When the strongest field in golf takes on the game’s greatest stadium, fans flock to beautiful Northeast Florida to experience the showcase of excellence on display at THE PLAYERS Championship. THE PLAYERS becomes the center of the sports world as the best players in the world gather to take on the purest test in golf, THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Favoring no one style of play, the course requires tremendous precision to win the PGA TOUR’s flagship event and become THE PLAYERS champion. Everything onsite is designed as a shrine to golf fans, giving every attendee a front row seat to the history that is made each year at THE PLAYERS.
Since 1974, when THE PLAYERS was first contested at Atlanta Country Club, the era’s best players have battled to take home the trophy. It’s fitting that the event’s inaugural winner was none other than Jack Nicklaus, the World Golf Hall of Famer who captured a tournament-record three PLAYERS titles in the first five years (1974, 1976 and 1978).
THE PLAYERS moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977 and five years later, the PGA TOUR’s flagship event found a permanent home at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, Pete Dye’s masterpiece and golf’s original stadium. Jerry Pate won that first year and celebrated his 1982 triumph by diving into the lake next to the 18th hole, taking Dye and then-PGA TOUR Commissioner Deane Beman with him.
That memorable moment has been followed by many others, including Hal Sutton’s “Be the right club today” shot from the fairway on the final hole to defeat Tiger Woods in 2000 and win THE PLAYERS for the second time, and Woods’ “Better than most” putt from 60-plus feet during the third round of his 2001 victory. History was made when 2015 winner Rickie Fowler played the final four holes at TPC Sawgrass with just 11 strokes, the best score on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course’s finishing holes. In 2018, Webb Simpson personified the all-around game that is needed to win at TPC Sawgrass. He will return in 2019 to defend his title, but it will take place in a new, but familiar, position on the calendar with a date in March.
Home to the PGA TOUR and THE PLAYERS Championship, THE PLAYERS Stadium Course was designed by renowned golf-course architect Pete Dye. Since its inception, the course’s final three holes have evolved into the greatest risk-reward finish in golf, highlighted by the iconic 17th island green, one of the most recognized and photographed holes in the game.
Beginning immediately after THE PLAYERS 2016, the PGA TOUR embarked on a significant construction project to further elevate the world-class experience that is TPC Sawgrass and THE PLAYERS Championship. All greens at the Stadium Course were re-grassed with TifEagle Bermuda and some greens were modified; hole No. 12 was shortened to add more risk-reward shots; Nos. 6 and 7 were reshaped to make them more dramatic; and the practice grounds were enhanced.
No matter the month on the schedule, the PGA TOUR will deliver The PLAYERS Stadium course in ideal championship conditions. The golf course is likely to play longer in March with the ryegrass overseed process completed.
Following THE PLAYERS Championship 2006, heavy equipment replaced golf carts on the greens as crews started the demolition process of the 25-year-old clubhouse. The changes, completed in May 2007, elevated the reputation of TPC Sawgrass as a world-class resort.
The TPC Sawgrass clubhouse is an expansive, 77,000 square-foot Mediterranean Revival Style building, reminiscent of the history and architectural heritage of Northeast Florida. The clubhouse blends elegant, old-world charm with modern-day comforts and state-of-the-art technology, providing a one-of-a-kind setting for meetings and events of all sizes.
Fronted by a terraced-event lawn offering panoramic views of the ninth and 18th holes, the clubhouse is preceded by a magnificent Walk of Fame entryway and features displays depicting the history and legends of the PGA TOUR and THE PLAYERS Championship.
In advance of THE PLAYERS 2017, the PGA TOUR made significant investments in the creation of an entry experience as grand as the clubhouse itself and befitting the world-class stature of THE PLAYERS; and upgrades to fan parking and routing to ensure the entire experience – from arrival to departure – is the best on TOUR.
Regardless of the name on the trophy at the end of THE PLAYERS, the true winners will always be the local charitable organizations that benefit from the tournament each year.
In 2018, THE PLAYERS Championship reached several charitable milestones: the tournament reached more than $100 million in total donations, surpassed a 10-year goal of $50 million generated for local non-profits that promote youth education, health and wellness and character development, and a record-setting $9 million to local charities generated by the 2018 event.
When the best golfers in the world descend on Ponte Vedra Beach for THE PLAYERS Championship, coverage is at an all-time high thanks to live telecasts on NBC and Golf Channel reaching more than 220 countries and territories around the world. In addition, digital platforms and radio broadcasts give fans myriad options to catch all the action THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass has to offer.