Posted May 08, 2014

Johnny Miller Says 17th hole at Sawgrass Is Too Easy, Should Be Longer

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Johnny Miller at the 2011 Players Championship (Getty Images).

Johnny Miller at the 2011 Players Championship (Getty Images).

He’s one of golf’s most opinionated announcers.

It’s one of golf’s most recognizable holes.

Not surprisingly, Johnny Miller has some thoughts on the par-3 17th at Sawgrass.

He thinks it should be lengthened, with a new tee as an option in case there is no wind.

“If I owned the golf course,” Miller said Monday in the run-up to Players Championship this weekend. “I would definitely have a back tee on 17 and another 20 yards, anyway, if there’s no wind, no projected wind.”

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Without protective gusts, Miller said, the fabled island hole, which measures 137 yards, is “too short” for the world’s top players.

“I would like to see the guys at least hit an 8-iron, maybe even a 7-iron. I just think it would be just a more exciting hole than throwing up a 9-iron or wedge up there.”

His comment came in response to a question about the prospect of lengthening Sawgrass, an idea that has circulated in Tour circles of late.

A new 17th tee aside, Miller said, “I don’t know where you really need more distance to be honest with you. I would like to see 17 have more options.”
 For a little extra fright, Miller also suggested creating a new back-left tee on the 18th hole to create a diagonal tee shot akin to the sixth hole at Bay Hill.

“Take that tee way over to the left and that would be a fantastic tee shot,” Miller said.

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80 comments
BubbaJoBubba1
BubbaJoBubba1

Johnny Miller, in addition to be THE WORST golf commentator on TV, should learn to keep his opinions to himself.  When has he EVER gone through an entire tournament without being critical of almost all the golfers.  This tournament would have been so much better to watch if he wasn't part of it.  

Bahia
Bahia

I played it and people at home who watch it don't get the appreciation of the perspective of the player on the tee box.  The hole fools you into thinking it's easy because of the short distance and you really can't see the surface of the green well.  The safe play would be the center of the green, but pros don't do that.  Going right at the flag depending on pin position can have huge risks.  It's an easy hole for pros to par (2 putting is by no means easy for an amateur on this green), but get greedy and ... just ask many of the guys who have hit into the water.

AdaWMoreno
AdaWMoreno

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Boris Said
Boris Said

I've played Sawgrass on three different occasions so if my comments are a little long-winded I apologize. Disagree on moving 18 tee. Really don't think you'd see a difference in driving accuracy on that hole if the tee was in a different spot. As it is now if you lose that drive even a smidge left it's in the water. The right trees would also be taken out of play. Guys would have to hit their driver about 30 yards longer than what they normally hit it to get to the trees on a diagonal, across the pond tee shot. I just don't think that's necessary.


4 and 14 would be the only holes I'd really lengthen considerably. If you hit 3-wood off of 4, you shouldn't be able to hit a wedge in there. Blow it out to about 420 from the 385 it is now. If you hit a good driver you get to hit wedge, if you lay back you're going to have to hit a 7 or 8 iron in. I think that's fair. Would bring the water in front more into play as well. I think they've lengthened 14 in the past, but I would make that hole a beast in the 510-520 range. Would be a great contrast to some of the skimpy Par 4s leading up to that... 10 is a scoring iron with a good drive, 12, 6 is pretty short on the front, etc.


That would run it to about 7,300. That's fine with how much water is around that joint. Lengthening the Par 5s, especially 11 and 16, would absolutely take the water out of play.

Reedster
Reedster

Johnny, do you really think anyone cares what you think?? Here's one for you - Do you know what the definition of a great PGA tour event is? Answer - any event that you are NOT announcing.....

Wes Whittington
Wes Whittington

No golf holes need to be longer...watch the Pro's leak oil this weekend under the gun. Please!

Quincy Bonnett
Quincy Bonnett

Another reason why I mute tournaments when he's on.....

WarrenTaylor
WarrenTaylor

haven't heard him critcize the par 3 at Peeble Beach as being too short. What's that one 105,115 yds?


Debbie McLaughlin
Debbie McLaughlin

I really do not give a rats behind about anything Miller says. He is annoying and too critical of certain players. Who remembers what you did Miller?

Ray Coutcher
Ray Coutcher

they might have to hit up to 3 different irons depending what tee box and wind direction making it longer won't change anything except more club.

