Friday, May 13, 2011

Sawgrass - The Home of the PGA TOUR

After a few relaxing weeks at home, the Walker family is finally on the road again. It's a good thing we enjoyed a little mid-season break because we won't be home again until August. Packing for that length of time is a huge challenge and always one of my least favorite aspects of traveling. Surprisingly, I was able to keep my bag under the 50-pound weight limit!

Jimmy had a bit of a rough week in Charlotte when a lower back injury caught us all by surprise. It wasn't a great result, but after the way the week started and talks of withdrawing on Friday, we were happy he was able to grind it out. Only after he made the cut -- and some prodding, stretching, massage, ice, ice and more ice -- were his therapists on TOUR able to identify that the strain was actually stemming from an agitated leg muscle in his upper thigh.

If Jimmy had not made weekend, and there hadn't been a lightning delay Saturday morning, the source of the back pain may not have been identified in time for Jimmy to get back to feeling normal for one of his favorite weeks of the year -- THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

THE PLAYERS is one of the most exciting events on TOUR and you really get the "major" feeling when you watch this tournament. The fans are knowledgeable and polite and the field is truly one of the best in golf.

This is the second year we have had the opportunity to play this great event, so we are still getting to know the Ponte Vedra Beach area. I am going to share a few spots with you we have discovered and I will certainly add more as the years continue.


Just 18 miles south of TPC Sawgrass is a fun family restaurant called Caps on the Water. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, Caps serves up coastal cuisine that pairs fresh fish with unique southern and Mediterranean flavors. The large deck, sunset oyster bar and great drink menu attracts locals and tourists alike, and everyone has a great time. Be sure to get there early as even when the weather gets warm, this very popular spot is busy early and stays that way until well after the sun sets.

My next suggestion is courtesy of Lauren Teague, PGATOUR.COM's goddess of social media. Don't let the name fool you, Pussers Caribbean Grill may have a horrible name but the food is anything but that. Located just outside the TPC Sawgrass on the A1A, Pussers offers a taste of the Caribbean with unique dishes and fun colorful signature cocktails. And with its proximity to one of the country's best golf courses, it's the perfect ending to a day spent watching THE PLAYERS or playing the TPC.


For accommodations as close to the action as you can get, the Sawgrass Marriot is a beautiful property that offers convenient boat service to and from TPC Sawgrass specifically for its guests attending THE PLAYERS Championship.

The Sawgrass Marriot offers access to eight wonderful golf courses in the area, including the TPC's famed PLAYERS Stadium Course and Dye's Valley Course. If golf is what you live for then the Sawgrass Marriot can offer you a trip of a lifetime.


If attending a world-class sporting event is something on your "bucket list' then THE PLAYERS Championship is not to be missed. Although the PGA TOUR has never made the official claim of The Players being the "fifth major," any of the players will tell you it's just that. The field is spectacular, offering a well-balanced mix of PGA TOUR and international players, rookies and veterans, oh, and a Tiger, too.

The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is a long, fast, challenging 7,215-yard Pete Dye masterpiece. Designed with every type of player in mind, the course offers a wonderful balance of holes of varying length for every type of shot-maker. And the "stadium" feel offers spectators a chance to see great golf from wonderful vantage points with the famed 17th hole being one of the most intimidating and recognizable holes in golf.

Even with warm May temperatures on the rise, Ponte Vedra Beach and THE PLAYERS Championship is a stop that every golf fan needs to make.

And now it's time for this TOUR wife to take full advantage of this wonderful week and head to the course. Cheers!