tampabay.com

TPC Sawgrass No. 17: Your memories

By BOB HARIG
Published May 10, 2007


In the early 1980s, after playing No. 16, there were three groups waiting to play No. 17. When it was our turn to tee off, I hit an 8-iron onto the green to about 12 feet from the pin in a back right location. I then heard a deep and somewhat familiar voice from the cart in back of us say, "Nice shot." I turned around and it was Pat Summerall, who at the time was CBS's No. 1 NFL television announcer (and for golf). I acknowledged with a polite thank you, then his playing partner, Tony Trabert (tennis), chimed in, "Pretty good." Two national television announcers had provided commentary on my shot. I still remember it to this day.
L. Mark Carron, Tampa

In 1988-89, I had the pleasure to play the TPC Sawgrass four times. The 17th looks very different in real life than on TV ... much shorter and smaller. I was fortunate to par it three out of four times: twice the conventional green in regulation and two-putt; one time I hit the top of the supports at the front of the green and found the water ... then holed it from the drop area for par. The fourth time I found the walk path to the green and chipped in for birdie! It is perhaps my favorite hole on a course that I've played where the pros play. I have a lasting memory of the hole on my wall at home, a numbered, signed water color of the 17th at Sawgrass.Dr. Mark Hanshaw, Land O'Lakes

My wife Sonia and I had the opportunity to play Sawgrass and both have memories of 17. I hit the front of the green only to watch it bounce back into the water on my way to double bogey. She hit it stiff to about 3 feet and made birdie. I didn't say both memories were good.
Pete Leshko, Temple Terrace

The best part of my life began at the 17th hole at the 2003 Players Championship. I had been attending for many years, but this trip I planned to propose to my wife. With the heightened security following 9/11, we were asked to remove everything from our pockets while the security staff went through it. I had the ring in my pocket, but had no idea I would have to take it out along with my pocket change. Luckily, as we approached the security point, we were separated and I didn't have to spoil the surprise. We proceeded to the 17th hole where we set up our chairs so that we had a great view of the tee box and the green. Before the players arrived, I turned to her and asked her to marry me. I took the ring out of my pocket and placed it on her finger. She was so surprised and her answer was, "Yes!" Needless to say, the 17th hole at Sawgrass will always be a very special place to us.
Ken and Alana Holloway, Clearwater

I played the 17th about three years ago after not having played golf for several years. I was not having a good round but on No. 16, things started to get in shape with a bogey. Then we went to the 17th. Most people do not realize that it is not the same hole the pros play. We were playing the white tees and it was playing about 105 yards. The pin was in the middle of the back tier, the wind was blowing from left to right. I used an 8-iron to reach the back tier, about 15 feet from the hole. My first putt was an inch short, and I tapped in for my par. I was pleased that I had conquered one of the most famous holes in golf.
Dick Collins, Jacksonville

In the mid 1980s, I skulled an 8-iron straight into the tiny bunker in front of the green. I then hit a rocket out of the bunker that hit the pin. The ball stopped 2 feet from the hole. I made the putt for a routine par on the scariest hole on the course.
Sid Heuton, Palm Harbor