Klein on Design: No. 17 at Sawgrass

Henrik Stenson places his ball on the 17th green during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

Henrik Stenson places his ball on the 17th green during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

Yards: 137

Architect: Pete Dye

It’s great because . . . nowhere in golf does a single little hole exercise such a tight grip on golfers. The genius of the par-3 17th is that the shot is unlike any other approach on the course.

Everywhere else, there are options, bailouts and ground-game access. But on this hole, Dye demands that you hit a simple shot in the air and land it on a surface that’s only 4,100 square feet. It’s a hole that players start worrying about from the moment they arrive at the course, and one that provides a lesson to average golfers and Tour pros: Forget about the setting and hole location, and just play for the middle of the green.

It would be even better if . . . the back of the green were swept up ever so slightly – by 6 inches to 1 foot – so that it would be marginally harder for the ball to roll through the far side and tumble into the water.

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