The 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass is arguably the most famous par-3 in the world
17th hole at TPC Sawgrass
TPC Sawgrass’ 17th hole on the Stadium Course is undoubtedly one of golf’s most famous holes.
It’s the second in a trilogy of immense closing holes at Sawgrass, and is one of the few holes in world golf where players actually think about it before they’ve even got there.
Mark Calcavecchia once told The Washington Post “It’s like having a 3 o’clock appointment for a root canal. You’re thinking about it all morning and you feel bad all day. You kind of know, sooner or later, you’ve got to get to it.”
It’s only ever a pitching wedge or nine iron, but over water and just one hole from the end of the round – it’s all about nerves.
Last year at The Players Championship, Rickie Fowler displayed the ultimate nerve.
He hit three shots on 17 to within seven feet on Sunday, in regulation, in an aggregate play-off and in sudden-death, to the toughest pin position on the green – front right just over the bunker.
Over the years we have witnessed disaster and meltdowns as players walk onto the dreaded 17th tee.
Indeed, no eventual winner has ever hit the ball into the water; playing the 17th well is essential.
TPC sawgrass, arguably one of Pete Dye’s finest creations, saw the idea for the 17th hole arise out of a lack of space and simple suggestion from his wife Alice.
Dye famously thought the idea of an island green surrounded by water would see him thrown in jail, but instead he is now in the hall of fame.
In 2007, unbelievably in the first round alone, 50 balls found the water.
Here are the 10 days where the most balls have gone in the water at 17:
2007 – Round 1: 50
2005 – Round 4: 28
2005 – Round 3: 25
2007 – Round 1: 21
2015 – Round 1: 21
2008 – Round 1: 20
2006 – Round 1: 19
2012 – Round 1: 18
2006 – Round 2: 17
2009 – Round 1: 16
2015 – Round 2: 16
Perhaps the best advice comes from the words of a calm and steady PGA veteran, Steve Stricker. After remarking that there is lot’s of water staring at you, he added “you just have to suck it up and hit a good shot!”