One can never be too sure of what will happen when the biggest names in golf tee off at TPC Sawgrass for THE PLAYERS Championship. The tournament is known to test some of the most talented players on the PGA Tour, claiming some of sports’ most shocking victories and devastating defeats. This March, the tournament will see a whopping 144 players hoping to prove themselves on one of golf’s most cutthroat courses, and if bragging rights weren’t enough to stir up some healthy competition, the $15 million purse sure will. Thousands will flock to Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (just outside Jacksonville), for a chance to get a front-row seat to the drama—and since the entire flight from ATL to JAX is most likely shorter than your morning commute, you have no reason not to join them.
For those of you who still think golf tournaments are only enjoyable for those who have already cashed out their 401(k), we can assure you THE PLAYERS Championship is not your father’s golf tournament. The Stadium Course—which became the tournament’s official home in 1982—was literally built to optimize the spectator experience, and that tradition has continued year after year as new activations pop up along the tournament’s route. Whether you’re a fan, a foodie or simply there for the social scene, THE PLAYERS Championship is a must-do.
For the fans As if witnessing a great game of golf weren’t enough, THE PLAYERS Championship offers a bevy of bucket list opportunities for golf fanatics. Fans can watch players warm up on the practice grounds, get within reach of players between the 12th and 13th holes and, of course, watch their favorites play the hole known to make even Tiger Woods break a sweat—the iconic 17th island green. For those who want in on the action, golf simulators, a replica of the 17th hole and more interactive experiences are on-site. And, of course, you’ll want to check out the PGA Tour Fan Shop to stock up on merch.
For the foodies Perhaps the most impressive part of THE PLAYERS Championship is the extensive list of food and beverage experiences. The tournament tapped dozens of local restos to help fans fuel up throughout the tournament. While there is a standard food court at the entrance—and by standard we mean Firehouse Subs, Hawkers Asian Street Fare and Tropical Smoothie Cafe, casual—the themed dining experiences are what really stand out. Wine & Dine on 9 presented by Meiomi Wines, Food Trucks on 10 and Tacos on 12, give ticket holders of all levels a true tasting tour. In case you’re worried about staying hydrated, Grey Goose cocktails are always within reach, and did we mention there is a beer garden featuring craft brews on tap?
For the socialites For those looking to up the ante on their PLAYERS Championship experience, the tournament offers a variety of hospitality packages to choose from. The most elite of which is THE PLAYERS Club. New this year, it’s an all-inclusive, ultraexclusive membership-based experience available only to a select few. It unlocks entry to TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse and private viewing venues situated on the iconic island green 17th hole and final 18th hole. Included are elevated dining options, valet parking and access to one-of-a-kind interactive activations including a private boutique experience in TPC Sawgrass Pro Shop.
Photography by: Courtesy of PGA Tour