The PGA Site has a list of 17 Things To Know About Sawgrass #17. What’s most interesting to me is that the design was almost accidental:
1. The original design of the green did not envision an island setting. It was intended as a simple par three that bordered on water. But alongside the hole was a vein of pure sand that was valued for sand capping the fairways. They just kept digging until the vein was depleted, thus forming the crater .The original design of the hole then could not be attained. A suggestion was then made to make it an “island green” almost completely surrounded by water. Architect Pete Dye acquiesced. And one of golf’s most famous (or infamous) holes was born.
2. The suggestion to make it an island green was made by Alice Day, Pete Dye’s wife.