Brandon Tucker

Managing Editor

Brandon Tucker is Sr. Managing Editor for Golf Advisor and has been with the TravelGolf network since 2003 when he came onboard as an intern. Today, Tucker oversees the network of sites and also contributes golf and travel articles, photo essays, videos and more. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 courses. Brandon graduated from the Indiana University School of Journalism with a minor in music. At IU, he was a columnist for the Indiana Daily Student, a reporter for IUSTV and hosted a radio show on WIUS. Since college, he served as a reporter and photographer for WTXL, an ABC News affiliate in Tallahassee, Fla., and as a producer of onboard television for Norwegian Cruise Lines. Tucker currently lives in Austin, Texas. He's played some great golf courses around the world, but says the northern part of his native Michigan is still his favorite golf spot. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.

  • 3.0 stars from 5

    Grande Vista Golf Club

    "Another solid Orlando short-course option"

    I played the adjacent 18-hole Grande Pines a few years ago (which is now closed) and was glad to finally see Grand Vista, the 9-holer the property decided to keep. First off, the facilities, despite being a short course, are as good as many of the resorts in town. There is a full driving range, clubhouse bar & restaurant and short game greens. The nine-hole course is pleasant and long enough where you can hit all the clubs in your bag, culminating with a 400-yard par 4. The routing is a bit odd as it's a short course yet not geared towards walking: several long drives between holes. A whiff from the developer there. But all things considered this is a place I would feel great bringing a wide range of skill levels and ages to. If you're near the Sea World area and have a little time to spare this is a fine option. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Dataw Island Club

    "Flies under the radar in the lowcountry"

    I had the chance to play this private course back in 2008. It certainly gets a lot less press compared to its neighbors, but it's quite a gorgeous place. There are beautiful oaks and lots of marshy scenery. It's a playable and pleasant Tom Fazio design. The 18th finishes with a bang, with some shades of Pebble Beach's finisher. There were dolphins swimming there as I finished my round. Pretty wild. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Torrey Pines Golf Course

    "Great end to the trip"

    Brought a group of 12 buddies to San Diego and we finished up at Torrey Pines North. Playing the South never really crossed our minds given it's getting a lot of work done this summer and it's also way more difficult. There were some high handicappers in my group and I know they loved the more forgiving layout compared to Steele Canyon and Maderas. The course is a lot of fun to play, especially the back nine, which kicks off with a great par 5 straight towards the ocean. I love the 16th hole too that plays up the hill along the coast. The course had been aerated about 10 days earlier so greens were running slower than previous rounds, and it's too bad they don't give any kind of price break for that, but hey it's a busy place that doesn't have a problem booking up. I booked our three times about 75 days in advance and it was already filling up. We stuck around for drinks on the lodge patio. All in all a great cap to the weekend. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Maderas Golf Club

    "Fantastic operation and layout"

    When I settled on San Diego for my buddies trip, I knew I'd be calling up Maderas for one of the rounds. In my travels, it is among the best standalone daily-fee destination facilities I've experienced. Great clubhouse, food, drinks, practice area and service. Oh, the layout is a lot of fun too, culminating with a great closing stretch full of elevated tee shots and high drama. Conditions are fast and great and you can employ the ground game a little bit around the greens. I was curious if my group of 12 would prefer Torrey Pines North or Maderas. Virtually all of them seem to have preferred Maderas even if Torrey was a little more forgiving to wayward shots (and is more walker-friendly, which I personally prefer). more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Pebble Beach Golf Links


    Rare do you show up to a course for the first time already knowing so much about it. Even still, I left with a whole new level of appreciation of Pebble Beach. We played the course a few weeks before the upcoming 2019 US Open and the course couldn't have been in better shape. The rough was grown out but you could still catch some decent lies in it. Greens were fabulous. Pebble's routing is unbelievable. The 6th hole is probably the most remarkable hole I've ever seen. 8 is all drama too. What's crazy is that when we turned the corner and got to 11, I almost felt this sense of relief after 7 incredibly intense oceanfront holes. You get a few holes inland to catch your breath and then get right back out on 17 and then finish with a bang on 18. A few notes: Taking a cart is pointless. We did because we were in a shotgun, but it's cart-path only every day and on pretty much every hole the cart path is on the opposite side of the ocean or well off the fairway. Just walk or take a caddie (ours was very good). Be sure to take enough club off the 8th tee! Staff say too many golfers lay back too much and end up with 200 yards into the green. Pace was bad but we were in a media shotgun with many of the holes having A & B groups (and we were all getting tons of video, photography etc.).. Staff say that thanks to Tagmarhall, normal tee sheets are averaging under 5 hours now. The staff plans on keeping the course in US Open shape all summer but will scale back the rough to "resort" conditions before the Champions Tour event this fall. All in all I felt the round was challenging but the fairways weren't too narrow (I hit 8 of them!). The greens are small and quick. If you hit a green you've got a good chance at a birdie. There is a reason why the US Open held its 100th event here and Pebble's 100th anniversary will host the US Open. I can't think of a more fitting venue to hold our nation's tournament. more »

    3.0 stars from 5

    Oaks North Golf Course

    "Pleasant short course near Maderas"

    After 18 holes in the morning at Maderas we wanted to go somewhere a little more mellow for a twilight round and found Oaks North. It's a fun little place in a retirement community with a nice vibe to it. Greens rolled really nicely. one of the nines was being aerified and I'm glad the starter tipped us off to that. There are a handful of par 4s but it is mostly mid-length par 3s. Super twilight for just $15 can't be beat. more »

    3.0 stars from 5

    Mission Bay Golf Resort

    "Night golf in San Diego"

    Came here in the early evening after playing 18 at Torrey Pines North earlier in the day. This muni isn't as well known as Torrey Pines but it's definitely a neat place. The course is lit until 9:30pm and it was pretty busy on this Saturday evening. I was generally impressed with the turf quality for how short it is. There are a couple short par 4s on each nine so you can hit some woods if you'd like. As non-residents we paid nearly $40 to walk it, so it's not the greatest value to play mostly par 3s, but it was a good hang. . more »