by: Nelson Hicks Updated:None —
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- WSBTV.com hits the road this week to discover some of what Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine have to offer visitors. Whether vacationers are looking for great golf, relaxation, time at the beach or some of America's earliest history, a trip to the area offers all that and more.
A golf lover's paradise is how many people would describe a trip to Ponte Vedra Beach. Any trip to the area must include a stop by the TPC Sawgrass, home to the PLAYERS Championship, one of the most famous holes in golf and an incredible vision. The land the course sits on today was once swampland.
"In 1978, the Fletchers actually sold this property to Deane Beman, swampland as they called it, for $1," Jennifer Belisario from the TPC Sawgrass noted. "That's what we call, 'A dollar and dream.' So, this is where TPC Sawgrass stands today."
A 77,000 square foot clubhouse greets TPC Sawgrass visitors. Inside, murals highlight some of the repeat PLAYERS Championship winners as well as the most memorable moments in the tournament's history. Storytellers volunteer their time and take visitors on a 30 minute tour of the facility. Not to be missed is a golf club shrine where past winners like Jack Nicklaus left a little something behind.
"It became a tradition for the winner to donate the club that he considered the one that helped him win the tournament," storyteller Mike Kelly told wsbtv.com. "You've got this tiny little Prosimmon driver that Jack (Nicklaus) donated back in '74, but every winner all the way up to K.J. Choi, with a little more flamboyant driver now-a-days, you can come and see all of those clubs."
After touring the clubhouse, visitors have the opportunity to venture out to one of the most famous holes in all of golf, hole 17 at the TPC Sawgrass. It's the one with the island green.
"Even if you are not an avid golf fan, this is something that everyone should experience at some point in time in their life," Kelly noted.
One of the stories that Kelly and the other storytellers like to tell is about the creation of that now famous hole. Turns out, it wasn't architect's Pete Dye's idea. The idea came from someone else. Watch the video below to learn the story behind the hole.
Anyone can play the stadium course at the TPC Sawgrass and take aim at the island green. Call two weeks ahead of time and make a reservation and bring a few extra balls. The facility offers golf on the valley course and lessons, too.
Looking for something else to do in the area?
This story is sponsored by FloridasHistoricCoast.com.