The Players golf property dream
US PGA Tour | 2014 The Players Championship | General | 09 May 2014
The Sawgrass development, home of the ATP Tour, the PGA Tour and The Players Championship taking place this week, is a mecca for golf lovers and desired residence for anyone with a desire to live close to one of the world’s golfing epicentres.
It lies in the confines of Ponte Vedra, the third wealthiest county in Florida with a median home price of $720,000 (according to the gospel that is Wikipedia). But while we found one plot of land available for $2.5 million, the PGA grabbed its patch of real estate for the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course for significantly less. $2,499,999 less, in fact.
In 1974 the PGA launched the Players Championship as a competitor to the four majors, none of which were run by the PGA. Initially the tournament had a nomadic existence but it was the vision of then-PGA Tour commissioner, Deane Beman, to create a home for the event. Even then, finding the land to build such a course was not easy and Beman was repetitively told it couldn’t be done within the confines of Ponte Vedra.
Jerome and Paul Fletcher, major landowners in the area, were the people on hand to turn Beman’s unlikely dream into a full-blown reality. Huge golf fans, they bought into the dream and sold the PGA 415 acres of wooded wetlands and swamp for the princely sum of $1. Beman set about draining the land (not personally) and set golf course architect Pete Dye about the task of creating a course that would have very specific requirements.
TPC Sawgrass was built with the express intention of being a course that favoured no particular type of golfer. A combination of short, medium and long holes, dog-legs left and right and no two consecutive holes played in the same direction made for a course offering equal challenges for all.
But this wasn’t just for the elite golfer; the course was created for everyday hackers to play and everyday fans to see their heroes. TPC Sawgrass is accessible for all golfers to play. This has had the result of turning the course into a tourist attraction as much as a golf course but is in keeping with its open-for-all ethos. And if you need tips before you play there then watching the pros on their rounds is simple because the course was designed as a‘stadium’ course with the intent of making it easy for spectators to really enjoy the show.
The Players Championship was played there for the first time in 1982 with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer failing to make the cut. Jerry Pate took the first TPC here and since then five players have managed to win the tournament twice but one man who will remain synonymous with the course is Australia’s own Great White Shark, Greg Norman. In 1994 he stormed to a staggering 24 under par score of 264, six better than anyone else has managed.
This content supplied by Golf Great Real Estate