TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course – Ponte Vedra, FL is the home of the Annual Players Championship. The course was designed by Pete Dye to enhance the experience of the onsite fan. The TPC Sawgrass facility is also the home of the PGA Tour.
The course was designed with the prevailing wind in mind, there are no two consecutive holes that head in the same direction. It defends itself with strategically placed water hazards and large bunker structures in the fairways and around the incredibly fast and hard Bermuda greens.
Yardage: 7,215 Yards Tournament Tees
Designer: Pete Dye
Year Built: 1982
PGA Tour Event: The Players Championship aka “The 5th Major”
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Hole #1 Par 4 – 392 Yards
Hole Number 1 is a short par 4 with a fairway bunker right off the tee and a large greenside bunker protecting everything left of the putting green.
Hole #2 Par 5 – 532 Yards
Hole Number 2 is a shortish par 5 that can be reached in two. The fairway is tree lined and the green is protected by deep pot bunkers. A porrly placed long iron in two will wind up in one of Sawgrass’ notorious run-off areas.
Hole #3 Par 3 – 177 Yards
Hole number 3 is a medium length par 3 that requires you carry water, and a large bunker short of the green. The preferred bail out is to the left and the last place you want to be is right, where a shaved bank runs into bunkers or a water hazard.
Hole #4 Par 4 – 384 Yards
Hole number 4 is a short par 4 that requires carry over and left of a large water hazard. Once the water is carried you must be sure you stay left of the thin bunker that runs the entire right hand side of the fairway. The green is protected long left and short right by a water hazard and long by 2 deep pot bunkers.
Hole #5 Par 4 – 466 Yards
Number 5 is a long hard par 4 that exemplifies the danger at TPC Sawgrass. The tee shot must be long in order to make par and the landing area is protected short by water, left by a large bunker and all the way up the right side by both a bunker and water that runs the entire length of the hole. The green is protected short right and long left by numerous bunkers. There simply isn’t any place to bail on this hole.
Hole #6 Par 4 – 393 Yards
Hole number 6 is another short par 4 but it is incredibly tight. Trees line the right side of the fairway, bunkers line the left short and palm trees line the left long. Up at the green more trees will block your shot if you aren’t in the center of the fairway off the tee. The trees make this hole harder than it looks.
Hole #7 Par 4 – 442 Yards
Number 7 requires a long and very accurate tee shot that must be placed on the left hand side of the fairway. The landing area is protected right by large, dense trees and the left is protected by a bunker and a water hazard that runs the entire length of the hole. The green is good size and protected short right by two large bunkers and left by mounds and a pot bunker. The only bail out is long left, good luck!
Hole #8 Par 3 – 219 Yards
This long par 3 requires a long and very straight shot into the green. Trees create a shoot so a bending shot can be big trouble. The green is protected by more than 10 bunkers and short by a small water hazard. Short of the green is the only bail out.
Hole #9 Par 5 – 583 Yards
A long par 5 that really isn’t reachable for most players. A draw off the tee or a cut driver off the left trees is your best bet. Whatever you do you can’t be right, a long strip of water disallows any tee shot long and right. The best bet is to lay up short of the green to the left of the large tree. The green is protected by 3 pot bunkers and a very deep and large trap on the left. The left greenside bunker is almost 6 feet deep and creates a very hard bunker shot if you wind up in it. Short right of the green are mounds and dips that rarely yield a good lie.
Hole #10 Par 4 – 424 Yards
A very difficult par 4 that requires length and accuracy off the tee. A huge waste bunker all the way up the left hand side of the hole and large trees to the right. Like so many holes at TPS Sawgrass, the common miss for an amateur (short right) makes the hole even harder by giving you a long bunker shot to the green. The rough around the green is long and mounds give you a tough shot if you wind up left of the green. The green itself is large and two tiered.
Hole #11 Par 5 – 535 Yards
A mid length par 5 that is really not reachable unless you are very long off the tee. A bit of Pete Dye fun awaits left of the fairway with a large waste area bunker filled with rough Bermuda mounds. The natural bail out off the tee would be right but, a set of trees can block your view of the green and your lay up area. The best bet is to cut a driver off the left bunker and then lay up past the trees and short of the water. This leaves a wedge into the green protected right by a bunker and water. Two pot bunkers short and left are not where you want to be either.
Hole #12 Par 4 – 358 Yards
A short par 4 measuring only 350+ yards and the best play is a utility or an iron off the tee to avoid the right side bunker and the heavy rough left. The rough around the green is usually kept very deep and deep undulating mounds and dips make an up and down very difficult. The green actually holds 3 or 4 different tiers and your second shot must be on the correct tier in order to even 2-putt.
Hole #13 Par 3 – 181 Yards
A mid range par 3 that requires you carry a hole long, water hazard up the left and short as well as a large waste bunker. The green is a big target but it is divided into numerous sections and you must place the ball on the correct section to have a chance. This was actually my only birdie on the course.
Hole #14 Par 4 – 467 Yards
This long, very long, par 4 has a pretty large fairway that is incredibly hard to hit. A waste bunker runs the entire length of the hole up the left and deep Bermuda rough pot holes protect the right hand side of the fairway. The green is large and three tiered with deep pot bunkers and wild undulations on the right. Trees and deep rough protect the green long.
Hole #15 Par 4 – 449 Yards
This is another long par 4 and plays very straight away. You do need to keep the tee shot as far left as possible and out of the bunker right, then you’ll have a long iron at a minimum into the multi-tiered green with deep rough pot holes long and left.[note color=”#F7F5A6″]
TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course Holes 16 – 17 – 18
Holes numbering 16, 17 and 18 are three of the most challenging finishing holes in professional golf. Two distinct water hazards protect these three holes. Your long second shot on the par 5 16th requires you are long and accurate with water directly right and short. Most will choose to lay up but a lay up must stay to the right of the trees short of the green.
17 is one of the most famous holes in golf. The legendary “Island Green” is short and a pretty straight up shot but, swirling wind and the visually intimidating water that surrounds the green make it one of the hardest shots in golf.
When the course was being built, Pet Dye originally planned on keeping the area surrounding the green on 17 with a waste bunker. However, Dye’s wife was visiting the project and suggested that he fill the hole in with water and make the green an island. The legendary Island Green on 17 was born.
18 looks like it should be a par 5 and is one of the hardest driver tee shots in professional golf. You must carry 250 yards of water with a slight high draw? Easier said than done. Then your second shot must carry water and somehow stay to the left side of the green where the pin always is.
John Daly made the highest score on any hole ever, in the history of professional golf. He made an 18 on this 18th Pete Dye nightmare.[/note]
Hole #16 Par 5 – 507 Yards
Hole #17 Par 3 – 137 Yards
Hole #18 Par 4 – 447 Yards
TPC Sawgrass Practice Area
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