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Play TPC Sawgrass: Home to the “Fifth Major”

Play TPC Sawgrass: Home to the “Fifth Major”

Play TPC Sawgrass: Home to the “Fifth Major”

The permanent home of THE PLAYERS Championship, or unofficial “Fifth Major,” is actually a public and PGA-owned course. 

We would all like to play a round on a track where a major is contested. In a few cases you might be able to get on a PGA Championship or U.S. Open tournament course, but most are private clubs.

How about a British Open layout? It is a long way to go for that. The Masters? Yes, who wouldn’t love to tour Augusta National? But unless you are good friends with a member it is highly unlikely that you’ll ever get the chance to play there.

But wait, don’t give up yet. How would you like to play the course where the strongest international field of PGA Tour players tee it up? Well, with a little effort and some spare cash ($250 to $400 a round, depending on the season), you can do it.

In Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., just 12 miles outside Jacksonville sits TPC Sawgrass. With its two courses — the Stadium and the Dye’s Valley – you can play TPC Sawgrass for days on some of the best tracks in the country. Meanwhile, you can get a feel for being a pro yourself on the newer Dye’s Valley Course, which has hosted the Senior Players Championship and Web.com Tour Championship.

Dye's Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass in Florida also is open to the public and has hosted the Senior PGA and Web.com championships.

Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass in Florida also is open to the public and has hosted the Senior PGA and Web.com championships.

But you really want to play the Stadium Course where they conduct THE PLAYERS Championship with its famous trio of finishing holes. The par-5 16th hole with its dangerous green, the infamous island green par-3  17th hole and the husky par-4 18th hole finishing hole with the treacherous water down the entire left side with trees on the right.

Now that Martin Kaymer has secured the THE PLAYERS Championship trophy for 2014 and all the rest of the field has departed, the course is open for play to all others. You included.

I’ve played there a couple of times and will attest that each and every hole is a challenge. No patsy holes here. And yes, you are always thinking ahead to that devilish 17th.

TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course's infamous 17th hole, a killer for PGA pros and the general public alike. Come try it out.

TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course’s infamous 17th hole, a killer for PGA pros and the general public alike. Come try it out.

You can take on this killer course from several sets of tees:

  • Tips — 7,215 yards.
  • Blues — 6,661 yards.
  • Whites – 6,103 yards.
  • Forward (Ladies) – 5,109 yards.

Granted it is not a cheap endeavor.  But you may book a golf package at the nearby Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa (Call 985-284-7777 for rates.)You can get a great room for as low as $288 per night (At least a three-night stay is required.) and multiple rounds of golf at the TPC and other quality nearby courses in the resort’s “Summer All-Day Play” package, which is just one of many available on the specials” website

So go ahead, play where the pros play and see if you can conquer the 17th. The club professional there told me that they fished 120,000 balls out of the lake on that hole in one year. Give it a try yourself, and see if you can keep your ball dry. 

Call 904-273-3430 to set up your tee time, or go online to TPC Sawgrass tee times for more details.


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