What Is a TPC Golf Course? (And What Does 'TPC' Stand For?)

Panorama showing the 17th and 16th holes at TPC Sawgrass golf course.
TPC Sawgrass was the first TPC, or Tournament Players Club, golf course. Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

The acronym "TPC" is heard fairly commonly in the golf world, and it applies to golf courses. It's heard often because many professional golf tournaments, including some of the biggest, are played at TPC golf courses.

But what does "TPC" stand for? This: "Tournament Players Club." And golf courses that carry the "TPC" designation are owned by the PGA Tour.

  • Also Known As: "Tournament Players Course" is not technically accurate as what the TPC acronym stands for, but it's OK to refer to a TPC course that way.

    The First TPC Golf Course

    The first golf course to carry the "TPC" designation was TPC Sawgrass - specifically, the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. The one with the island green, the one where the PGA Tour stages its flagship event every year, The Players Championship.

    The PGA Tour got into the business of building and owning golf courses when TPC Sawgrass opened in 1980. The idea (which originated with then-Tour commissioner, and former tour pro, Deane Beman) was to build a course capable of serving as the venue for a big-time tournament, built with spectators in mind (e.g., stadium seating), and built to the standards expected by the world's best golfers (the PGA Tour players).

    The PGA Tour Owns Today's TPC Network

    Today, there are dozens of "Tournament Players Clubs," and the TPC Network that operates them is a subsidiary of the PGA Tour. "(T)he TPC Network was founded in order to create and maintain facilities that matched the Tour’s highest level of quality for tournaments and events," the PGA Tour states.

    The Tour explains the mission of the TPC Network as creating the "ultimate host venues" for PGA Tour events, with services and amenities for visitors that match what Tour pros expect. "Across the country, TPC courses let golfers truly live the PGA Tour life," the TPC Network states. "Walking the same fairways as their heroes have done.

    Teeing off from the very spots where history has been made. And enjoying every club detail exactly as the pros do."

    Can You Play a TPC Golf Course?

    Some golf courses with the TPC designation are open to the public; others are private, members-only facilities. So, yes, some of the TPC courses you can play the same way you play any other course: by making a tee time. Others you can play through stay-and-play packages.

    The private clubs in the TPC Network sell memberships, and the TPC Network itself sells various packages and memberships. You can delve into the particulars by visiting the TPC website at www.tpc.com.

    There are more than 30 golf courses in the TPC Network, most of them in the United States but with a few now at international locations.

    The TPC courses that members of the public can play - these are either resort courses or daily fee courses - are:

    • TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, Calif.
    • TPC Stadium Course at PGA West, La Quinta, Calif.
    • TPC Las Vegas, Nevada
    • TPC Scottsdale, Arizona
    • TPC Four Seasons, Dallas, Texas
    • TPC San Antonio, Texas
    • TPC Louisiana, New Orleans, La.
    • TPC Eagle Trace, Coral Springs, Fla.
    • TPC Tampa Bay, Fla.
    • TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
    • TPC Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    • The Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs, W.V.
    • TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Ill.
    • TPC Colorado, Berthoud, Colorado
    • TPC Dorado Beach, Dorado Puerto Rico
    • TPC Cartagena at Karibana, Cartagena, Colombia

    The network expands from time to time, so to view any recent additions to this list - plus the list of private TPC clubs - visit the TPC.com website linked above. You can also investigate and book tee times through the TPC's site.

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