PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – A little more than a week before the PGA Tour’s flagship event, at least five of the greens at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass are less than championship ready.
Nos. 4, 9, 11, 12 and 14 were “negatively impacted by (a) misapplication of a product to help manage density and root development during the colder, winter period,” according to a memo that was posted on a Tour-players only website on March 27.
The Tour spokesman declined to comment at this time.
Nearly two weeks of warm, dry conditions have helped the greens recover, but the putting surfaces at Nos. 4, 9, 11 and 12 continue to show damage and the grass plugs used to replace turf.
Par-4 12th green at TPC Sawgrass
The Tour began using temporary greens on March 28 at the fourth, ninth, 11th, 12th and 14th holes and the Stadium Course was closed on April 14 to speed the recovery, but one Tour player who made a trip to the home of next week’s Players Championship said, “they were awful.”
On a players-only memo dated April 23, the Tour said the MiniVerde greens “experienced a setback this winter and are being managed for full recovery,” but made no mention of the product that damaged the turf or whether practice rounds for next week’s event will be impacted.
GolfChannel.com toured the course on Tuesday and discovered a 10-foot square section of the fourth and 12th greens and a 6-foot square area of the ninth green was still recovering.
The situation is aggravated by the fact these are some of the Stadium Course’s smallest putting surfaces and may limit the number of available hole locations for the tournament.
Tee boxes, fairways, rough and practice areas were not damaged, although the memo on March 27 said, “the practice putting greens are experiencing the same conditions as the Stadium Course greens.”