Some courses evoke an immediate reaction at the mere mention of their name; Augusta –
St. Andrews – Pebble Beach. Sometimes it is a stretch of holes that causes the reaction;
Amen Corner – The Bear Trap. And sometimes it is a single hole – #17 at TPC.
The 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass is, in theory, a simple 137 yard par 3. However, it is an
island green and has over the years become known as one of the most difficult holes in
golf. The Players’ Championship was just played at this course and the 17th provided
many dramatic moments including Ryan Moore’s “Slam Dunk” hole in one and Tiger Wood’s fateful 7.
The course was designed by legendary course architect, Pete Dye, though in truth he can
not be credited with 17th . The story goes that during construction, sand from the area that
would become the 17th was used in other parts of the course. When it came to construct
the 17th , there was essentially a big hole. It was Pete Dye’s wife, Alice, who suggested to
simply filling the hole with water to create an island green. Reportedly, Pete did not like
the idea but there was not much else to do so he went with it. The 17th at TPC was born.
Every golf course has a designer who is credited with creating the layout and there is
often a story to be found. Find out who designed your favorite course and see if there is a
story worth knowing.
Submitted by: Coach David DeMay