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TPC Sawgrass’s Stadium course was built in 1980 with the specific intention of hosting the unofficial fifth Major, The Players Championship. Built atop 415 acres of Florida swamp, designer Peter Dye worked with a freedom to incorporate any playing style, resulting in a course that’s as balanced as it is beautiful.
Lush fairways and greens adorn holes dominated by white-sand bunkers that are either long and expansive or almost perfectly circular and barely large enough for a comfortable stance. Meanwhile, considerable stretches of water are a regular feature, giving plenty to consider for even the most in-form player. Doglegs run right and left through the course, so it's vital to hit draws and fades on demand - particularly when taking the wind conditions into account.
Even if you do navigate the course, you'll need to consider the wind direction. No two holes at TPC Sawgrass run in the same direction. The reason? To ensure players would consistently find themselves having to pick the wind.
The course is best known for the iconic Island Green on the 17th, making it one of the world’s most recognisable par 3s – and one of the most difficult. The green, which is technically a peninsula, is surrounded by water except for a narrow path. If you reach the green without finding the water, you still need to be careful not to land in the island’s small bunker.
The 17th has been the scene of several unforgettable Players Championship moments, including in 1998, when Brad Fabel reached the green, but his ball was carried off by a seagull that dropped it in the water. The following year, Fred Couples needing a strong finish to make the cut, found the water with his first tee shot, before finding the hole with his next for a unique hole-in-three. Then, in 2001, Tiger Woods conquered the 17th with a birdie, but it needed one of the greatest putts ever seen to do so - a 60-foot triple breaker downhill.
Mastering TPC Sawgrass is as much a mental game as anything else. The 17th is always on the back of your mind throughout your round, as you know that no matter how low your score until that point, it can ruin it. The holes either side of it are famously tricky, too. The par 5 16th includes a challenging left turn between the trees, while the 18th leaves you with water, sand and a tiered green to consider, so you'll have plenty to think about as you close in on them.
All of these elements make TPC Sawgrass one of the most recognisable and appealing courses in the game, but how can you play it? TPC Sawgrass is a public course, and you can play either the Stadium course or the less celebrated Dyes Valley course. One option is to book a stay at the nearby Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort, where you can play as a “stay and play guest” for $785 per person for a one-night stay that includes a round on the Stadium course. Other packages are also available, including a three-night stay offering two rounds for $1,671 per person. You can also request a custom booking by filling out a form on the official TPC Sawgrass website. Bookings are taken up to 12 months in advance.
Even more straightforward is the option to play without lodging. You can book up to 14 days in advance, and a round at the Stadium course costs from $600 per person between September and May, and $450 per person between June and August. These prices include the green fee, cart fee, forecaddie and a bag of practice balls.
There isn’t an annual membership that entitles you to play on the Stadium course, but you can pay between an estimated $3,000 and $4,000 a year for a Dyes Valley membership if you want to regularly play the other TPC Sawgrass course.
Is TPC Sawgrass Open To The Public?
TPC Sawgrass has two championship golf courses, and both are are open to the public. The most convenient way to play the Stadium course is to book up to 14 days in advance. Another option is to book a stay up to 12 months in advance at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort.
How Much Does It Cost To Play TPC Sawgrass?
A round at the iconic Stadium course costs $450 between June and August, and $600 between September and May. If you’d prefer to play the Dyes Valley course, it costs $175 between June and August, and $275 between September and May.
Are Caddies Required At TPC Sawgrass?
There is no obligation to have either a caddie or a forecaddie at TPC Sawgrass. Ensure that you notify the pro shop team when you make your booking that you do not require one and they will make the necessary arrangements.
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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