no slouch, either.

7. Virginia Beach National Golf Club, Virginia Beach, Va.

Tournament: 2000-2006 Virginia Beach Open
Comment: This Pete Dye/Curtis Strange collaboration from 1999 used to be the TPC Virginia Beach.

6. Senator Course at Capitol Hill, Prattville, Ala.

Tournament: 2001-05 Tour Championship
Comment: Collectively, the 54 holes at Capitol Hill are the best stop along the RTJ Trail. This faux Scottlish links is littered with 160 pot bunkers and mounds 20-40 feet high.

5. The Glen Club, Glenview, Ill.

Tournament: 2003-07 LaSalle Bank Open/2008 Bank of America Open
Comment: Thick rough and sparkling lakes tests everybody who tees it up on this Tom Fazio gem in Chicagoland.

Tournament: 1993-94 Nike Tour Championship
Comment: Ghost Creek launched former world no. 1 David Duval, who won the 1993 Nike Championship, to superstardom. A few years later, the private Witch Hollow Course witnessed a third straight U.S. Amateur title by Tiger Woods in 1996. Pumpkin Ridge has also hosted the 1997 and 2003 U.S. Women's Open and the 2002-12 Safeway Classic on the LPGA Tour.

Tournament: 1997 Nike Tour Championship
Comment: Twelve holes of this RTJ Golf Trail course drape the shores of Lake Saugahatchee. It now hosts the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship.

Tournament: 2000-03 Monterey Peninsula Classic
Comment: Views of the Monterey Bay and a stout routing ranked Bayonet among the top 50 courses nationally by Golf Advisor in 2015.

1. Barona Creek Golf Club, Lakeside, Calif.

Tournament: 2007 Nationwide Tour Championship at Barona Creek
Comment: Most golfers fall in love with the idyllic setting and interesting holes of this tribal casino course a half-hour's drive from San Diego.

Top international public-accessible courses that have also hosted the Tour

1. Royal Adelaide Golf Club, Australia (2005-07 Jacob's Creek Open Championship)
2. Moonah Links, Australia (2008-10 Moonah Classic)
3. Corales, Dominican Republic (Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship)
4. Raven Golf Club at Lora Bay, Canada (2008-10 Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic Presented by Samsung)
5. TPC Cartagena, Colombia (Servientrega Championship Presented by Efecty)
6. Clearwater Golf Club, New Zealand (2002-09 New Zealand PGA Championship)
7. The Links of GlenEagles, Canada (2003 Alberta Calgary Classic)
8. Redwood Meadows Golf and Country Club, Canada (2004-05 Alberta Classic)

Click here to read part 1 of the story, featuring courses ranked 50-26.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,100 courses and written about golf destinations in 25 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Play Where the Pros Play: The top 50 public courses of the Tour - part 2