TPC Sawgrass, The Players Stadium

Photo: Fred Vuich/SI
Resort, 36 holes, $275 - $375

TPC Sawgrass is consistently ranked as one of the top courses in the U.S. and the World by Golf Magazine's panel of experts.

Early in 2006, after the final putt fell at the Players Championship, work crews fanned out across the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, giving Pete Dye's renowned layout its first major renovation since it opened in 1981. Greens were revamped, bunkers were deepened, dead trees were replaced, and a drainage system that had long been a weak spot in the course's defenses was overhauled. The result is a course that plays firm, fast and fair -- exactly what Dye always intended.

Dye's design, never meant to overwhelm with length, has been left largely intact and still requires subtlety and precision. Some holes (like Nos. 1 and 8) have been lengthened modestly, and pot bunkers were added along the seventh fairway (at 270 to 310 yards from the tee, they aren't an issue for most of us). Even the most iconic hole at Sawgrass -- the island-green 17th -- was tweaked: the front slope was flattened a little and the left side widened to accommodate a perilous new pin position. But one thing hasn't changed, and it never will: there's still a lot of water around the green.

There is water on every hole of Pete Dye's Valley Course. The layout received a major renovation in 2006 and is now playing tougher than ever. Over 300 trees were added to the course and several bunkers were reconstructed to both improve drainage and offer more challenge.

The long par-3 second hole has water running down the entire right side. The green is also guarded by grass mounds in front and deep bunkers short and left.

The 350-yard, par-4 3rd hole may lake length, but it has plenty of complexity. The fairway slopes hard to the left, so most players will hit their second shot with the ball above their feet. From that hook lie, missing the green left will deposit your ball in a collection area that is 12 feet below the level of the green and tightly mowed. From their you may need to chip, pitch or putt depending on the pin placement.

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This Club has multiple courses:

  • Stadium
  • Valley
Design - Stadium at TPC at Sawgrass
  • Year Built: 1981
  • Designer: Pete Dye
  • Greens Grass Type: Bermuda Grass
  • Fairways Grass Type: Bermuda Grass
  • Water Hazards: Yes
  • Sand Bunkers: 41-50
  • Yardage Markers: 200, 150, 100 Yard Markers