An Inside Look at TPC Boston

Updated June 11, 2021
Golfers cross a bridge at TPC Boston

    TPC Boston is an East-coast gem that challenges the world’s top golfers but still provides a playable layout to its members. The private club is located about 25 miles south of Boston and offers golfers a meticulous, natural layout from five tees.

    What Does TPC Mean?

    TPC stands for Tournament Players Club. Like all 32 public and private TPC courses, TPC Boston is operated by the PGA Tour and was built to host PGA Tour events. TPC courses typically have more space between holes to allow for spectators and there is often room for stadium seating behind the greens. The quality of the fairways, greens and even hazards is top notch. All TPC courses are built to be tournament ready from tee to green.

    TPC Sawgrass in Florida, which opened in 1980, was the first TPC course. TPC Boston opened in 2002 and was heavily redesigned five years later.


    Designed by The King

    TPC Boston was designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer, one of several of his TPC designs at the time. Palmer also helped design TPC Twin Cities near Minneapolis and TPC Riversbend, which is located just north of Cincinnati.

    Architect Gil Hanse redesigned the course in 2007 with eight-time Tour tournament champion, Brad Faxon, serving as a consultant. Hanse added many rustic touches that helped the course fit into its natural surroundings.

    “The (new design) now has the illusion of antiquity…TPC Boston looked great on television this year: shaggy, gnarly and old-looking. In person, it was even better: beautiful to behold, delightful to play. This was a refinement and enhancement of a course whose basic structure was sound, not a total renovation or wholesale replacement.” – Ron Whitten, Golf Course Architecture Editor.


    The Perfect Tournament Host

    From 2003 to 2018, TPC Boston hosted the Deutsche Bank Championship (later renamed the Dell Technology Championship), a part of the FedExCup Playoff. Because of conflicts with the start of the NFL season, the Dell Technology Championship was dropped from the schedule in 2019.

    TPC Boston is currently a shared host of The Northern Trust tournament, part of the FedExCup playoff. The tournament alternates between Boston and New York City. This year’s tournament will be held at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, New Jersey. In 2020, TPC Boston hosted the event which was one for the ages. Dustin Johnson earned 1,500 FedExCup points by winning the tournament with a record 30-under-par 254. Johnson recorded five eagles and just three bogeys during the tournament.


    Noteworthy Holes at TPC Boston

    One of the biggest challenges on the TPC Boston course is the par-5, 530-yard 18th hole. Already a tricky hole, No. 18 got even more difficult when the green was updated in 2011.

    The drive isn’t particularly challenging but the approach to the green that has spoiled the round for many golfers. A pot bunker sits in the middle of the fairway about 110 yards from the green so laying up, typically the “safe” choice, brings its own risks. If you go for the green but land just short, you’ll end up in the front hazard. Hitting long creates its own dilemma as a massive dip in the fairway behind the green creates a very challenging shot.

    The 298-yard fourth hole is a short par-4, but the sloping green and massive greenside bunker can change a score quickly. No. 4 has seen its fair share of eagles, as well as double-bogeys.

    The most popular par-3 on the course in the 231-yard 11th hole. The picturesque hole features a winding bridge to the green, a large bunker to the front right and little room for error.


    Is TPC Boston a Public Course?

    While some TPC courses are open to the public, TPC Boston is a private course open only to members and their guests.

    According to the Sun Chronicle, when TPC Boston opened in 2002, charter memberships included a $60,000 initiation fee and $7,000 in annual dues.

    Image: Rob Carr/Getty Images Sport via Getty Images