TPC Sawgrass Pictures: The Stadium Course

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TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course - Hole 1

TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course - No. 1
Tiger Woods tees off on the first hole at TPC Sawgrass. Andy Lyons / Getty Images)

The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is one of the best-known courses in the world, thanks to two things: It hosts The Players Championship every year, and its 17th hole, the famed island green, is one of the best-known individual holes. Pete Dye is the designer, although the idea for the island green on No. 17 came from his wife, Alice.

The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is a very challenging track, for pros and amateurs alike, with its combination of ribbon-like fairways running between tall trees or against numerous water hazards, and borders of long, snaking bunkers, with plenty of mounding thrown in, too.

The course plays to 7,215 yards with a stout USGA course rating of 76.8 and a slope rating of 155 (the maximum).

When finished checking out these TPC pictures, return to the Golf Course Pictures index for more galleries.

The first hole on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass gives the golfer a good look at what he or she will be facing throughout the round: Narrow, turning fairways, sand, water, trees. TPC Sawgrass is a challening layout.

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TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course - Hole 11

TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course - No. 11 Bunkers
Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

Large ribbons of sand are common sights around TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, many times used as borders between fairways and water, or between greens and water. The golfer who is in this bunker - on the 11th hole - is Kenny Perry.

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TPC Sawgrass No. 11 from Above

TPC Sawgrass Hole 11 - Aerial View
An aerial view of the 11th hole at TPC Sawgrass' Stadium Course. Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Here's an aerial view of the 11th hole of the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. This photo gives you a great look at the unusual angles and curves - leading to discomfiting sightlines for golfers - created by Pete Dye's use of water and sand on the course. The green is in the lower left.

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TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course - Hole 14

TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course - No. 14
Hunter Martin / Getty Images

The 14th hole is the No. 3 handicap hole, a 484-yard par-4.

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Holes 16 and 17 at TPC Sawgrass

TPC Sawgrass Holes 16 and 17 - Aerial View
An aerial view of the 16th (bottom) and 17th holes at TPC Sawgrass's Stadium Course. Scott Halleran / Getty Images

The image above shows the 16th hole of the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass running along the bottom of the frame, playing from right to left. And higher in the frame is the 17th hole, with the "island green" easy to spot. That other little island, the one with the big tree, is not in play for touring pros, although recreational golfers surely hit it from time to time.

The proximity of the 16th green and 17th teeing ground frequently causes pros in The Players Championship to back off shots and wait for the completion of play on one or the other; pros on the 17th tee will wait for those on the 16th green to putt, or vice-versa.

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TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course - Hole 16

TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course No. 16
David Cannon / Getty Images

The 16th green sits across the water from the famous island 17th. During The Players Championship, with the embankments full of fans, golfers on both greens will monitor the other and keep track of crowd noise - you don't want to be in the middle of a putting stroke on the 16th while a player is hitting to the 17th green.

The 16th hole is a 523-yard par-5.

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TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course - Island Green

TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course island green
David Cannon / Getty Images

A look from behind the famous island green No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course. The hole is 137 yards from the TPC tees (it can play longer during The Players Championship) and 92 yards from the Green (forward) tees.

The 17th at TPC Sawgrass was not the first island green in golf, but it quickly became the most famous with The Players Championship played here every year.

There are several more photos of the island green in this gallery; click the "next" link below the text or the arror button above the photo to see those additional images plus read more about the hole.

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TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course - No. 17

TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course No. 17
Hunter Martin / Getty Images

Many of the best golfers in the game have talked about the psychological impact of the 17th hole - how, during the final round of The Players Championship, those golfers in contention know throughout the round that the island green is lurking up ahead.

The hole's fearsome reputation belies its ranking on the scorecard as only the No. 13 handicap hole at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course.

How did Pete Dye come up with the idea for this hole? He didn't - his wife, Alice Dye, also a golf course architect, is the one who suggested the island green to Pete. A huge amount of dirt had been excavated from this part of the golf course for use elsewhere during construction. Alice essentially said to Pete, "Why don't you just fill in that hole with water?" And the island green 17th at TPC Sawgrass was born.

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Behind the Green at 17

TPC Sawgrass 17th Green from Behind
A view from behind the 'island green' No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass. Sam Greenwood / Getty Images

One more look at the 17th green at TPC Sawgrass' Stadium Course. Hey, it's only one of the most famous holes in golf.

As you can see in this image, the "island" green, technically, is not an island at all. A true island is completely surrounded by water and not connected to the "mainland"; the 17th green is connected to land. But that's a minor geographical quibble, and "island green" sounds so much better than "peninsular green." Besides, that strip of connecting land, the walkway that gives golfers access to the green, is pretty narrow, and lots of golf balls roll off the back of the green.

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TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course - No. 18 Tee

TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course No. 18 Tee
Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images)

One golfers get past the island green at No. 17, the home hole at TPC Sawgrass' Stadium Course isn't exactly easy. In fact, it's quite intimidating itself, with a ribbon of fairway running hard against water. This is the view from the tee.

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TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course - No. 18 Green

TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course No. 18 Green
Scott Halleran / Getty Images

A look from behind at the finishing hole at TPC Sawgrass, with the bleachers set up prior to a playing of The Players Championship. The final hole is a 464-yard par-4 on the scorecard, designated the No. 1 handicap hole. How's that for a tough finish - the island green followed by the No. 1 handicap hole.

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TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse

TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse
The clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Sam Greenwood / Getty Images

The massive TPC Sawgrass clubhouse features Mediterranean Revival-style architecture and includes the facility's golf pro shop. Just how massive is it? Try 77,000 square feet. (That's huge by golf clubhouse standards, but, for comparison's sake, Buckingham Palace is 830,000 square feet.)

This clubhouse is a new one; it was completed in 2007 following 11 months of construction.

In addition to the pro shop, the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse includes two restaurants/dining rooms, locker rooms, offices for the course management, banquet and meeting rooms, a gallery, plus outdoor entertainment areas.

The clubhouse is open to the public, so you can drop in and look around even if you aren't playing. The clubhouse is filled with PGA Tour memorabilia, and staff members are available to show guests around.