PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- It's the home of the PGA Tour, but what's the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass like for amateurs?
All of us here at GolfAdvisor have had the chance to take aim at the infamous Stadium, which is sure to capture a lot of eyeballs during the Players Championship.
The flagship of the TPC Network, TPC Sawgrass opened in 1982, but has stood the test of time for its exacting, penal design by Pete Dye. It's an experience I've taken on twice, and by the back nine each time, my golf swing is in shambles.
Golf Channel's Matt Ginella is quick to point out in his four-star review of the Stadium that playing the right set of tees can play a big part into whether or not your day is grueling or fun.
"It's especially fair," Ginella wrote in his review. "And can be fun, if you play to the tees and yardages that match your ability."
"The only true forced carries are on the par 3s. As Alice Dye told me, you could almost putt your way from tee to green at the Stadium Course."
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Easier said than done, there are still plenty of deep traps and fast greens. Like myself, GolfAdvisor's Jason Scott Deegan has taken on the Players Stadium Course twice, but has yet to draw much blood, describing the second time around as being "manhandled."
That said, Deegan does think he can offer some advice to those up for the challenge:
"I think the Stadium only rewards those who play within themselves. Don't let Dye trick you into pulling driver when only 3-wood is necessary. Don't even look at the pin on any hole, especially the par-3s."
The rest of us, however, didn't award the Stadium a perfect overall rating. For myself, it wasn't because of the course difficulty, but because of a few issues with the daily operations (click here for the full review). While the course conditions (greens included) were perfect during my most recent round in January, the fact carts must always stay on the path year round and the only way to walk is with a caddie (a policy that can cripple pace of play), the facility left me feeling a little like a second-rate considering the $400-plus to tee it up.
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