Widely regarded as golf's fifth major, The Players Championship kicks off this Thursday at TPC Sawgrass. In this hole by hole guide, GolfMagic explains what challenges awaits for the players this week.
Hole 1 - Par 4, 423 yards
Quite a tame opening hole at TPC Sawgrass. A slight dogleg right with a huge bunker on the right hand side. Players will need to be accurate off the tee so you can expect many to keep the driver in the bag on this one, with a fairway bunker, water hazard and grass bunkers swallowing anything to the right and trees awaiting anything left. It's not the longest of par 4's, so focus will be on the second shot where the green is protected by bunkers.
Hole 2 - Par 5, 532 yards
An eaarly par 5 that is certainly reachable in two for the majority of the field. A narrow green awaits those who will be taking on the challenge on their second shot, with pine trees along the right hand side of the landing zone. Players will be firing over a lake if they're going for theg green in two, but it shouldn't cause any trouble. From the tee, players will be looking to stay away from the left as it will likely stop them getting their eagle opportunity. It's certainly a hole the field will be looking to at least make birdie, if not better.
Hole 3 - Par 3, 177 yards
Another hole that shouldn't cause too much hassle for the talented field. A large green running 30-yards deep awaits, where most players will simply use a mid iron to the centre of the green. Danger is to the left with a deep bunker and a few run-offs that will challenge their short game. This is another hole where you can expect to see multiple birdies.
Hole 4 - Par 4, 384 yards
Don't be fooled by the short yardage of this par 4, as a lot of the field will find this hole a test. Accuracy is crucial from the tee with a long iron or fairway wood, with sand awaiting anything missed left and a slopey rough to the right. The two-tier green is guarded by a pond at the front and left-hand-side. If the players hit the fairway, they should only have a wedge for their approach, but some players will slip up here...
Hole 5 - Par 4, 471 yards
The longest par 4 on The Stadium Course and the most challenging hole on the front nine. A slight dogleg right off the tee, with a bunker staring at you down the right, which is the line most players will be taking. These pros would rather find the sand on the right than the rough on the left. If that's not enough, the green is protected with all sorts of problems. The lads would probably bite your arm off if you offered them a par here.