The holidays are here and unfortunately for golf enthusiasts that means a lull in the action. Thankfully, this give us time to analyze the first half of the 2017 schedule and handpick the top 5 golf tournaments you should attend yourself!

Factors in determining the best to attend include fan experience, history, surrounding nightlife and course prestige (in no particular order).

#5: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

FEB 9 – 12: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, CA

pebble beach att

What’s great about it: It’s a Pro-Am. So not only are you on one of the premier public courses in the land, there will be celebrity sightings galore.

Best place to post up: At the peak of any cliff. The views are unprecedented. Or the par-3 7th, if you can find a seat.

At night: Take a trip on 17-mile drive.

What else: You’re in wine country. Grab your favorite glass of red.

Play a round yourself: Pacific Grove Golf Links ($$) & Blackhorse Course ($$$)

#4: Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard

MAR 16 – 19: Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, FLBay Hill

What’s great about it: Hall of Fame host Arnold Palmer is now sadly no longer with us. With Arnie’s recent passing every tournament across the TOUR will be commemorating him in some form or fashion but there will be no bigger celebration of his life than at his very own tournament. This year in particular is a good one to take a visit to Bay Hill.

Best place to post up: 16 Tee (which is part of approach on 18). Or follow your favorite player.. this is a walking friendly course.

At night: CityWalk. Yea, this is a little touristy.. but what part of Orlando isn’t? Inside of Universal Studios you can find any type of show or bar to grab a seat in.

What else: NCAA Men’s March Madness Second & Third Rounds are hosted that weekend on Thursday and Saturday. Those rounds are actually 1st and 2nd when you take out the ‘First Four’ matchups which is prime upset watching! The Philadelphia 76ers take on the Orlando Magic the Monday following the tournament. The Miami Marlins host spring training games on Saturday & Sunday.

Play a round yourself: Grand Cypress ($$$) & Championsgate ($$)

#3: World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship

MAR 2 – 5: Club de Golf Chapultepec, Mexico City, MEX

wgc mexico city

What’s great about it: Pesos. There are plenty of tournaments hosted outside the USA, but none will be as cost effective as this one. The peso is at a historical low and Mexico can be done on any budget.

Best place to post up: Any words of wisdom would be a guess considering it’s never been played here before, however an educated guess would be that spectators will be limited compared to a typical tour event. Your access to your favorite player is going to be top notch.

At night: Scope out the bars and restaurants in La Condesa. Enjoy the street vendors in the central historical district. Venture out to Teotihuacan and see Pyramids built 2000 years ago.

What else: Lucha Libre on Friday night.

Play a round yourself: No need, taking in the culture of Mexico City is a massive undertaking in itself.

#2: The Masters Tournament

APR 6 – 9: Augusta National GC, Augusta, GA

16th at Augusta National Golf Club

What’s great about it: Amen Corner, Pimento cheese sandwiches, greenest grass on planet earth, green jackets.. how long do you want this list to be? Simply the best golf tournament.

Best place to post up: Do not sit still if this is your first time. Walk every single hole possible. But beware, the course has a lot more peaks and valleys than television would suggest so bring your walking shoes. If this ain’t your first rodeo, you’ll know to find a seat at Amen Corner (holes 11-13) or if during a practice round hang out at #16. The regulars say Wednesday is the best day to go which is played on the Par 3 Course. Personally, I’d rather see the real deal and save that for my second or third time.

At night: You won’t find much in Augusta, but chances are you’re staying in nearby Atlanta or Columbia.

What else: If you choose Columbia you can go to a Gamecock baseball game and watch two SEC powerhouse teams in SCar vs Vandy. Head to Atlanta and you can catch the Hawks on Thursday and Sunday taking on LeBron and the Cavs.

Play a round yourself: Spur at Northwoods in Columbia ($) & Cherokee Run in Atlanta ($$)

#1: Waste Management Phoenix Open

FEB 2 – 5: TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZwm phx open golf tournament

What’s great about it: The 16th Hole is an actual STADIUM! A 360 degree grandstand filled with skyboxes, booze and loud cheers is the focal point of the ‘greenest show on grass’

Best place to post up: 16. Period.

At night: Top Golf Scottsdale, Old Town Scottsdale Bars

What else: The Super Bowl is this Sunday. Gather yourselves at your favorite sports bar (Zipps maybe) and watch the action unfold. Other sporting events include the Suns hosting the Bucks on Saturday and the Coyotes hosting the Blackhawks on Thursday.

Play a round yourself: Papago Golf Club ($) or ASU Karsten ($)

There you have it. What are your top 5 tournament experiences? Start planning your own using the Master Calendar!

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