Find out all about the legendary par 3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass

Now that is quite a view of the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass.  This little par 3 island hole has arguably become the most famous hole in all of golf (refraining from Tiger joke).  Everything about it is just right; the look, the feel, the layout and the fact that it is usually a major factor in the annual championship held at Sawgrass each year. 

The crowds for the TPC (The Players Championship called The Players), affectionately known as “the fifth major” in professional golf, are famously rowdy and they get especially pumped to view the action at 17.  Following is a great video put together by the PGA on the 17th (when you have your own PGA highlight video you know you’re a star).

The “Island Hole” is actually a peninsula.  It measures just a mere 132 yards from tee to green which is just a little ol’ pitching wedge for most pros.  The intimidation comes with the diminutive and undulating green that is the target.  It is only 78 foot long and is fronted by a little bunker.  Further difficulties arise in that the hole is laid out amongst a canyon of trees that causes the wind to swirl around the green. 

Put all this together and you have a grind-house for professional golfers.  Club selection can just about put some of these pros in their grave.  As you saw in the video the hole was originally just going to be a simple par 3 for the Pete Dye design but the sand around the hole had been mostly removed during construction.  At a loss Pete’s wife Alice Dye (a legendary course designer in her own right) suggested the hole as it is now which Pete at the time was not happy about.

During the broadcast of the tournament NBC dedicates upwards of a dozen cameras on this single hole!  Here is a video of several players commenting on 17 courtesy of ESPN:

In 2007 50 balls landed in the drink in just one round at the 17th which stands as a course record. These balls aren’t alone (once again fighting the Tiger joke urge). It is estimated that over 100,000 balls are collected from the water surrounding the hole each year. Here is an overhead view of the 17th for further perspective:

The 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, the “Island Green” is its own legend and now you know why.