TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course

  176 Reviews

The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is perhaps the most sought-after public access course on the East Coast. For many including myself, it represents the closest you can get to playing like the pros. But every dream has its reality and while this is an exceptional course, if you go in playing your first round here with the wrong mindset, you may come away thinking otherwise.

The hardest thing to do when writing up a review of a new course is to separate your performance-based feelings immediately following your round from how the course actually presented itself. To give this review some perspective, I scored 18 shots higher here than I did at a similarly challenging course (Tobacco Road) just a few days before. To say I was disappointed with how I played would be an understatement but Pete Dye’s diabolical design of this course shoulders at least part of the blame.

The design of this course may seem really familiar from TV or a video game but I struggled to recognize many of the holes from the ground level. Even the iconic 17th looks a lot different when not surrounded by 30,000 spectators. In the end, you’re playing a golf course and how the design features interact with your play matter a lot more than how familiar a scene may seem to you.

I can’t overstate how much water comes into play on this course. More than any course I’ve played and seemingly on every hole. I recorded a water hazard penalty on 7 different holes during my round and I lucked out of a couple others. Bunkers too are a true hazard with not only fluffy sand but steep sides both greenside and along the fairways. Those two aspects alone can make for a long and frustrating round but Sawgrass also throws in extra thick rough and some pretty unreceptive greens to go along along with it.

When you’re spending $200-500 on this round, most of your money is going towards the course conditions, facilities, and staff. The conditions of nearly every square inch of the course are perfect. The greens aren’t as fast as you might think but they still have plenty of speed and subtle break and you’ll be fighting 3-putts all day. Fairways, rough, bunkers, and tees are all world-class. The practice facilities are unrivaled with a superb driving range (complete with a replica 17th green), chipping/pitching green and multiple putting greens that were all in fantastic condition as well.

Overall, I found the staff to be extremely professional and several of them were friendly but you get the sense from the time you drop your bag to the time you haul it back to your car that TPC Sawgrass is a massive operation. I interacted with a higher number of staff members than any other course and got the impression everyone had just enough time to greet me and provide me with the information I needed but maybe not enough time to be truly warm and friendly. With a place that’s getting in 400+ rounds a day from golfers expecting the moon it’s pretty understandable that you aren’t going to get the personalized experience you might be used to at a local club. There was a scheduling mix-up around the time I tee’d off that caused our starter to be a bit more flustered than I would have liked, but hopefully that was a rare circumstance.

I was pretty nervous that my 3:10 tee time would run too long to finish with enough daylight but with an unusual 20-minute spacing between us and the group in front, my foursome made decent time and finished right at 7:45. That said, the permanent cart-path only rules make it hard to play efficiently. I highly recommend walking with a caddy.

I am above all else a value golfer. Whether I’m paying $15 or $300 for a round I want to feel like I got more out of the experience than what I paid. I was able to snag perhaps the last sub-$300 tee time of the season and even that didn’t feel like an exceptional value when I drove away. Yes, the clubhouse is REALLY nice and yes I can tell people I’ve played there now. But I definitely feel there are public-access courses that offer a better value. Will I be back? Probably. But I’m not “dye-ing” to go back right away.

He would play this course again.

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This is a bucket list course, and I'd say play it once, but after that, not worth the $400. There are other Bucket List courses that would be more worth the $400. I think I'd save the small fortune and go play Streamsong for less than $200 (this time of year). Can't say anything bad about the conditions or layout, but I keep coming back to the $400. I admit to having golfers remorse. I should have stopped after my first visit. Not worth a second visit. Overall, I guess hold your nose and play it once, but many other similar caliber courses that you can get more value out of. Also, cart path only makes for a long day.

He would play this course again.

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This was my second time playing the course and it still has that special feel and excitement when you drive up and see the spectacular club house. It looks like you are driving up to a castle.

Everyone of the staff is friendly and helpful from the bag people to the proshop to the caddie we had (Ryan).

The locker room attendant was great. He polished our golf shoes and replaced the spikes. He was great.

The course conditions are amazing and the course is immaculate. They have the best practice facilities and practice area of any course I have ever been to and played.

The ONLY draw back is the $400 price tag. I expect $400 or $500 at Pebble Beach. This course seems like it should be a $300 or #350 course and not $400. However, it is worth the price even if it is a little more than expected. Once at TPC, you will be treated excellent from arrival to departure.

He would play this course again.

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This was my second time playing this course and it still has that great feeling when we drive up. The staff is super friendly from the bag people to the proshop to the caddies. We had Dave as our caddy who we specifically requested from last time. He’s the best caddy we have ever had and my group has had many caddies at different courses. He knows the course so well and was just a great conversation. We made his work cut out for him and he was still all smiles. Also when you get there, speak to Brad, he is the locker room attendant. We played Dye Valley a few days before and talked with him for over an hour. We came back a few days later and he remembered us and was super welcoming again. He didn’t have to talk to us besides the usually pleasantries, but he did. He also gave us great courses to play outside of TPC. Dave and Brad are worth the price alone. When it comes to course conditions there’s no point reviewing them because the course is immaculate and this is their offseason. Spend the money to play here. It’s worth every penny and you’ll be treated like a king or queen from arrival to departure.

He would play this course again.

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First of all, the weather sucked today. It was probably 1 degree celcius (30 ish Fahrenheit) with the wind chill. But the course is absolutely incredible. Every hole is well designed. Not to mention the practice facilities. A great range, and putting/short game greens and areas. I can't write this review without mentioning the club house. An awesome pro shop, accompanied by a museum. We had an amazing tour guide with a man named Toby who was very informative. I won't lie it is expensive, but every serious golfer needs to play this course.

He would play this course again.

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