The Players Championship, called the ‘fifth major’ on the PGA Tour, is held every year at Sawgrass TPC Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA. Hole 17 (par 3), famous for its island green, is the symbol of Sawgrass TPC. The hall floating like an island in a calm pond is enchanting., 스포츠토토
What maximizes the beauty of this hall is the circulation of the hall. After putting the ball on the green at the 16th hole (par 5) just before, walking up, the large pond on the right and the smooth green catches the eye. Another small island with a single tree also comes into view. From this point on, golfers’ nerves are all focused on the 17th hole. I look at how the team members in front of me hit the tee shot on the green and how they putt. It is to raise expectations from all halls to the highest level.
Hole 17, however, is considered the most difficult par 3 hole in the world. Since it is only 137 yards, professional golfers can target it with a pitching wedge, and amateur golfers do not have to worry about the distance. Why? This is because the direction and strength of the wind blowing over the pond change from time to time, and the tension of the water is great.
The audience seats surround the hall like a coliseum, so during the competition, the cheers and gazes of the galleries come under tremendous pressure. Pete Dye, who designed this place, said, “I don’t know why players say this hole is difficult,” as if talking about other countries, after putting the ball on the green of the 17th hole while playing a round with his wife, Alice. Then, Alice rebuked him, saying, “That was when the onlookers were only me and the frogs.”
Another reason hole 17 is difficult is that it is open on all sides. Bunkers basically serve to give golfers severe trials, but sometimes they also function to prevent the ball from going out of the course. The green of the 17th hole has a small bunker the size of a postage stamp in front, but nothing else. There is virtually no rough, so if the ball lands on the back of the green, it rolls and falls into the water.
It is estimated that approximately 100,000 balls fall on the 17th hole in one year. During the four days of the Players Championship, an average of 47 balls disappear into the water. The most balls missed in one round was 50 in the first round in 2007. Bob Tway shot 12 on this hole alone in 2005. In the first round of 2021, Ahn Byeong-hun hit 11 strokes. During the 41 tournaments held from 1982 to last year, there were only nine hole-in-ones.
Pete Dye is notorious for his difficult and challenging course design, earning him the nickname ‘Marquis de Sade’ among players. Even when the Players Championship was first held here, the course was filled with complaints from players. However, it was actually his wife, Alice, who made the 17th hole that stumped the world’s top golfers.