Going to The Players? Here are 5 tips for Thursday’s first round

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 08: A flag blows in the breeze during a practice round prior to THE PLAYERS Championship on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 08, 2023 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) (Richard Heathcote, 2023 Getty Images)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The first round of The Players Championship tees off Thursday morning. Here are five tips to make your visit to TPC Sawgrass as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

1. Tickets

Tickets for all rounds are still available and can be purchased at ThePlayers.com. Tickets for Thursday begin at $95 for a stadium pass, a single-day ticket that provides admission to the tournament grounds.

Tickets for The Deck, a premium open-air experience with views of the approach shots into the 16th and 18th holes. Featuring soft seating and televisions as well as both covered and outdoor viewing, this venue provides guests with complimentary beer, wine and soda are available for $117 each.

2. Parking

Parking is sold out for Friday and Saturday, but as of Wednesday afternoon, parking was still available for Thursday and Sunday. Parking must be purchased online. No on-site parking purchases are available. Tournament organizers recommend rideshare or the free shuttle service to get to the course.

3. Make a plan

Depending on what time you plan to arrive at TPC Sawgrass, plan for the golfers you want to see. You can see the first-round tee times here. Typically, each hole takes around 15 minutes (a little more for a par 5, a little less for a par 3). You can also keep track of where the golfers are via the PGA Tour mobile app.

Aside from watching golfers, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy at the Stadium Course. The replica 17th hole where you can try to land a shot on the island green, the 40,000 square foot Fan Shop — the largest ever at The Players, and a variety of food options, including many local restaurants.

Particularly, if you are bringing children, making a plan can maximize the time you have at the course, especially as the day grows on.

4. Autographs

There are two locations where players will expect to be asked for autographs. One is behind the 18th green near the scoring area, known as the Perch. The other is behind the driving range. Take this guy’s tip: get a big golf ball for autographs.

5. Prepare for the weather

While there is only a slight chance of rain, a quick shower can pop up and wind can be a factor, especially if it is blowing off the ocean. Bring a light, waterproof jacket to be prepared. Sun protection is also recommended.