The Players Championship: the best golf tournament is still improving

By Francis Vachon,
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5.0 Stars - I Loved It!

Last year, I visited TPC Sawgrass to see why THE PLAYERS Championship was the best golf tournament to attend as a fan. Executive Director Matt Rapp told us how each and every year, they build upon their success to improve. They might test a little something and make it permanent next year. They might notice that a mound should be a little bit higher, that some trees need to be trimmed, or more facilities should be build.

As I was visiting St. Augustine near by, I took on Matt’s word and visited the TPC Sawgrass again in January to see how they where doing for this year’s edition that will take place May 6-11.

It looks like they are focusing on the concept of hubs. Since the Stadium course was built to hold a tournament with wide alleys and many spots for facilities, they push the concept very far. Within each hub, on top of having a great view on three or four holes just by looking right or left, you have from just feet away an incredible food selection, high-end bathrooms, and place to sit and relax under the shade of beautiful trees. Instead of running around trying to follow a player, you can stay comfortably at one spot and wait for him to come at you three or four times during the day.

What I like about THE PLAYERS championship is that it can become a family trip even if not everyone is into golf. The play zone for kids can entertain the young ones for a while, and the food selection can become a foodie experience by itself.

For instance, at various locations around the course you can feast on THE PLAYER Signature item: the Mayport Shrimp & Grits with a Fried Green Tomato.

Tacos on 12 will features Taco Lu, Jacksonville, Florida’s most popular Baja Mexicana.

Mama’s, Argentinean style cuisine, and Baby’s Badass Burgers, who offers gourmet burgers, will be featured on the new “Trucks on 10”

You have a specific dietary needs? Don’t worry. Many of the specialty restaurants have low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

If you can’t come during the tournament, TPC Sawgrass is still an amazing destination for golf enthusiast.

A guided tour visit of the most iconic Clubhouse and a lunch at one of their two restaurants is a must, and don’t forget to stop at the Golf Shop.

If you are coming not just as a golf enthusiast but as a golfer, the TOURAcademy will really improved your game, which I can personally testify to. You might think that playing on the Stadium course and the famous 17 Island green is out of your budget, but it is probably cheaper than you might think. From $250 to $400 depending of the month, it is probably one item on your bucket list that you can cross off. Be ready. Everyone members of our party who played the Stadium Course came to the same conclusion: it is the most challenging course they ever played.

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