A golfer watching a major championship is akin to waving candy in front of a toddler.
Golfers can't help but want to play the courses they see the pros tackling under the most difficult of setups and in mint condition. There are 32 current and former major championship venues currently available for public play. All 14 links that have hosted The Open are the most accessible. Throw in six public U.S. Open hosts and 14 other PGA Championship sites.
GolfPass offers golf packages to 13 of these major championship courses, including an overseas itinerary that features all three Open links along England's Golf Coast. Let us help you check them off your bucket list. Editor's note: GolfPass members get $100 off select packages. Learn more.
Golf trips to U.S. Open and PGA Championship venues
Host of a thrilling 2015 U.S. Open won by Jordan Spieth, new poa greens installed in 2019 have this incredible pseudo links on the shores of the Puget Sound back in the conversation for a second U.S. Open. Although both the walk and the scoring can be tough, most players come away from the experience thrilled to have experienced such a unique and beautiful playground.
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Few realize that Pebble Beach actually hosted a PGA Championship (Lanny Wadkins won in 1977) in addition to six U.S. Opens, most recently in 2019. The chance to enjoy the seaside resort property and walk one of America's finest golf landscapes is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. From the food in the resort's restaurants to the mild year-round climate, everything should be just about perfect for your stay.
TPC Harding Park
TPC Harding Park might someday be known as the site where a legend was born. Since Collin Morikawa's victory at the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, the former Cal Bear has gone on to capture the claret jug at the 2021 Open. His epic driving of the 16th green at TPC Harding Park to set up eagle will go down as one of the best shots in major championship lore. After golf, enjoy one of America's greatest cities. Just don't forget your jacket. It can be chilly on the peninsula, even during summer.
Kiawah Island's two PGA champions - Rory McIlroy in 2012 and Phil Mickelson in 2021 - are proof that the golf world needs a regular dose of the Ocean Course. Pete Dye's intimidating routing and the shifting winds off the Atlantic create golf theater like no other. The course is walking-only much of the time, but thankfully caddies are included to help guide you. Everything about the Kiawah Island Golf Resort is five stars, from the Sanctuary Hotel to the new cottages steps from the first tee.
The Straits Course at Whistling Straits by Dye will add to its lore by hosting the 2021 Ryder Cup on the shores of Lake Michigan. As if its three PGA Championships (2004, 2010 and 2015) weren't enough to convince you that the Midwest can deliver both five-star luxury accommodations at The American Club/Destination Kohler and wild, links-like golf that wrecks the best players in the world. Playing the Straits is a mesmerizing walking-only round with a caddie. Three other Top-100 Dye masterpieces - the Irish Course and Blackwolf Run River and Meadow Valleys - and a new short course, The Baths, make this pilgrimage a must for any serious player.
Open Championship golf trips to Scotland, England and Northern Ireland
America boasts more major championship venues that Scotland, but the Scots have history on their side. The Open dates back to 1860 and has been played on the Old Course at St. Andrews 29 times, more than any other venue. The 2022 Open returns to the charming seaside town known as the "Home of Golf". Both of our St. Andrews packages also include a round at the infamous Carnoustie, host to eight Opens as well. No one will forget the sight of poor Jean van de Velde standing, hands on hips, socks and shoes off, pants rolled up, in the burn short of the 18th green.
Another package tours the Ayrshire Coast two hours to the west and the dynamite twosome of the Ailsa Course at Trump Turnberry (Opens in 1977, '86, '94 and 2009) and Royal Troon, hosting its 10th Open in 2024.
Between Royal Birkdale (10 Opens), Royal Liverpool (12 Opens) and Royal Lytham & St. Annes (11 Opens), this 20-mile long slice of English coastline north of London has held 33 Open Championships. Visitors can expect lots of small towns, pubs and special memories from playing such a trio of historic links. All three date back more than a century.
Royal Portrush has earned a permanent spot in the Open rota after a 68-year absence. The famed links in the shadow of the ruins of Dunluce Castle held the first Open outside of Great Britain in 1951. A violent conflict known as "The Troubles" held Northern Ireland hostage for decades before a triumphant return of both the Irish Open in 2012 and the 2019 Open won by Shane Lowry showcased the passion of the fans and the charms of a links players of all skills seem to love. With its tourist attractions (the Giant's Causeway and Bushmills Distillery) and the celebrated Royal County Down, we named Northern Ireland/Northwest Ireland third among the World's Best Golf Destinations.
Which major championship venue are you wanting to play the most? Let us know in the comments below.