Players Championship

Players 2024: Today's Golf Twitter enemy? The 'bumper' at the 17th hole


Kevin C. Cox

PONTE VEDRA BEACH — If Golf Twitter wasn't complaining about something on Thursday of Players Championship week, you'd need to check its pulse. Much like a pesky in-law, the fine golf fans on the bird app know how to create problems out of thin air.

And yet, Golf Twitter rarely misses the point on the key issues, like the infamous "bumper" surrounding the famous 17th green at TPC Sawgrass. Confused by the bowling terminology? Allow us to explain. 

The "bumper" that has drawn criticism on social media is the strip of lush rough that wraps all the way around the island green. Numerous times in the opening round, that strip of rough, particularly the very front part of the green, stopped balls from spinning back into the water. If you're going to bill the hole as one of the scariest golf, a strip of long grass saving golf balls from a watery death doesn't exactly scream terrifying. 

Oddly enough, not long after all of the hashtag discourse, Sam Ryder spun one so hard off the green that the "bumper" couldn't even save him:

As you can see by that clip, though, the rough still almost held up Ryder's ball. Obviously, the alternative that is being suggested here would be to completely cut that rough down to the same length as the green and let stuff really hit the fan. The players may disagree, just as Michael Kim did on Twitter Thursday evening:

Kim quickly changed course after seeing the Adam Svensson video, however:

Changing your opinion with new information. Well done, Michael! 

As Golfweek's Jason Lusk pointed out in this piece from Thursday, the 17th is not the only hole with this design feature. Both the par-5 16th and par-4 18th green also have "bumpers" surrounding the greens, making what are supposed to be consequential holes in the tournament a little too easy on the world's best. Unfortunately, it will remain that way for the rest of the week, because Golf Twitter never gets its way.