Bandwagoning The Beautiful Courses: TPC Sawgrass

GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT?

I’m taking myself to the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach as an early birthday present.

TPC Sawgrass, I’m coming for you.

That said, I had to do my research. I knew about the island green- the terrifying and beautiful 17th hole- and the raves about the course didn’t end there. But what about everything else?

Photo: Clark Construction
Photo: Clark Construction

The course is the permanent host of the Players Championship, the only tournament owned by players, for players. TPC Sawgrass existed before the tournament, but the true history began in 1982 when the inaugural Players took place. This was the first tournament boasting about a “stadium course,” the professional, championship course experience available to all fans. It was a point of particular pride for PGA Commissioner Deane Beman.

He’d worked with renowned course architect Pete Dye to create a balanced course, one that favored no style and no golfer. TCP Sawgrass is constantly named among the top golf courses in the world, thanks in part to the par-3 17th hole.

According to the TPC Sawgrass site, the event’s first champion Jerry Pate celebrated his win by tossing Dye and Beman into the water at the 18th hole and then jumping in himself.

Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

I’ve been to golf tournaments, but this is a MUCH bigger deal. Not only am I flying to Florida, but I’ll be spending the entire weekend- all of Saturday and Sunday- on this course, following my favorites or camping out in the stands at the 17th.

Agenda:

– Pack.

– Figure out Rory McIlroy’s tee times.

– Consider following him closely, like that blonde at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, flipping my hair around like Willow Smith in hopes of him noticing me.

– Scratch that idea after remembering I have some self-respect. Some.

– Figure out Rickie Fowler’s tee time.

– Same process with the hair flipping, and the eventual decision against it.

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