The top 5 courses to replace Congressional as AT&T National host
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The top 5 courses to replace Congressional as AT&T National host

After next year, the agreement ends between Congressional C.C. and the Tiger Woods Foundation to host the AT&T National at the Bethesda, Md., club.

Sources continue to suggest that the idea of the club extending an invitation to the AT&T National for three more years via an option in the current contract is a tough sell for a lot of the membership at Congressional.

Woods was asked about his tournament's future at Congo in a Wednesday news conference.

“Yeah, we would love to be back here,” he said. “It’s obviously up to the members and the board whether we come back here or not. I know we would like to play.”

He added negotiations will begin in earnest after the final putt drops on Sunday ahead of a vote of the club's 1,800 members in the fall.

However, in May, Woods acknowledged the possibility that his tournament will need a new home beginning in 2015.

“There’s certainly options out there, whether it’s in Philly or it’s in the D.C.-Baltimore area,” Woods said. “There’s certainly opportunities out there. That’s something that we’re going to have to work through.”

Woods would indeed have options, and here are the five best that might be available to the tournament.

TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms

This is the closest, likely cheapest, option for the tournament. The oft-maligned, PGA Tour-owned property is situated less than a mile and a half from Congressional. Because the Tour owns the property, it would lease the course to the Woods Foundation for dirt cheap, allowing the tournament to bring in more money to support its educational programs.

The course is a much better test and layout than it was the last time it hosted the PGA Tour in 2006. A $32 million renovation has vastly improved the course, but it would still prove a logistical problem for fans given it is even more secluded than its country-club cousin.

Of course, there's the matter of the Tour event that's held there, but that would be swept away -- kind of like how Avenel used to flood -- to make way for Tiger Woods.

Robert Trent Jones Golf Club

It might not be as close to D.C. as Congo and Avenel, but RTJ in Gainsville, Va., has the space to host a PGA Tour event. It hosted four of the first six Presidents Cups, which gives the course a little allure as a site for a "patriotic" event.

The course can be stretched out to over 7,400 yards, and the Lake Manassas vistas throughout the course frankly blow away anything that either Congressional or Avenel can offer.

A slew of rich D.C. folks, including Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, belong there. They'll be a tough sell for an annual event given its in the middle of golf season, but it would be a suitable home.

Caves Valley Golf Club

What is arguably the best course in the region is one of the least known. Caves Valley, just north of Baltimore in Owings Mills, is an outstanding golf course. It hosted the U.S. Senior Open in 2002 and will host the inaugural LPGA International in 2014.

Membership might be more easily sold than any other club in the area, solely because there are so few. The club only has 600 members, all invited to join.

Sure, they'll only hold two major events in a dozen-plus years, but a three-year deal may be palatable.

Aronimink Golf Club

The Philadelphia-area club has hosted the AT&T National twice before (2010-11), and the players loved it. The club thought it had made a case to lure a PGA Championship their way, but the docket is filled through 2017 now without Aronimink on it. That means it could handle a three-year deal, provided it isn't in the mix for the '18 PGA Championship.

Trump National Golf Club D.C.

Wait, don't laugh. Donald Trump purchased the Lowes Island club in 2009 and, in typical Trump fashion, sunk a ton of money into the place.

Located in Sterling, Va., the 36-hole facility is situated along the Potomac River. The Championship Course is a Fazio design that can be stretched to almost 7,700 yards, but the aesthetic star is the River Course, that plays about 400 yards shorter.

Yes, moving the AT&T National to a Trump course would give "The Apprentice" star three venues on the PGA Tour schedule but, let's face it, the guy is willing to do whatever it takes to be a big name in golf.

About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

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