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The architect, Pete Dye, was tasked by the original Commissioner, Deane Beman to create a course that would favour no single player or style of play. There had to be a selection of par-3s, par-4s and par-5s with both right and left doglegs. The result was the famous Players Stadium Course where no two consecutive holes played in the same direction and where raised mounds allow numerous vantage positions for spectators.
The Players Stadium Course underwent a summer-long restoration in 2006, the tees, fairways and greens were all rebuilt with new sand and a modern drainage system to encourage "firm and fast" conditions. Offline shots are more likely to roll into difficult spots among or behind 200 newly planted trees (oaks, pines and palms). Natural waste areas, lower-level bunkers, greenside chipping areas and water hazards may also
come into play more often. The course will not be over-seeded with ryegrass, as was necessary for the previous March date of The Players, resulting in a faster playing surface year-round. But more than the changes, Pete Dye said the alterations will allow for one basic tenet: a better course year round.
The second course at TPC Sawgrass, Dye's Valley Course is a Cinderella to the Stadium. The often overlooked Pete Dye/Bobby Weed layout next to The Stadium still charms with a challenging abundance of water, large greens, a superb opening hole and a first-rate practice facility.
Though it lacks the glamour of The Stadium, this tough but nice alternative with possibly better pacing and pricing might just make your day!
To complement the fantastic on-course challenge the 77,000 square foot 'Mediterranean Revival-style' clubhouse offers every facility possibly expected from one of the most famous golf clubs in the world.
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