Last year, I had the good fortune of traveling to Hilton Head to visit a friend for a couple days. During my stay we drove down to TPC Sawgrass to catch The Players Championship, an event some people consider to be the fifth major in the golf world. I have many fond memories of the trip, including:

~ The 17th hole. It’s the hole that everyone talks about when they think of Sawgrass.  The island Par-3 where you’re either on the green or in the drink. It truly is a beauiful hole and the way the hillside flanks the green allows for a great viewing area. It’s rare to watch golf at a hole where every shot is so exciting. People ooh and ah with every swing. It lived up to the anticipation I had for the hole.

~ There are other beautiful holes on the course though and so many lend themselves to viewing.  The Par 3 8th hole is magnificent and was one of the other plays we stayed and watched multiple groups play through. From behind the green you can get the full view of the player’s swing, approach shot and then watch them finish up.

~ The TPC Sawgrass clubhouse is immaculate and second only to Medinah Country Club’s in regard to awesome clubhouses I’ve seen.

~ There are a group of kids that wear bright colored T-Shirts that each have one letter and when they stand together spell – SERGIO. Every time I saw Sergio I saw those kids. I hope they’re following him again this week. It would be great to see Sergio play well after the passing of his idol, Seve Ballasteros.

~ We only stayed for the Friday rounds and some of Saturday. If you remember, Tiger pulled out of the tournament Sunday mid-round citing neck pain. It was one of several odd moments in Woods’ last two years.

~ We saw Jack Del Rio, Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars strolling in the crowd. I’ve always loved how players’ wives, celebs, etc. just walk amidst the crowds at golf events.

~ I did not get sunburned — any time a pale Northner heads down to Florida in May, that’s always a great achievement.

~ I just remember feeling very calm at Sawgrass as well. There were roars and cheers, but it was enjoyable to feel at ease watching the golf tournament. It is a peaceful setting, a beautiful course and it was a great trip.

Hopefully, this week is as fun for others who venture out to The Players Championship.