January 4, 2017

TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)

Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. / 7,215 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.4822
Photo by Chris Condon/US PGA TOUR

51. TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium)

Pete Dye (1980)/Pete Dye (R. 1983, 1985, 1988, 2006)/Steve Wenzloff (R. 2016)

TPC's stadium concept was the idea of then-PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman. The 1980 design was pure Pete Dye, who set out to test the world's best golfers by mixing demands of precision with target golf. Most greens are ringed by random lumps, bumps and hollows, what Dye calls his "grenade attack architecture." His ultimate target hole is the heart-pounding sink-or-swim island green 17th, which offers no bailout, perhaps unfairly in windy Atlantic coast conditions. The 17th has spawned over a hundred imitation island greens in the past 30 years. To make the layout even more exciting during tournament play, Steve Wenzloff of PGA Tour Design Services recently remodeled several holes, most significantly the 12th, which will now be a drivable par 4. The changes were revealed too late to be considered by panelists for this survey.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1983. Highest ranking: No. 25, 1985-1986. Previous ranking: No. 47


Panelist comments:
“Love or hate Pete Dye's courses, he's an innovator of three finishing holes that may offer the best challenge in golf.”

“Never played as difficult a course with the premiums of length and accuracy. Requires carries over water, bunkers and mounds into greens. Shot values are high in negotiating the path to every green.”

“A beast of a course that tests every part of one's game, especially the part between your ears.”

“Conditioning was outstanding. Greens rolled great and fairways were firm and in great shape. Because it's the Players Championship course, it's one of the top courses on my all-time list. A very fun course to play as well as it tests your skill level and creativity.”

“For a first visit to the Stadium course, I was surprised by the great mix of holes, the amazing new clubhouse and the nooks and crannys of the devilish Dye design. Some things really don't come thru on TV, do they?”


Courtesy of TPC Sawgrass

Hole No. 4

Courtesy of TPC Sawgrass

Hole No. 9

Courtesy of TPC Sawgrass

Hole No. 11

Hole No. 16