Have you ever dreamed of playing Augusta, Pebble or Whistling Straits?
How about St. Andrews or Bethpage Black?
Most golfers in America dream about taking a trip to Europe to play St. Andrews or out to the west coast to play Pebble Beach. In fact, most golfers probably have these two on their bucket list. I know that I do!
Others can only dream of playing Augusta and more than likely it will never become a reality unless there are some unforeseen circumstances where somehow one received an invite to play this amazing, unbelievable course that has a great deal of tradition and history.
Enter owning your own golf simulator…
One of the best features of owning your own golf simulator is access to some of the best golf courses in the world. While it is not the real thing obviously, there is something special about hitting the par 3 shot on number 12 at Augusta, or trying to keep your drive in play on the 18th hole at Pebble. Or making part down the final stretch on road hole at St. Andrews.
Regardless of your dream holes that you want to play, the golf simulator can make it somewhat possible.
If you are new to the golf simulator world or are considering upgrading your software, I would highly recommend The Golf Club (TGC) software. Having experienced many different software on different golf simulator units, TGC is head and shoulders above the rest, but more about that later.
What Are The Best Courses To Play on a Golf Simulator?
Augusta, Pebble Beach, Whistling Straight, Bethpage Black and St. Andrews are in my top 5 courses to play on a golf simulator. The graphics involved and the history behind these courses from tournaments in the past, make these courses outstanding.
Each of these courses have some quality history behind them. Obviously a course like Augusta (actually called Magnolia National on the software) is truly incredible due to a major being played there everywhere.
The famous shots just from recent history include Phil’s amazing shot out of the pine straw on number 13, Tiger Woods holing out from left of the green on 16. The 12th hole which has plenty of history and helped propel Tiger to his 15 major championship in 2019.
Then you get into the history at the Old Course at St. Andrews. Hundreds of years of history and the greatest golfer of all time winning major championships there make it a true treat. Overall, each course is special in its own right.
TGC software has some incredible graphics and features that bring the golf simulator experience to life. Some of the key features include:
- Ultra HD Graphics – Resolution up to 4K
- 100,000+ courses
- Course Designer
- Free Online Play
- Live Tournament Play
- No Loading Time Between Holes
Having played other software the realistic nature of the experience on the TGC software sets it apart from the competition.
Not only do you have an unbelievable amount of courses with many of the world’s top 100 courses created, you can get your favorite hometown course created through connecting with someone in the community or learning how to design the course yourself through the software.
This is where TGC found the secret. Let the golfers learn to design courses and make replications.
Best Courses to play on a golf simulator: Augusta (Magnolia National)
Having been to a practice round for the Masters at Augusta National, I have loved the opportunity to play this course on a regular basis through my golf simulator. It is my go to course to play on my simulator.
Having walked the course for 12 hours on a practice round in spring of 2018, I quickly fell in love with the course and the perfect nature of it. Throughout the years, many of us have watched the tournament every April and can recall certain shots on each hole. Jack Nicklaus’ famous shot on hole #16 or Tiger Woods overpowering the course in 1997.
The many memories are there and now I get to hit those same shots on my golf simulator. My favorite hole is hole #11 due to the challenging tee shot and then the awesome approach shot into the 11th great – water on the left, bunker on the right and a green that has a shape of right to left.
Do you use the slope or try to carry it to the hole.? Runner up is #16 because I have seen Jack’s shot there over a hundred times and it is the same hole where Tiger Woods chipped in from off the green with that amazing shot. If you can hit a slight draw you can get close to the typical Sunday pin placement.
Best Courses to play on a golf simulator: Pebble Beach
I think most Americans dream of playing Pebble Beach one day, but would have to bring their $500 plus to the clubhouse. I first became amazed with the course in 2000 when Tiger Woods destroyed the field in the US Open. Not only are there some great holes, but it just might be the most beautiful course in the world as it sits up against Carmel Bay.
The 6th hole Par 5 always amazes me when watching the PGA tour or US Open. The 7th par 3 might be the hole that has been photographed the most and who can forget #18 and the challenge that it presents. Playing this course in January, while it is cold and snowy outside, makes the winter seem just a bit shorter.
Best Courses to play on a golf simulator: Whistling Straits
Is a Pete Dye design that has hosted 3 PGA Championships and is set to host the 2020 Ryder Cup. The real course is located in Wisconsin, along Lake Michigan, but one would think the golf course was in the United Kingdom or Ireland with the beautiful rolling land and the challenging undulations that exist.
Eight of the holes hug the lake and provide an excellent challenge. What I appreciate most is the need to be able to work the ball both ways off the tees while being precise. The green are on the larger side and also encourage you to work the ball one way to get close to pins.
Best Courses to play on a golf simulator: Old Course at St. Andrews
Once again a course that makes the list because of the history that it brings to the table. Playing the 1st and 18th holes in addition to the road hole on 17 brings about some great excitement and challenge. Having watched these holes played many times in the British Open, being able to challenge myself with these shots is always a great deal of fun.
Best Courses to play on a golf simulator: Bethpage Black
Tiger Woods won the 2002 US Open at Bethpage Black on this public course located on Long Island in New York. The narrow fairways, difficult rough and greens that seem to sit on top of a hill make this a great challenge both in outdoor golf and simulator golf.
A course that is becoming an iconic course in the US due to it being publically owned and operated is quite the challenge on the golf simulator.
Best Golf Courses To Play On A Golf Simulator: My Top 10
- Pebble Beach
- Whistling Straits
- St. Andrews
- Bethpage Black
- Bayhill Golf Club
- Firestone Country Club
- Hoodo Hills (Remastered) Fictional
- TPC Sawgrass
- PGA West Stadium Course
Owning a golf simulator is a game changer. It can help you improve quickly and work towards developing a mastery level of skill. With the right guidance, practice time and overall desire to improve you now have a golf simulator that can help you play 365 days a year.
I went with the Skytrak Launch Monitor and paired with TGC software! What a combination! For a reasonable price, I was able to get started in the golf simulator worlds and have now played closer to 800 rounds.
The amount of fun with family and friends as we play golf in the winter months when there is snow outside is difficult to beat! People love playing the top named courses and can dream about the opportunity somewhere in the future!
It has brought about awesome score improvement as my ball striking has improve, my swing speed is up and I can hit the difficult shots that are required on many of the top 100 courses in the world.
They say it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, the golf simulator can get you headed towards these number of hours required as you can now play and practice 12 months a year, 365 days a year at anytime of day regardless of the weather!