PONTE VEDRA, Fla. - The players are literally feeling the difference of changing the date of The Players Championship from May to March this year at Sawgrass. Temperatures dropped into the 60s Saturday for the third round of the tournament.
The groundskeepers also made some changes for the switch in dates. Typically, the course is made up of Bermuda grass, but this year, it’s ryegrass.
"We flipped the script a little bit, and in March, now is a time of the year where the Bermuda grass will not be actively growing, so we had to overseed the golf course," said Director of Golf Course Operations Jeff Plotts.
The process started back in October. About 25 tons of seeds were spread over the 125 acres that make up the stadium course and practice areas at TPC Sawgrass. In all, it took crews five days to overseed all 18 holes.
Ryegrass is a more vivid green. The texture is softer and when golfers hit the ball, they don’t get as much roll as they would with Bermuda grass.
The last time The Players Championship was held in March was back in 2006. So for a majority of the players, this is a new experience.
Only 26 out of the 144 who started in the field this week have played this event in March.
In post-round interviews, players said the course feels a bit softer and that’s mainly because of the different type of grass.
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