I believe the overall effect of changes at TPC Sawgrass--both manmade and Hurricane induced--will make for a livelier, better golf tournament, as I detailed here for Golfweek.com.
While No. 12 is getting all of the attention--players are saying it's too much risk and not enough reward reports Golfweek's Jeff Babineau--it's the short grass around greens and lighter rough that should induce a little more aggression and creativity.
Here's a prime example at No. 11 where one pot bunker remains, but the area is otherwise all tight turf. It's tad over-shaped in my view, but instead of thick-rough-covered mounds that had as much as 3 inches in recent years, the player may now be more enticed to go at the green because of the tight turf.
The recovery shots should also add viewing interest:
Now on to the 12th, where the Groupthink mentality of players and caddies has declared this an automatic lay-up hole. I'm pretty certain by Sunday that this will not have been an automatic layup hole and in fact, a pretty interesting risk-reward hole.
A few things to look for, starting with the view just above the tee (a prime spectator spot btw). The layup area is pretty distinct and notice the lower elevation of that area, which sets up an obstructed view approach shot.
The view from the layup shows how much the TPC Sawgrass mounding impairs the view.
Here's the reward for those who carry the fairway bunker about 270 off the tee.
The TV tower rear view shows off the tight mow that leads to the lake. Lots of griping about the slope so far, but I think we need to wait and see.
The photo here doesn't show it, but there are two rear and right upslope bumps reminiscent of old Donald Ross greens (nice touch!).
The slope and hazard: