Klein on Design: No. 17 at Sawgrass
Monday, May 4, 2009
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.