CBSsports.com reported that Tropical Storm Debby has dumped more than seven inches of rain on the area, flooding the famous hole, and truly making it an island. Yahoo Sports golf blog Devil Ball reports that the walking path that usually provides access to the 17th at TPC Sawgrass is completely submerged, and with more rain on the way, the whole hole may vanish for a time.
The well-known 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass is less than 140 yards long and consists of nothing but a 78-foot long green and small bunker. Most pros can reach the green in one shot with a pitching wedge — but if the wind is blowing, it can be a challenge.
The Wall Street Journal reports that 120,000 balls annually are lost to the four-foot deep lake that almost entirely surrounds the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass. The WSJ adds that it has a scoring average in recent years that is only about one-fifth of a stroke higher than the average for par-threes of comparable length.
Course designer Pete Dye didn’t plan on making such a unique hole, but the dirt from that part of the course was needed elsewhere and eventually he had a big empty space. His wife suggested he create the island green and the rest is history.
The Stadium Course where the hole sits was closed for maintenance prior to the flooding, but now all the grounds crew is sit back and wait for the drainage system to do its job and wait for the famous 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass to reemerge in all its glory — that or have a boat ready to ferry players across.
Photo courtesy of Tony Agolini (@tonyagolini on Twitter)