5 Playable PGA Championship Courses

Ed Schmidt covers quirky stuff and golf travel for Partner Advice.

While most of the PGA Championship venues are exclusive private enclaves like Riviera, Inverness and Southern Hills, there are a few gems open for public play. Here are five to consider:

1. Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort (2012, Rory McIlroy). A tough, in-your-face Pete Dye design in South Carolina with 10 ocean holes, undulating dunes and confounding winds.

2. Pecan Valley Golf Club (1968, Julius Boros). This venerable Fort Worth, Texas, multi-course complex has greens fees in the less-than-$30 range.

3. Straits Course at Whistling Straits (2004, Vijay Singh; 2010, Martin Kaymer). A walking-only, links-style course design by Pete Dye in Wisconsin. The Straits Course, which will host the 2015 PGA Championship, is framed by two miles of spectacular Lake Michigan shoreline.

4. Seaview Resort Bay Course (1942, Sam Snead). This Donald Ross beauty in New Jersey was built in 1914. It is skirted by Reed's Bay and has deep-pot bunkers, tiny greens and subtle undulations.

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