For the past two years before joining Golf Channel I worked for the PGA Tour. Getting into the Tour’s headquarters at TPC Sawgrass was relatively easy. Employees as well as residents use bar-coded stickers attached to their cars to go through the guard gate at the entrance to the property. Once through that initial gate, there were no other check points and no reason to wear your official PGA Tour credential.
If you were a guest on the property, you merely drove up to the gate and waited in line to speak with the guard to tell them you’re having lunch or dinner at the clubhouse or tell them that you have a tee time. You did not need a reservation for access, you could drive up as a guest on a whim.
That is not the case this week. While bar-coded stickers still grant access through the initial gate to those who have them, there is now security in what seems like every 100 yards to protect every entrance to the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse and Tour offices, a Tour employee said. Now once through the initial security gate, in order to turn into the drive toward the clubhouse and offices, you now must show your official credential and employees must wear their credentials to report to work. If you’re a guest on the property, you also must show identification and you must be on a list. The guard gate has a list of those with already booked tee times since there will still be play at TPC Sawgrass’ Players Stadium and Dye’s Valley courses.
But don’t expect to be able to get on the course or through the gate on Friday if you don’t already have a tee time. They stopped taking reservations earlier in the week.