PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tantalus was an ancient ruler that offended the Greek Gods. The nature of his transgression is often debated but the unique punishment he received is accepted lore.
Zeus sentenced Tantalus to stand in a pool of water for eternity. Above the pool was a fruit tree. Whenever Tantalus became hungry and reached for the fruit, the branches would draw back. Whenever he became thirsty and reached down for a drink, the water would recede.
This ancient story is the basis of our modern word tantalize. It's a word and a story that I think Pete Dye is very familiar with. Look no further than the par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass for evidence. It's just 137 yards long and a wedge for most players. The green has plenty of size for that distance. It's sitting right there in front of you. Teasing you. Taunting you. Laughing at you. Your thirst is burning. You are ravenous with hunger.
Yet conquering this simple golf hole is just barely out of reach. There is no hope. From high on Mt. Olympus, Zeus smiles. And from his evil lair Pete Dye chuckles.