17th Hole...Let The Debate Begin (Again)...

17_players.jpgI bickered today via instant message with one of the game's great scribblers over the merits of Sawgrass's 17th hole about midway through the 50 balls finding "Pete's Pool."

This scribe hates it. I love it as a once-a-year, one-of-a-kind spectacle even if in high winds it gets silly. (Oh, and I'm still not wild about the front hole location, but I love Sunday's back right spot).

On the Golf Channel's Post Game Show, Brandel Chamblee didn't hesitate to call the hole unfair and ridiculous.

Before you weigh in, here's Jeff Babineau on today's spectacle:

A year ago, 57 golf balls plummeted their way to watery deaths at the famed Island Hole. That was over four rounds. Thursday’s opening round at The Players nearly matched it. Playing in the final group of the day, Doug Labelle II and Bo Van Pelt deposited balls 49 and 50 into Pete’s Pool. The scoring average on the hole was 3.699, and there were nearly three times as many double bogeys (23) and “others” (12) as birdies (12).

Debate it at any 19th hole as long as you’d like – is 17 a good hole or freaky sideshow? – but the only thing the 17th lacks on its vast teeing area is a spot for medics to perform EKG tests. Amazing that such a little golf hole can cause such high anxiety.

Is it, ugh...unfair? Silly? Brilliant? A masterful match play hole and lame stroke play hole?