The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass was built in 1982 to host THE PLAYERS® Championship. As the first true “Stadium Course,” it was designed to improve the overall on-site fan experience, with the course existing as a championship-caliber course accessible to all golf fans.
Who is Behind the Genius Idea of the Stadium Course?
In 1978, renowned golf course architect, Pete Dye, began to form an idea in his head. Dye was invited to a restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida by Beman and Tour project chief Vernon Kelly, where he pursued a conversation about the concept of a golf course the world had yet to see. Dye began to scribble on a place mat and the rest is history. As the commissioner since the 1960’s, Beman had been dreaming about the idea of stadium golf long before it became a reality.
The design of the course was tactfully made not to favor any particular style of play or any individual player, with both right and left doglegs, no two consecutive holes ever play in the same direction. The Island Green on the par-3 17th hole is undoubtedly the signature hole of the course, to which Dye credits his wife, Alice, for the concept behind the hole. The varying distances between each whole has playes consistently challenege, with tees stretching the course over 7,000 yards. Golf Digest ranks it among “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses”, while Golfweek ranked the Stadium Course the No. 1 “Best Course You Can Play in the State of Florida”.
The TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course – Built for Fans
The creation of TPC Sawgrass was based on two unique concepts; it would be the permanent home of THE PLAYERS Championship, and it would be built with spectators in mind.
Dye identified locations around the 1st and 10th tees and at the 9th, 16th, 17th and 18th greens, where strategic viewing areas were built. Large, gently sloping mounds climbing up to 30 feet gives spectators unobstructed views of the golf.
The inaugural PLAYERS Championship was held at TPC Sawgrass in 1982, leaving even the best players wide-eyed with wonder. The original design was met with mixed reactions, many of them highly critical as many of the day’s top players didn’t make the cut – including Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. The event’s first champion was Jerry Pate – who followed his win by tossing Dye and Beman both into the lake at on the 18th hole – then jumping in himself. Talk about a first tournament you'll never forget!
What is Happening at TPC Sawgrass Now?
It has been over 30 years since Beman began to put his dream in place, and THE PLAYERS Championship has continured to produce some of the strongest fields in tournament golf. From Craig Perks’ unprecedented victory in 2002, to Sergio Garcia’s exorcism of a ghost in 2008 when winning during a playoff, THE PLAYERS Championship and TPC Sawgrass has seen it all since 1982.
Plan Your Trip to TPC Sawgrass for the 2019 PLAYERS Championship
THE PLAYERS Championship is the PGA TOUR’s most anticipated tournament and you can be there to witness all the action.
Watch the world’s best players battle it out for the highest prize fund of any tournament golf. THE PLAYERS Experiences is the Official Experience Provider for THE PLAYERS Championship, offering a variety of premium packages, that are also built with the fan in mind. Indulge in gourmet food and beverages from your chosen hospitality venue and enjoy exquisite views of the gorgeous Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.