Average Golfers Hit Shots At TPC Sawgrass #17 Island Green And Fail Miserably

Tiger Woods on TPC Sawgrass Island Green

Getty Image / Stan Badz / PGA TOUR

The PGA Tour is in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida this week for golf’s unofficial ‘Fifth Major’, The Players Championship. The island green at TPC Sawgrass is arguably the most famous hole in golf and while there are several in the running for that title like the 16th at the Waste Management or the 12th hole at Augusta, the setup of the Island Green is unmatched.

Others in consideration would be #1 and 18 at St. Andrews, 18 at Pebble Beach, and a few others I’m probably forgetting at the moment. But the island green of #17 at TPC Sawgrass is in ELITE company even if we can’t agree that it’s the most iconic hole in golf.

Going back to last year on the eve of the 2023 Players Championship, the PGA Tour set up cameras at TPC Sawgrass’ 17th hole to illustrate how difficult the island green really is. They filmed a day’s worth of amateur golfers testing their mettle.

What they found was, out of 175 attempts on the hole in one day 95 players hit 102 balls in the water. Every single group that played the hole that day had at least one player hit a ball in the water on 17.

Amateur Golfers Hit Shots On TPC Sawgrass #17 And Fail

I’ve never played TPC Sawgrass myself but friends from my Junior Golf days always described it as a torturous experience. The greens fees these are absolutely insane even though I’m a Florida resident. And when I’ve got Streamsong just down the road, paying a small fortune to go get crushed by Sawgrass doesn’t seem like very much fun to me.

There’s something about the nerves leading up to #17 that raise the stakes. You play a full round knowing that shot is coming.

And when you step up on the tee box at #17, every mistake from the previous 16 holes is probably floating through your mind.

That said, I am surprised that there wasn’t a single group that didn’t get on the green. You’d think that golfers shelling out $500-$900/round would be better than ‘average’.

This article was originally published on March 7, 2023 but has since been updated