TPC Sawgrass – The Stadium Course
The home of the highly-coveted PLAYERS Championship. Do we really need to say much else to put the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on the map?
Ask any player on the PGA Tour if they could win an individual golf tournament outside of the four Majors, and I promise the answer is the same – The PLAYERS Championship.
Golf fans know that this incredibly prestigious golf tournament takes place at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, every single year. It’s been that way since 1982. Courses this acclaimed deserve to have an organized page that isn’t written by just anyone.
That’s why we assigned this task to our golf experts. We plan on telling you everything you’d want to know about the dazzling Pete Dye track just off Florida’s northeastern coast.
From the very beginning to what it’s like present-day, we are going to cover it all.
Don’t worry; we won’t leave you hanging when it comes to The PLAYERS Championship.
Our team will direct you to a devoted page that pours out every detail about the tournament with arguably the toughest field in all of professional golf. Ponte Vedra Beach isn’t just the headquarters for the PGA Tour. It’s an awesome seaside community that has a lot to offer.
Keep reading, and you’ll find out exactly what we are talking about.
TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course – Key Facts
- Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
- Year Opened
- Owner/Operated by
- PGA Tour TPC Network
- Course Designer
- Pete Dye, Alice Dye
- 7,189 yards
- Host to
- The PLAYERS Championship
Introducing the Course
Are you familiar with Pete Dye golf courses? If you are, you know where we are going with this. If not, pretend Pete’s middle name is “Diabolical.” This is probably the best way we can describe the imprints Dye has when he designs a track. His wife, Alice, had a hand in the layout as well, and make no mistake about it – Alice isn’t the ordinary “golf wife.”
We are talking about a woman who represented the 1970 United States Curtis Cup Team and a former two-time Champion of the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur (1978, 1979). This lady could play some serious golf and has an eye for knowing what makes a golf course difficult.
the Stadium Course at Sawgrass to life in 1980.
Those avid golfers reading this page have surely heard of the “TPC network” of courses around the world. Well, TPC Sawgrass was the inaugural one and the start of something special.
Fast forward to 2018, and there are 19 private TPC courses and 16 public TPC properties. This doesn’t include the venues that have 36 and 54 holes on site, as many of them do. For example, TPC Sawgrass has an 18-hole Valley Course alongside the Stadium Course.
When it boils down to it, the reason this course has become so esteemed and is synonymous with the PGA Tour is three-fold.
- It’s the site of The PLAYERS, the toughest field in golf
- It’s home of the PGA Tour Headquarters
- It boasts the illustrious 17th hole, “Island Green”
Look at that! We hadn’t even gotten to the most well-known aspect of the entire golf course! Perhaps the most famous and iconic hole in all of golf! Relax, we are getting there. Just keep on reading!
Stadium Course Details
This is a really hard golf course; there are no two ways about it. When you are talking about places to play golf, there are many different kinds of courses you can encounter.
You have municipal tracks that are short and easy and meant to be played by golfers of all levels. There are resort courses – you know, the ones that are attached to a hotel or vacation spot.
These are usually beautifully designed, but again, relatively easy. Then there are “Championship” golf courses – the ones that are created and designed with the objective of hosting world-class golf tournaments.
The Stadium Course falls in the ladder category and is no bargain for even the most highly-skilled pros. It offers the perfect balance between long and short holes that dogleg in both directions. What so many appreciate is that the Stadium Course doesn’t really favor one style of play over another.
The way the water hazards and bunkers are strategically placed, the bombers are forced to leave the driver in the bag on numerous holes. By Sunday at The PLAYERS, the greens are so baked out and slick that even the steadiest of putters can look silly and be left scratching their heads.
We are looking at 7,189 yards (from the tips), which is by no means the longest on tour, but get a load of this.
and an excessive slope of 155.
This is the opposite of a simple walk in the park; this a brutally difficult setup that tests every single aspect of a golfer’s game.
Once the winds start blowing just outside Jacksonville, forget it. This place will expose every weakness and exaggerate even the slightest mis-hits, no matter who you are. Nobody is invincible at this Pete Dye gem.
Speaking of “gem,” it’s about time we bring up the reason so many come to TPC Sawgrass in the first place. Everyone in golf wants to come and see the “Island Green” in person at least once.
17th Hole – “Island Green”
What a range of emotions experienced at the “17th” at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. The most nervous pitching wedge a PGA Tour player will hit all year long comes right here. On the scorecard, it appears to be a harmless, 137-yard flip wedge.
Once you walk off the green of the par-5 16th and step foot on the 17th tee box, you quickly realize this isn’t the average par 3.
Instead, the peninsula-shaped green is surrounded by a glistening lake on all sides. The narrow pathway that leads players off the back of the green is the only thing standing in the way of this hole being a true “Island Green.”
What makes this hole so famous and revered is that this is where all the action happens. Like in the playoff of the ’08 PLAYERS, when Sergio Garcia used the slope in the green to trickle his ball within a couple feet of the hole to seal the victory with a birdie.
