Renovations to TPC Sawgrass will spark new drama at the Players Championship

by Joe Passov

When the Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass made its debut at the 1982 Players Championship, the reactions were swift, brutal and nasty. “This course plays all around my game and never touches it,” Jack Nicklaus said. “I’ve never been very good at stopping a 5-iron on the hood of a car.” Tom Watson was less jovial. “It’s a joke, a real joke,” Watson said. “This course needs some major changes before it can even be called fair.” Joked Fuzzy Zoeller, “Where are the windmills and animals?”

Can a leopard ever change its spots? This one did.

The Marquis de Sod, Pete Dye, changed golf course architecture for all time with this 1980 design of then-PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman’s vision. Though it’s been softened since, today it remains a spectacular mix of serpentine waste bunkers, endless water hazards, grassy moguls and…


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