This spring Phil and I decided to make a trip down to Jacksonville, Florida to attend The Players Championship, which is played every year at TPC Sawgrass golf course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
I’ve personally never been a huge (watching) golf fan. I grew up right on a golf course and would play the occasional round drive the golf cart while my dad played, so I knew the basics of the game, but never really worked up the motivation to truly learn how to play. What I know most about golf is that watching it on TV induces the best Sunday naps ever. All of this to say, when Phil suggested we travel down to Jacksonville to watch a professional golf tournament and experience it all live, I was incredibly excited! Any opportunity to be outside in the gorgeous Florida weather for a few days, wear cute sundresses, sip cocktails and be with friends OK with me! My first day at the tournament we headed out to the course early in the morning with a couple of Phil’s coworkers. Even the walk in to the course with the tree-lined entrance was beautiful.
The great thing about going with Phil’s coworkers was that they have attended TPC pretty much every single year for several years, so they knew all of the ins and outs of the course. They were able to show us where all of the best food and beverage stands were, where to find the bathrooms with the shortest lines, and the quickest way to navigate through each hole to beat the large crowds following the really popular players (the order of significance to me was completely unintentional but definitely valid now that I re-read it).
The course itself was just incredible. Simply walking around and taking in all of the landscaping was really enjoyable. It honestly blew my mind thinking about the amount of maintenance that must go in to keeping the course at the professional level it is in.
One of the first stops we made when we arrived was to the famous 17th green. This is known as the “island green” aka “party green” and is the most popular spot for pretty much all of the tournament goers to sip on cocktails while they scrutinize each player’s skills on the toughest hole of the course. It was constantly packed and ended up being a great people-watching spot!
Next, we visited the unbelievably gorgeous TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse! The structure of the building itself was breathtaking as were the amenities inside and outside of the clubhouse.
Out front they had a huge stretch of outdoor tables and chairs where people were able to lounge and get out of the sun. They also had several beverage and food stands with really great cocktails and appetizers available that we frequented throughout the weekend!
On our way up to the clubhouse we noticed an area where they had The Players Championship trophy displayed. It was a gorgeous photo opp since it had a great view of the clubhouse in the background, so of course I made Phil stop and take a picture with me.
After relaxing outside on the clubhouse patio area for a bit, we meandered inside to check out the pro shop and all of the merchandise they had available. Of course everything in there was absolutely gorgeous and Phil ended up with some great take-homes!
After spending several hours at the course each day, we returned to the area where we were staying extremely ready for some dinner. As is custom, Phil took me to the area’s go-to sushi restaurant, Koja Sushi, which is right on the St. John’s River in downtown Jacksonville. It’s located in the middle of this area called the Jacksonville Landing.
I absolutely love this part of Jacksonville – it has great restaurants and shops with a beautiful view of the river, and an open center pavilion with fountains and live music. It’s a perfect location for an enjoyable night out and for AMAZING food. Phil and I have become very particular about our sushi because hardly any place we have visited has been able to top Koja. They have such a unique menu and a great chef who I feel creates something that I’ve never heard of before every time we’re there. It’s seriously delicious every single time.
We’re already planning our trip back down to Jacksonville and TPC for next year and we can’t wait!