How Can I Play TPC Southwind?

TPC Southwind is known for its beauty and difficulty – but what’s the best way to experience it?

A view of the 18th green at TPC Southwind
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In Shelby County, Tennessee, is TPC Southwind, a Ron Prichard-designed par-70, 7,243-yard course in consultation with Hubert Green and Fuzzy Zoeller.

The course had been best known as the host venue for the FedEx St. Jude Classic between 1989 until 2019. From 2022, the course hosts the first FedEx Cup playoff tournament, the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

TPC Southwind is known for its water and many bunkers, making it one of the most difficult on the PGA Tour. One of the more memorable holes is the 11th, which bears similarities with the famous island green at TPC Sawgrass. Other holes that challenge any level of player are the 14th, whose narrow, undulating green is guarded by water to the right. Meanwhile, there is something to think about right to the last, with the 18th featuring a brutal near 90° dogleg left and protected by water to the left of the fairway.

Despite its challenging reputation, low scores are not unheard of at TPC Southwind. Indeed, the course record of 61 has been achieved three times. Jay Delsing was the first to set the record in 1993, while Bob Estes matched the feat eight years later. Amateur Braden Thornberry also hit a 61 in a local event in 2012.

Prichard designed the course with both playability and strategy in mind. However, as well as offering a tough but fair challenge to golfers of any ability, it is also known for its stunning beauty that takes full advantage of the Memphis countryside. To that end, it has won numerous environmental awards and is also certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System by Audubon International.

The course is private, so the easiest way to experience it is to either become a member or play as a guest. There are three standard membership levels: Regular Golf Membership Young Professional Golf Membership and Non-Resident Membership. Anyone interested in joining is invited to fill out a form on the official TPC website, where a course tour can also be scheduled. 

Initiation fees are reportedly between $7,500 and $30,000. However, there is one way to sign up for free – as a FedEx employee via the FedEx Affinity Partner Membership. Members at TPC Southwind also have access to the TPC Passport concierge program, which entitles the holder to play at all TPC courses.

Can You Play TPC Southwind?

The best way to play TPC Southwind is as a member or guest of a member. If you’re a FedEx employee, you can do so without an initiation fee, while membership allows access to the other TPC courses.

How Hard Is TPC Southwind?

The course has 94 bunkers while water is prevalent. As a result, TPC Southwind is generally regarded as one of the most challenging of all PGA Tour courses.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.