PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – When PGA Tour officials struggled to get the Stadium Course tournament-ready prior to last year’s Players Championship, commissioner Tim Finchem suggested a host of possible changes, including a redesign of a few greens that would help with agronomic issues in the future.
But numerous sources have confirmed this week that the changes may be more sweeping than originally advertised.
According to those sources, the Tour has a tentative plan to lengthen some holes – including the par-5 second and par-4 sixth - in an effort to put driver back into the players' hands.
Perhaps the most dramatic change the Tour and architect Pete Dye are considering is a dramatic makeover of the par-4 12th hole.
At just 350 yards, the 12th is historically one of the Stadium Course’s easiest holes, with a small green and large mounds left of the fairway meant to create a blind approach shot.
The plan is to make the hole a drivable par 4 by knocking down the mounds, creating a water hazard, and repositioning the green, and playing it between 270 and 330 yards.
A few Tour professionals have been consulted about the potential project and the reception seems to be lukewarm.
“I know they want to get more excitement out here, but I think it’s a good golf course already,” said Billy Horschel, a Ponte Vedra Beach resident who regularly plays the Stadium Course.
“I’m just hoping they don’t do anything stupid with it. You’ve seen too many golf courses that are good as they are already and they change it a little bit and they are stupid changes and don’t add any enhancement to it.”