TPC Sawgrass is home to the The Players championship and probably most recognized for the famous par 3 17th island green. I have attended The Players and spent some time sitting on the hill watching the players come through the 17th. It is a great spectator spot and when I was watching 1 in 3 found the water which is pretty incredible considering the length of the hole. I returned to the course in october 2013 to play both Dye Valley and Stadium Course. Dye Valley is a really good course and you should play it if visiting anyway.
When visiting you immediately realize how the place has many visitors and they are used to handling it. Staff was very welcoming and service minded, proshop well equipped to get your favourite souvenir and after your round you can go and get the bag tag engraved with your initials or name. All part of creating an experience if you are into that kind.
I played together with a member and two other visitors. The member played from the back tees and I decided to join him to get the same experience. There is another set of tees behind these which are used for the Players Championship, so it didn’t play that long.
First hole I missed the fairway and GIR for a bogey. Par on 2nd hole and came to below par 3.
Good looking hole with a difficult green that you basically do not really want to miss due to run off, rough and bunkers. I hit a perfect 7 iron to the back of the green on the same level as the pin and got a par.
The par 5 9th hole is a really good hole leading back to the clubhouse. Water running across the fairway and you need to place your 2nd shot avoiding the trees for your 3rd. I hit a really good 3rd that led to my only birdie of the round at a front 9 in 42 shots. I thought that was a good score and didn’t quite realize how difficult the course can be until the back nine.
14th is one of the most difficult holes on the course. Its long and when a lot of trouble if you miss the fairway. I hit 2 shots in the water and was game over.
Another tough par 4 and I remember watching this hole during The Players and seeing Ernie Els hitting a little fade around the corner making it look incredibly easy. I got a 6 after being in the trees on the left. My back nine was some of the worst golf I have played in a while and unfortunately mainly due to straining my wrist on the 14th which made it even more difficult.
17th doesnt need much explaining and it is just fantastic to be standing on the tee having watched it some many times on television and live. We opted for playing from The Players tee to get the full experience and I had to try to hit the dream shot to the front pin location which resulted in the first one hitting wood and water.
A strong and difficult finishing hole, where I hit another ball in the water.
I thoroughly enjoyed playing the Stadium course (except for the last 5 holes) and was disappointed to shoot 95. It is the most difficult course I have ever played and mainly because of rough. It is a real penalty to miss the fairway and you can rarely advance more than a wedge or short iron. Same goes for missing the green and having to chip/pitch from the rough. It grabs your iron and really takes skill to hit good shots from the rough. It was in perfect condition and greens were running fast and true. The last strecth of holes are some of the toughest finishing holes that requires your full attention and best game. 17th is fun and great for spectators, even though I know the Pros have mixed feelings about the hole as it potentially can have big impact on whether you win or not, but obviously its the same for everyone.
I have to try the course again and expect to shoot a better score with more experience and hopefully better course management in the bag.