first_imgThe TPC Sawgrass with its famous Island Green is located in Ponte Vedra, 18 miles south-east of downtown, Jacksonville   –  istockphoto March 13, 2019 COMMENT golf The TPC Sawgrass with its famous Island Green is located in Ponte Vedra, 18 miles south-east of downtown, Jacksonville   –  istockphoto SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTScenter_img Major or not, you need to be there at least once to see the PLAYERS Championships.This year, the PLAYERS, which was first held in 1974, has been re-born. They have a ‘new’ trophy, a new date and a new song. The buzz is the same. The old Crystal Trophy, of which Tiger Woods has two, was exquisite. But the new one is something else.The trophy features a mix of sterling silver and 24k gold vermeil and uses a process called “electroforming.”‘Gold standard’ designIt is 7¾ inches in diameter, 17 inches tall, and weighs 7.6 pounds. There is then the ‘trademark’ touch of a swinging golfer standing on an outline of the 17th island green. Add to that the amazing computer modelling the designers have used to incorporate aspects of each of the 38 winners of THE PLAYERS — from Jack Nicklaus to Webb Simpson.” The designers combined 38 former PLAYERS champions into one design to give the trophy its face. Truly Gold Standard is how they like to refer to themselves.The TPC Sawgrass with its famous Island Green — a slew of merchandise, from shot glasses to coffee mugs to Tervis tumblers — is located at Ponte Vedra, some 30 km south-east of downtown Jacksonville and 40 km north of St Augustine.Jacksonville, home to a bunch of Fortune 500 companies; is a leading port for automobile imports but its main strength is the diverse nature of its economy. And, St Augustine is where the World Golf’s Hall of Fame is located.The TPC Sawgrass is where the world’s richest event with a purse of $12.5 million is held — it beats the 2018 US Open by half a million — though the chances are one of the Majors that follows PLAYERS will beat it some time this year.The Augusta National Club has the Masters; the USGA the US Open; the PGA of America the PGA Championships, and the Royal and Ancient across the Atlantic, has The Open (British Open to the Americans and The Open to the rest of the world).But the PGA Tour (as different from the PGA of America) has no Major to its name. It does have the Tour Championships, but THE PLAYERS has become the flagship event for the PGA Tour. It was probably with that in mind that THE PLAYERS Championships came into existence in 1974. And, don’t miss the name of the tournament — THE PLAYERS is always in capitals.Interestingly, like the Masters at Augusta, THE PLAYERS has a permanent home at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra.The PGA Tour has put all its muscle behind it. Off late, the event has kept growing. The marketing of its famous Island Green merchandise reaches a fever pitch; the Dye Valley is a must-see; gates named after legends like Jack Nicklaus and Fred Couples are what people watch in awe as they walk through. There are also various fun events associated with it.With so much of buzz, the PGA Tour is probably now content with being a ‘biggie’ — call it what you want — without it being a Major. Not being a Major, probably does not bother them any more. The TV rights fetch as much as the Majors.The city is all decked up and geared up for ‘the big week’. The routes are choked from Thursday to Sunday; parking tickets have been bought; the ground tickets purchased and plans set in motion.As the cliché goes — all roads lead to TPC Sawgrass. Published on Not a Major, but it is a ‘biggie’ with a new ‘trademark’ trophy, song and date × SHARElast_img