The Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass
The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass
The course was built in 1982 to host THE PLAYERS Championship as a true stadium course to be a course were the on-site spectators could have a fantastic experience. It should also be a championship-caliber course accessible to all golf fans. The golf course architect Pete Dye, created a course design that favored no particular player or style of play, it is a very balanced course.
When you play here you find a mix of short, medium and long holes within the categories of par-3s, par-4s and par-5s; both right and left doglegs. The course routing is laid out so no two consecutive holes ever play in the same direction. Then you have the signature island green on the par-3, 17th hole being one of the most recognized in golf, if you ever have watched the Players you know how important and challenging this hole is. After the 17th hole you have another maybe even more challenging hole, the 18th hole, a 462-yard, par 4 guarded by water down the left side and trees on the right, is a formidable finishing hole, more about this later. The championship tees stretch the Stadium Course to 7,245 yards, there are four other yardage options to choose from. The blue tees measure 6,670 yards and the white tees are at 6,086. A blended tee option at 6,406 yards offers a nice compromise. The Green tees are at 5,019 yards and when I played, we used a mix of white and green, which suited me very well. The Stadium Course has been ranked among the 50 best courses in the USA and 2nd best in Florida.
This was some facts about the course and when you live in St Augustine and play golf you have to try this course at least once, now I have. I was invited though a friend in my Friday group “the Hackers” to play the Stadium course to a reduced price and I did not say no. We have a nice breakfast before teeing off to meet up, this was many new faces for me so that was a nice way to start. The day was a perfect day for golf sunny not too hot and not too humid and a gentle breeze to dry the nervousness away. The driving ranges was big and nice and there was special chipping and putting areas and all in tiptop shape. I had a good start with the first hole and that was a good feeling. The fairways were excellent and so were the greens and it was a true dream to play this course. I did ok some good hole and some less good but contributed with some points to my team. The course looked very different from when I was a spectator at the Players, of course all the stands were gone or almost, they were still working on the big one behind 17th tee. On the 16th hole I have a not to good tee shot and the second was not much better, but my third shot with my 3-fairway wood was the best shot in a long time, well over 200 yards maybe even 230. I was just on the green edge in 3 so two putts and I made a par. Then we had the famous 17th hole. I had to start and I had done well on the previous short holes so there was some pressure. I hit the ball good but too much to the left and splash in the water. The other guys played and all of them came on the green so I played my second ball and bang just over the pine and landed 15 feet above the hole and I did a good put and in the hole on 4. I was happy anyway. Then we came to the 18th and what a disaster, first ball in the water to the left and drop and 3rd shot in the water again, drop and 5th shot in the forest not too fare away from the hole, 6th out of the forest an to a hill next to the green chip in close to the pin and one putt. A total of 8 stokes on the last hole and of course that is one of the things that you will remember. Back in the clubhouse and we found out that we lost to the winning team with one stroke. No matter what I had a fantastic day and experience and I have the bag tag to remember it with.