The TPC Sawgrass boasts perhaps the most famous hole in golf—the island green 17th—but the rest of the course doesn’t evoke such interest. However, in examining it closely with satellite images from Google Earth, I found a course that’s not only long (more than 7,200 yards), but that is also mentally taxing. As a high school golf coach, I helped my players plan their way around an unfamiliar course by drawing lines on a scorecard, helping them to plan their shots to maximize reward for the risk. Most important, I thought, was to plan the tee shot so that they could get the best look at the green.
But that turned out to be fiendishly difficult at the TPC Sawgrass. Usually, the best look to the green is guarded by imposing bunkers, water or trees (and sometimes all three). On a lot of the holes I couldn’t figure out where the “bail out” shot was.
Of course, I’m thinking like a mid handicapper who coaches high school golf. The Tour player likely see it quite differently. But from The Golf Blogger’s perspective, it looks like a trip through golfing hell. I firmly believe that every hole should have a variety of options for play, including an easy one that’s bound to lead to a bogey, but at least prevents a disaster. But I don’t think that Pete Dye agrees with me.
At any rate, you can see a couple of satellite photos below
The first is a 392 yard par 4.
Here you can see the sixteenth and seventeenth.
A view of the famous island green 17th.
And the finishing hole. See the rest of the course here.