Honorary “Ultimate Golf Hole”
Hole No. 17
TPC Sawgrass, THE PLAYERS Stadium Course
110 Championship Way
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Par 3, 137 yards
THE PLAYERS Championship has now concluded. Alex Cejka, in total command heading into Sunday with a five stroke lead over five other men (at 11-under par), spit the bit, and Henrik Stensom stormed to an easy victory with a bogey-free, final round 66.
He finished the tournament at 12-under 276 to collect his first stroke play title on U. S. soil.
It was also his first PGA Tour victory since 2007, when he won the World Golf Classic Accenture Match Play Championship.
There were very few balls hit into the drink today—and even fewer birdies—at No. 17 at Sawgrass.
The hole lacked the drama that we have typically been accustomed to. But for beauty, drama, and supreme test of nerves...how much better does it get than this hole, in this tournament, on a Sunday?
The famous island green has taken many a golfer to a watery grave. Sometimes, nerves might cause a player to hit a fat drive that lands short and splashes into the water in front of the green.
Or perhaps the drive came in too low, too hot, and falls off the back edge into the drink.
I have seen shots that looked perfect, only to have too much spin, and twist back into the water in front of the flag when it appeared to be a good birdie chance.
I have had knots in the pit of my stomach just watching THE PLAYERS Championship over the years.
What could those golfers, on the brink of winning (or losing) what is commonly known as the fifth major, possibly feel as they stare at the flag, perched on it’s traditional Sunday spot at the right front of the green?
And what other holes, at golf courses all over the PGA Tour, inspire awe, dread, or even abject fear in the best golfers on the planet?
What would be The Ultimate Golf Course?
The gnarliest, toughest, most grueling test a man could endure in order to win a golf tournament?
That was the challenge given to me by Rory Brown.
I gave it a shot and came up with just such a course.
The rules were pretty straightforward. I didn’t just take the 18 greatest golf holes in the world; that would be too easy.
No single course was allowed to have more than one hole.
I decided to take one single hole from 18 different courses, and matched them in such a way that I came up with a par-72 Ultimate Golf Course.
It had a total of 7,303 yards (certainly realistic) and was a par-36 both going out and coming back in.
The first hole had to be a No. 1, the second hole had to be a No. 2, etc.
And No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass didn't make the cut; it was simply too beautiful and nerve wracking to leave out of the slide show altogether, so I put it on the introductory slide.
So here it is: my Ultimate Golf Course.
What would you do differently?
Which holes would you like to see here?