Al Ex
Al Ex

weather dependent. on calm days they probably could have the option for a longer tee. on windy days, that hole is a bear at its current length.

John Sutter
John Sutter

Green would have to be bigger, but that might lose small island effect

Robert Reifert
Robert Reifert

Thats Johnny...Id go along with it playing 145-155, these guys are hitting nine iron that far so yeah!!\

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

Hey I like the idea on paper.  But how long will the wait and backup be if more balls go into the water?  Ask Sergio how easy it was last year?  I am going to miss Johnny at the US Open.  Joe Buck and Greg Norman?  

Rick Vogt
Rick Vogt

Johnny Miller is and always will be...? You all know the story!

Ron Norris
Ron Norris

It's not the length of the hole. It's the mind game of the water and an island.

MatthewDougherty
MatthewDougherty

I played TPC Sawgrass. The tee shot on 17 isn't that scary. The green looks BIG from only 135 yards out. I agree with Miller that adding a tee box at least 1 club length back would make it interesting. 


The real scary shot is 18th tee shot. I stood were the pro's hit it and I have serious respect for those who can hit the middle of that fairway. 

Michael Rahrig
Michael Rahrig

Easy for him to say when he sits in a booth, look at the stroke . average in compsarison to other par 3

Golfasorous
Golfasorous

If it isn't broken, don't  try fixing it.

Eddie Weaver
Eddie Weaver

That hole isn't about how long it is. It's the intimidation factor that makes it great just the way it is. Without the water it's just another short Par 3. With it - "Your safe passage depends on my mood. "

Kelly Peterson
Kelly Peterson

It is estimated over 100, 000 balls are taken out of the water per year. The hole is a test of controlling ones nerves , emotions and a commitment to a shot.

Ryan Walton
Ryan Walton

Can't stand Johnny Miller. The guy thinks he knows everything and whenever a player hits a great shot , he has hit it better from there. Love the tournaments he isn't commentating! Idiot!!

Serge_Storms
Serge_Storms

Great idea.  Let's have even more balls in the water on 17 and more players bailing out to the right rough on 18.  Because golf is way too fast. 

David Keightly
David Keightly

Disagree completely. I'm fortunate enough to have watched a lot of pros play that hole, and it's just fine the way it is. It's also an enormously entertaining place to watch golf.

Wayne Johnson
Wayne Johnson

Good like it is, not every hole has to be long to be difficult. If no one ever missed the green, I'd agree

Kevin Sullivan
Kevin Sullivan

Its a risk- reward hole. The green has a lot of movement in it. Remember the "better than most" putt that TIger made......lets leave things alone

Leslie Limsico
Leslie Limsico

he is entitled to his opinion, even if it is a bad one. :)

Chuck Haldeman
Chuck Haldeman

I think at times he is a bit too over the top. I enjoy his honesty but the record shows that the hole stands its ground at each TPC tournament. Leave it as is and let the players mind make it tough hole on Sunday afternoons.

Calum MacDougall
Calum MacDougall

Johnny miller - don't remember you spouting that nonsense when you were playing. It's a fantastic hole just as it is - he'll want to lengthen the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon next... Idiot

Gordon Steen
Gordon Steen

No, it plays just fine, ask the players and watch for yourself. Johnny Miller is a mouthpiece

Steven Todes
Steven Todes

It's time to retire with comments like that

Mike Wiggill
Mike Wiggill

Let's get over this rubbish of needing to continually make course longer.

Kym Davenport
Kym Davenport

love that green position but a scary shot ..:)

joeypad
joeypad

@Reedster  what ajerk you must be..the man calls it like he sees it ..when you win 29 tournaments you can offer your opinion..otherwise keep you mouth shut

joeypad
joeypad

i for one do..jerks like you who dont realize the mans 29 wins make him an excellent choice to voice his opinion..when you win one let me know

MrEightIron
MrEightIron

Who do you think he is, Tiger Woods?

BubbaJoBubba1
BubbaJoBubba1

@joeypad  If you really want to see a jerk.........look in the mirror.  Doesn't matter how many tournaments Miller won, he's the worst golf commentator on TV and the most negative.  Golf is not enjoyable to watch when he's part of it......period.  

Reedster
Reedster

@joeypad @Reedster Fortunately, I don't have to do a damn thing you say. I can't figure out who has their head further up their rear, You  or Johnny.....

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