Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Players' No. 12: Time to Wing It; Tour Officials Envision Birdies and Eagles for New, Driveable Par-4

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Players' No. 12: Time to Wing It; Tour Officials Envision Birdies and Eagles for New, Driveable Par-4

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

The PGA Tour has planned the most extensive change for a single hole at the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course since the 2006 renovation project with Monday's announcement that the 12th hole will be modified to become the first driveable par-4 on the course.

The new look for the hole, which measures 358 yards for The Players Championship, will be unveiled for the 2017 tournament. It could play as short as 300 to 320 yards during the week of the tournament, with the players teeing off on some days from what is now considered the member tee.

The large bank on the left will be leveled, the green complex will be modified to allow for players to run shots onto the green and there will be a narrow water hazard that will run down the left side of the green.

"We've studied all the great driveable par-4 holes, not just on the PGA Tour but in general, and we have the pieces of what we think go into making it a great short par-4," said Andy Pazder, the Tour's executive vice president and chief of operations. "One common trait is the risk-reward factor, which we think the water hazard will create. The other is that it's driveable for everyone in the field, and that will be the case."

Pazder said the changes to the 12th hole have been in discussions for the last two years. Stadium Course architect Pete Dye, Tour in-house architect Steve Wenzloff, Tour players who live on the First Coast and past Players winners have been consulted.

Pazder said the main object is to provide one more dramatic hole on the back nine.

"Of all the great moments in the history of the tournament, you can't think of too many on the 12th hole," Pazder said. "This gives us another opportunity to create excitement earlier on the back nine, instead of waiting for the last three holes."

Work on modifying the hole will be part of a massive project following the 2016 Players, which will be May 12-15:

- The greens will be resurfaced with TifEagle Bermudagrass and slight modifications at Nos. …

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