Or how about Gary Koch’s famous “Better than most”< call when Tiger Woods sent the crowd into a frenzy by remarkably holing a snaking 60-putt from the back edge of the green? That catapulted Tiger to a sizzling “Saturday 66” that helped set up a one-shot victory for his first PLAYERS Championship in 2001.
The 17th hole at the Stadium Course was built for drama and moments just like the ones in the clips above. Hopefully players can keep their eye on the prize, because once they negotiate the “Island Green,” it’s off to the even more treacherous par-4 finishing hole.
18th Hole at the Stadium Course
Frankly, every single one of Pete and Alice Dye’s creations at the Stadium Course at Sawgrass are deserving of a complete breakdown.
However, while the 17th is easily the most recognizable hole on site, it certainly isn’t as problematic as the 462-yard, right-to-left curving 18th hole. Talk about a “doozy” of a golf hole – the 18th at Dye’s Stadium Course often plays as the most difficult hole during The PLAYERS.
Do you know how to hit a hard draw off the tee that hugs the water when the wind is pushing in your face? Can you back that up with a well-struck long to mid-iron into a green that is well guarded by humps, bumps, and hazards? If you’ve got that in your repertoire, you should be fine!
You Don’t Have to Play the Back Tees!
Between the 76.4 course rating, the 155 slope, and describing these holes that seem to be walled in by water, you might be petrified at even the thought of playing! We should keep you aware that everything we have pointed out is what the “pros” will face. You don’t have to put yourself through the anxiety.
The blue tees are a reasonable 6,661 yards, while the whites are 6,103 yards with a practical rating of 70.3. They even have a set of combo tees that blends a mixture of “holes from the whites” and “holes from the blues.”
This creates an additional place for players that perhaps had trouble deciding between the two to play from. They have ladies’ tees that are just over 5,000 yards as well. This can most definitely be a family affair, not just a place to go with your die-hard golfing buddies.
Make sure you have plenty of battery life on your phone, though. Taking pictures will be an absolute must!
The PLAYERS Championship
Now, for the crown jewel event at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass: The PLAYERS Championship. As we have briefly alluded, this isn’t your ordinary PGA Tour event on the schedule. Qualifying for the field in this event means you are simply part of the “cream of the crop.”
Only the best players in the world will have a chance to vie for the trophy here, and you better believe they are all chomping at the bit for an opportunity to do so.
We want to tell you all about how you qualify for the admired championship, and we want to reminisce about the most memorable moments.
and significant facts that we need to address!
Rather than squeeze in all the past Champions and their winning scores, not to mention everything else about the tournament right here in this guide, we wanted you to have a dedicated page to bookmark when you were looking to find out anything about The PLAYERS Championship.
We’ll tell you why it was moved from March to May in 2007, and we’ll tell you why the PGA Tour is considering moving it back to March for the 2019 season. It’s all waiting for you; just click the button below!
Booking a Trip to Ponte Vedra Beach
Golf fans who have traveled the world know how good the golf is in the state of Florida. With more than 1,200 tracks, no state in the US is littered with as many golf courses as Florida. If you plan on attending The PLAYERS Championship, make sure you bring your sticks along.
You and your party will want to snag an early-morning tee time at one of the nearby clubs before heading over to the Stadium Course for all the festivities.
TPC Sawgrass is nestled into the northeastern corner of the state, not far from the southern border of Georgia. There aren’t a ton of airports in proximity, but fortunately, there is one. Jacksonville International Airport is easy to get to and is only about 40 minutes or so away.
Sure, there’s Mickler’s Landing, a popular spot for families to relax and surfers to catch some waves. There are shopping plazas featuring art galleries that are good for a casual stroll to. But let’s be honest, folks. People come to Ponte Vedra Beach to play golf, and more specifically, to come see TPC Sawgrass.
If you can spare the time and expenses, we suggest you do the same!
Summing It All Up
There are plenty of luxurious golf courses in the world. You can find ones that have breathtakingly gorgeous scenery or ones that are exclusive, offering an intimate feel. You can also find tracks that were designed so tough that you would think they were created by an angry mad scientist.
Then, only on certain occasions, you will come across golf clubs that are all of the above. That’s the best way to illustrate the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
Not only is it stunning in appearance, but it is so eloquently designed that every little nuance on the course has meaning. Pete Dye doesn’t build golf courses for the faint of heart. His specialty and his craft are causing problems for the best players in the world.
That is exactly who shows up to Sawgrass around Mother’s Day every single year. The PLAYERS Championship isn’t just the signature event at the location. It’s one of the flagship golf tournaments in the entire world of professional golf.
After reading this guide, you should have a better grasp on why this course is so notable and highly-respected in the golfing community.
In order to be a world-class golf course, it needs to have a bit of everything. The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass undoubtedly has every piece to the puzzle!