After the 2 rounds at the Hall of Fame courses we followed with 4 rounds at TPC Sawgrass, 2 at the Valley Course and 2 at the Stadium. It was great to play them twice in alternate days for all the group, as they were able to get familiar with the holes, the greens speed, fairways and how demanding the views from the tee boxes are and 4 days of great climate conditions to play golf.
This Dye Valley Course has the same problem of some other courses having an extremely famous neighbour like New/Jubilee at St Andrews, Spyglass at Pebble, Pinehurst #4, Real Sotogrande and some other where the aura and fame of the big one shades on the other course which can be even as good as the main one.
The Valley Course is great from 1 to 18, with a fanatastic finishing stretch, great par 3s, a couple of very good reachable par 4s and the feeling that if you wish to score you have to hit it staright of the tee, be accurate with approach shots, miss on the correct side and putt really well. There is not one single weak hole, not one hole where the birdie is done without having to hit real good shots and of course many nice views.
Talking of greatness, this Pete Dye jewel has a couple of holes that are even better than many of the Stadium ones:
- 6th is probably the best par 4 on the 36 holes property, with water all over the right side and two very demanding shots.
- 11th is a hell of a par 3, 240 yds with water on the right and no space on the left from the back tee.
- 16 and 17 are 2 great and different par 5s, the first one a 3 shooter for almost all of us, the second reachable but to a very small green with water on the left and danger on the right side.
Having it played twice, starting on 1 and 10 once each, made me a complete picture of the course and I have to say it is an absolute must. Many may have seen it in the Web.Com Tour Finals where Emiliano Grillo won once in 2015, if you have the chance to play The Stadium do not miss the Valley, it is almost as good and for sure much more fun.
Date: June 26, 2019