There's a course right smack in the middle of Hilton Head Island (Indigo Run Plantation) that is called "Golden Bear." My parents live there, so it's the de facto family retreat course, and we have scorecards from years and years of grudge matches. Maybe it's just because it's a family thing, but that course is probably the most fun of any course I've ever played.
Lots of variety in the way the holes set up.
Over the years, it has gone through many different phases- perhaps the peak to me in early 2000s when there was great technology on the carts, and the pristine conditions near the peak. I think the economics of it all has taken its toll, so the feel is less high-end now. Far fewer amenities and the course conditions are not quite as perfect as it once was. Not sure how it is faring after the recent storm that hit the island.
But for a really nice test of golf where you want variety and a chance to use strategy, I think the Golden Bear is top notch. I've always wondered how representative of his other designs this course was. To give the course his moniker in such obvious fashion, I assumed he was proud of it.
Was listening to pga radio K and Mc and they mentioned a major provides a 5 year exemption while a regular tour win two years (20 wins lifetime exemption). Plus the money plus the world and fedex points (at least in the modern era)
Seems they are somewhat important