*TPC Sawgrass @ Florida’s Historic Coast*

*The Destination*
Florida’s Historic Coast on the state’s northern Atlantic shoreline is anchored by the oldest city in America, St. Augustine. Founded in 1545, many of the original sites have been preserved like the oldest jail, oldest store, oldest schoolhouse and more. The ancient city is lined with cobblestone streets and quaint attractions depicting America’s history. The coastal climate is near perfect year-round, drawing visitors from around the globe.

Ponte Vedra, home to the PGA Tour, TPC Sawgrass and Concert Hall, is thirty minutes up the coast on scenic highway A1A. Stops along the way could make it a day trip to stroll the white sandy beaches, watch the rolling waves, surf, shop and dine.

*The Venues*
TPC Sawgrass is a whole community with a magnificent clubhouse front and center. The restaurant and bar are open to the public with indoor or patio gallery seating and free guided historic tours are conducted on the hour, including a cart ride to the famed17th island green, for photo ops.

Sawgrass Marriott is elegantly positioned with full frontal windows to the intracoastal waterway. Alice and Pete’s restaurant honors the deceased Dye couple and outside, a mini-island green provides guests with hit and giggle amusement.

Hilton Garden Inn at the entrance to TPC Sawgrass, is more moderately priced with all the amenities a traveler needs, including Mulligans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

*The Golf*
TPC Sawgrass was built to host The Players Championship on its Stadium Course in mid-March. In January, many of the grandstands were already erected and the fairways were the most plush and brightest green of any we have seen or felt. Is it real, or is it artificial turf? The Stadium Course is a bucket list hit for golfers with excitement building on the 17th green, a shot for glory you never forget.
Golf Director Brian Redding says the whole community comes to support The Players Championship which many golf critics consider a fifth major. Pete Dye architected the Stadium Course as well as Dye’s Valley Course. While it may be lesser known, and lacks an island green, Dye’s Valley is equally challenging. As our caddie Chris noted, number 18 on Dye’s Valley is like 18 on the Stadium Course without the $80m clubhouse behind it. The caddies’ main jobs are to steer you clear of the water positioned on every hole which is habitat to the beautiful Floridian aviary.

Ten minutes away, Ponte Vedra Inn and Club delivers two fun runs – the par 71 Ocean Course and par 70 Lagoon Course. In St. Augustine, the World Golf Hall of Fame has been relocated to Pinehurst, but its two adjoining courses, King & Bear and Slammer & Squire remain in play.

*And More*
Beyond beach walks, St. Augustine has some 30 attractions to explore. Hop on and off the Old Town Trolley at any interesting spot, with entertaining narration along the way. We recommend the 1700s seaside fort, Castillo de San Marcos and then the Scenic Cruise aboard Victory III for a waterside view of the town with dolphins perhaps surfing on cue.
Climb the second highest lighthouse in Florida for a bird’s eye view or view the pink flock of roseate spoonbills cohabitating with the giant lizards at the Alligator Farm.

The Flagler University Tour is anything but boring with grand décor and tales of the robber baron, though that title is not invoked. The Pirate Museum is amusing, and The Oldest Jail is intact with original cells, gallows, and sheriff’s office where a child asked about the wooden box on a wall and could not fathom that it was a phone.

Saunter down the colonial alleys of St. Augustine and dine at Catch 27’s English garden patio. For Southern BBQ flavors with a twist and a view, visit Valley Smokehouse on the intracoastal water bank in Ponte Vedra. Special occasions merit Sawgrass Marriott Cabana Beach Club’s 1912 Ocean Bar & Rooftop. A romantic beachfront setting pairs with exquisite cuisine. Rooftop it off upstairs with a specialty mock or cocktail, looking out at the ocean and up at the stars.

*Our Takeaway*
We love visiting the whole state, but Florida’s Historic Coast is special for its endless beaches and myriad attractions with extra events always popping up. TPC Sawgrass is a magnet for golf lovers and every day brings encounters with new people, all with their own stories, and that is what we love the most about golf travel.

*The Journey*
Several airports are within a two-hour drive including Orlando, Daytona, and Jacksonville. Intercoastal water cruisers may dock at the St. Augustine marina.