1 of 12Phil Mickelson at the 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship / Getty Images
Now an annual Labor Day tradition, the PGA Tour's Deutsche Bank Championship in the suburban Boston city of Norton features some of the most festive crowds golf sees all year. The Gil Hanse/Brad Faxon-redesigned TPC Boston adds to the mix, but it's the hardy New England fans, who somehow turn up in droves even if the Red Sox are playoff-bound, that are most impressive.
2 of 12No. 18 at TPC River Highlands / Getty Images
By nearly every estimate, the second largest galleries in golf are at the Travelers Championship, played in suburban Hartford, at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell. Mind you, Hartford is hardly the PGA Tour's largest market. However, pair the 60-year tradition of civic pride with a spectator-friendly Pete Dye design with exciting risk/reward holes down the stretch and you have an unparalleled atmosphere.
3 of 12No. 17 at TPC Four Seasons / Getty Images
Call it Irving, call it Las Colinas, or call it North Texas, as they did for the NCAA Men's Basketball Championships last year. It doesn't matter. Fans in the Dallas Metroplex are besotted with their hometown event, the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Even as Mr. Nelson is no longer with us and some of the stars now skip the event, the raucous 17th at the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas makes it seem like a showdown of Hall-of-Famers is taking place every year.
4 of 12Getty Images
The Wyndham Championship, once known as the Greater Greensboro Open (GGO) has switched dates and courses in recent years, and it seldom attracts all-star fields, but one thing that stays consistent is community support. Since switching to Sedgefield C.C., a classic Donald Ross design, it has enjoyed a renaissance, including fan-friendly features such as a beach with tiki hut and sand castles on the edge of a water hazard near the 15th and 16th greens.
5 of 12Rory McIlroy tees off on the first hole during the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone / Getty Images
Northeast Ohio fans have become a bit spoiled over the years, thanks to superior fields every year for the WGC-Bridgestone, but they haven't become complacent. They return in massive numbers to see the game's greats duel with Firestone's South course, and to see if Tiger can finally win that elusive ninth title.
6 of 12Getty Images
By far the largest galleries in golf swarm the grounds of the TPC Scottsdale's Stadium course every year for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Many of these fans actually come for the golf, but the week is one gigantic party. The wildest scene on Tour blankets the par-3 16th hole on Saturday. If Arizona State grad Phil Mickelson is in the hunt, the place is bedlam. An all-time, one-day record of 189,722 people greeted players in the 3rd round in 2014.
7 of 12Fred Couples tees off during the 2013 U.S. Senior Open / Getty Images
Best known for its fanatical fans and intimate setting for the College World Series, Omaha proved in 2013 that it wasn't a one-trick pony, when it was the stellar host to the U.S. Senior Open. On an extremely hilly course in extremely high heat, galleries were ten-deep in spots.
8 of 12Jordan Spieth signs autographs during the 2014 John Deere Classic / Getty Images
Quad Cities/Silvis, Ill.
Neither Tiger nor Rory nor Phil nor Adam is ever in the field for the John Deere -- formerly the Quad Cities -- yet fans are grateful and enthusiastic for those who do show up, especially, local Midwestern favorites Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson and 2013 winner Jordan Spieth. The interesting, compelling design at the TPC Deere Run, notably the watery par-4 18th, adds to the fun.
9 of 12No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass / Getty Images
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
One of the greatest experiences in golf is watching players take on the 16th and 17th holes at the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium course. With the 16th a reachable gambler's par-5 and the 17th being earth's scariest, most disaster-laden par-3, fans come early and stay late to thrive on the non-stop action.
10 of 12Arnold Palmer waves to the crowd at the 1999 U.S. Senior Open / AP Photo
Des Moines, Iowa
The first time the U.S. Senior Open visited Des Moines Golf & Country Club in 1999, you would have thought it was the World Series that had come to town. Attendance that week set records, with more than 252,000 on hand.
11 of 12Rory McIlroy signs autographs at the 2014 PGA Championship / Getty Images
Their fans rallied the U.S. Ryder Cup team to a rare victory in 2008. And their enthusiasm seemed to be the only reason that Tiger Woods pressed on and played the back nine on Friday at the 2014 PGA Championship, ultimately won by Rory McIlroy. They must stay in shape between golf events by rooting on Coach Rick Pitino's Cardinals as well as cheering on the ponies at Churchill Downs.
12 of 12Phil Mickelson at the 2014 Masters / Getty Images
Masters fans aren't even called fans -- they are patrons -- and they're among the most privileged, well-behaved, most knowledgeable galleries in golf. Patrons set their chairs down behind a green and etiquette mandates that they remain in place, untouched by others, even if their occupants have wandered elsewhere for hours. And there's nothing like an eagle roar at Augusta, reverberating in the pines.
You May Like
More Courses & Travel
Sign Up for Newsletters
Receive insider analysis, swing tips, equipment news, special offers and much more.