The BWD Tournament Hole of the Week: May 12 – 15, 2016. The 8th at TPC Sawgrass, Home of The PLAYERS Championship

Tournament: The PLAYERS Championship, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Hole: 8th – Par 3, 237 Yards
Architect: Pete Dye – 1969, (redesign) – 2006

Architectural Summary:

The longest par 3 at TPC Sawgrass, the 237 yard 8th hole features a green surrounded by 11 bunkers. From the tee, competitors will look to navigate the hole’s many hazards which also includes a pond fronting the green. While club selection will vary depending upon conditions, most will take a long iron or hybrid as the hole can play up to 250 yards when playing to back hole locations. Players will often look to simply find the front or right portion of the green as putts from these parts of the green are generally uphill with little break.  The green is 35 yards deep and slopes from back-left to front-right with a small internal ridge just short of the middle of the green.  Should tee shots miss the green, short and right will offer a relatively easy up-and-down as recovery shots are played to uphill pins while long and left will create very difficult up-and-down scenarios because recovery shots are played to pins with the green sloping away.  No matter how it’s achieved, par is a great score on the 8th hole especially when the hole is cut back right on Sunday.

Statistical Analysis:

The 8th at TPC Sawgrass has traditionally played as the most difficult par 3 on the course. In 2015, the hole was the fourth most difficult hole of the tournament as it played to a scoring average of 3.16 (36 Birdies, 303 Pars, 88 Bogeys, 6 Doubles, and 1 “Other”).

Fun Facts:

  • Rickie Fowler will look to become the first defending PLAYERS champion to win back-to-back. Fowler managed to birdy the famed 17th hole three times during the final round (twice in the four hole playoff), but he played the difficult 8th to par for the tournament.
  • While a lengthy par 3, the 8th hole has seen six aces in the history of The PLAYERS Championship. Michael Thompson was the last to make an ace at the 8th with a 3-iron in 2013. Thompson’s ace was the first since 2000.
  • Pete Dye’s 2006 renovation of TPC Sawgrass added 15 yards to the 8th hole, stretching the hole’s length to 237 yards.
  • The 8th features 11 bunkers, the most of any hole at TPC Sawgrass.