Sawdust at Sawgrass

Doug Ferguson took a tour around the TPC Sawgrass and noticed a few of the changes being made to the course and clubhouse as it prepares for the 2007 Players Championship THE PLAYERS.

Also daunting is a new tee being built on the 219-yard eighth hole, making it play closer to 240 yards. David Pillsbury, chief operating officer of the tour's golf course properties and the man in charge of the TPC project, said the new tee on No. 8 is among five holes that will be lengthened by a combined 75 to 100 yards. But that's not to say the tees will be used.

"The winds will be different in May," he said. "This gives us flexibility for setting up the course."

Now, does this mean that flexibility is the new, clever way of adding length without acknowledging changes in the game. Or do they think that flexibility is being able to move tees around to make the course play the same every day depending on the wind?

Ideal flexibility would the chance to really play holes in diverse ways from day to day in order to best test the players, many of whom don't like to be inconvenienced with a thought.
There were other subtle changes, beyond reconditioning the fairways and greens. More than two dozen oaks, pines and palm trees have been planted on the left side of the par-5 ninth fairway, making for a difficult escape. Pine trees have been added to the right of the sixth, seventh and 10th fairways.
Oh wonderful. Hootie Pine Fungus has traveled to Ponte Vedra.