PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- To many local fans, when THE PLAYERS Championship rolls around at TPC Sawgrass each May on the calendar, the date is circled as one of the premier social (and golf) events of the season. This week as fans return to TPC Sawgrass for the concluding event of the Web.com Tour Finals at Dye’s Valley, Web.com Tour Championship Executive Director Matt Rapp is hopeful that this event also becomes a fan favorite.
With a little ingenuity and some valuable experience gained at THE PLAYERS, Rapp may just get his wish.
There won’t be long waits for food, drinks and bathroom visits and nearly "impossible to see" golf holes due to the "Tiger" factor. In fact, fans might equate the experience to having club seats at a football game.
One of Rapp’s trademarks at THE PLAYERS is catering to the fans. The goals are the same at Dye’s Valley. It’s hard to imagine a better value in town at only $15 for the entire tournament.
“It’s less about massive crowds,” said Rapp, who hopes for a crowd of about 5,000 on weekend days. “We would be very happy with that. This is a completely different deal than PLAYERS and much more about an intimate setting where you can socialize with friends or family and have some fun … and watch golf.”
Most of the crowds will likely be situated between the practice range, clubhouse and areas behind the 10th tee, 18th green and 1st tee. “The nature of the course is such that people will gravitate to those areas and all the main amenities will be there,” said Rapp. “For those that want to walk the course, it’s very aggressively staked off and fans can get very close to these guys.”
So, at a venue with all that TPC Sawgrass has to offer, what might be the "fan favorites" at this year’s Web.com Tour Championship?
1. Dollar Beers – Find your place in line each day at this concession stand from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. behind the 18th green for ice cold beer for only a buck! This is certain to be a hot spot.
2. Friday Night Blues Traveler Concert at the clubhouse – Update your golf wardrobe in the pro shop, dine on the back lawn, and then “jam” to the sounds of Blues Traveler on the lawn of the clubhouse Friday night.
3. College Game Day on Saturday – Fans and golfers are encouraged to wear colors of their favorite college teams on Saturday. Behind the 18th green, "North Florida’s Largest Outdoor Sports Bar" is featured – equipped with bar stools, bartenders and multiple big screen TVs, airing Saturday’s top college football games.
4. The Community First Food Truck Stop – Enjoy a variety of food from area local restaurants, including Brucci’s, Corner Taco, Mamas, and Cubarico Café located next to the KidZone behind No. 18.
5. Sunday is Wolfson Children’s Hospital Family Day – Free admission for 18 and under all week when accompanied by an adult. Sunday, however, adults will get in free with the admission of a child – making it free for the entire family. Of course, free admission for any member of the military, retired or active duty, is always the case.