THE PLAYERS: Everything You Need to Know for Family Fun

From the littlest fans to seasoned golfers, every year our community looks forward to THE PLAYERS Championship. THE PLAYERS is designed to showcase the very best professional golfers in the world, and provides a welcoming, fan-friendly atmosphere on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, which was designed with the complete fan experience in mind!

So whether you plan to attend as a family, day-date or even a girls day out, we have all the details you need to plan your experience at THE PLAYERS!

When is THE PLAYERS?

THE PLAYERS Championship is Tuesday, May 9 – Sunday, May 14 this year. Gates open on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 AM for practice rounds. These days are ideal to attend because crowds are typically lighter since these are non-competition days and parking is free on Tuesday and Wednesday in the general lot. Rounds of competition are Thursday – Sunday and stay til sunset on Sunday when the 2017 THE PLAYERS champion is crowned for another year.

Save with The Family Plan and Free Admission for Kids

Many families do not realize that youth 18 and younger are admitted free of charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult, and there is no limit to the number of youth fans admitted with that ticketed adult. Youth admission makes THE PLAYERS the perfect destination for families, who only need to pay the cost of the tickets for the adults, or even a youth sports team, as the entire team can gain admission with one ticketed adult! The Family Plan package offers two adult Stadium Passes, unlimited youth admission at the gate and two $10 concession vouchers and is $120 for Thursday and Sunday, $130 for Friday and $140 for Saturday (taxes not included).  Where else can a family of four attend a world-class sporting event for that price?

Peak traffic times are between 12 PM – 2 PM, if you want to avoid traffic, plan to arrive before or after those times! Remember though, parking passes are additional, but any car with four or more passengers parks for free under THE PLAYERS “Four for Free” policy (download vouchers here). There are also alternative ways to get to THE PLAYERS!  Shuttles from select hotels in the downtown area, Uber is the premier ride sharing partner of THE PLAYERS, or you can Pedal to THE PLAYERS with complimentary bike parking. You can even make getting to THE PLAYERS part of the adventure! For more information on The Family Plan, General Stadium Passes, or parking click here.

Military & Moms – Special Events at THE PLAYERS

Military Appreciation Day  – Tuesday, May 9

THE PLAYERS provides also all career military (active duty, reserve, military retirees, and dependents) with complimentary admission. THE PLAYERS also provides discounted admission for non-career military veterans.  To obtain a voucher for discounted admission, click here. Throughout tournament week, they will have access to the Birdies for the Brave ® Patriots’ Outpost, a hospitality tent reserved exclusively for the military which offers complimentary food, beverages and activities. THE PLAYERS also hosts a Military Appreciation Day Ceremony (6 PM) and a family-friendly concert (6:30 PM) – this year with a special performance by GRAMMY nominated artist Sam Hunt on the 17th hole. Believe me ladies, you won’t want to miss Sam Hunt AND the concert is free to any Tuesday ticket holder.

PINK OUT and Mother’s Day – Championship Sunday, May 14

Another reason to love THE PLAYERS, a special day for MOMS! In honor of Mother’s Day, which falls on the final round of THE PLAYERS, the event hosts a “PINK OUT” on Championship Sunday in celebration of mothers and support of The DONNA Foundation. Fans, volunteers, players, and caddies are encouraged to wear pink in support of The DONNA Foundation, a local charitable organization that raises funds for ground-breaking breast cancer research at Mayo Clinic and women living with breast cancer and the organization is the event’s “Charity of the Day.” Mothers in attendance will receive a commemorative Mother’s Day pin and fans will enjoy beautiful pink floral displays around TPC Sawgrass and special “PINK OUT” merchandise will be available. The Sawgrass Splash, the tournament’s signature drink even turns pink for the day! We hope to see many JMB Moms and families celebrating this special day at THE PLAYERS!

Fun for the Kids and Things to Know

One of my kids’ favorite thing to do at THE PLAYERS is to make a visit to The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation Kid Zone. New in 2017, this area will have an enclosed air-conditioned area featuring the Nickelodeon Experience Score a hole-in-one at the Kid Zone. Little ones can show off their golf skills at the SpongeBob SquarePants mini-golf challenge and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Puttskee, get virtually slimed, meet SpongeBob, and more! This is not a daycare area, as parents are required to stay with their children, but it allows parents the ability to take a break and relax in the shade while the kids have fun (and there’s a nearby restroom trailer!) Stadium Village and PwC’s First Tee Challenge, Bridgestone Performance Center, Geico, Lexus, Microsoft, Skechers Performance and Topgolf will all have interactive booths throughout the course as well. Also new in 2017, the Fan Bleacher presented by Publix provides excellent shaded viewing for fans, located on 12 green and 13 fairway.

May I have your Autograph Please Sir?

There is nothing cuter than a little fan holding a pen, paper or THE PLAYERS merchandise ready to meet their favorite player! But what do you need to know? Autographs are not allowed on course during practice days and tournament competition days. THE PLAYERS has designated Autograph Zones near the main player practice grounds/driving range and scoring area behind 18 green. These zones allow more interaction between players and there is a kid corner within the autograph zones designated specifically for youth.

Eat, Drink & Be Merry at The PLAYERS

Part of the fun at THE PLAYERS is enjoying a refreshing drink (JMB loves the signature Sawgrass Splash!) or dining at one of the menu food options from some of Jax’s favorite restaurants. But if you’re on more of a budget, THE PLAYERS allows fans to bring in their own food in a 1 gallon clear, plastic bag where food items are also wrapped in clear wrap. Opaque bags measuring 6x6x6 inches and smaller or clear bags 12x6x12 inches and smaller are allowed inside the course grounds. Fans can fill up their empty water bottles at the filtered water stations (no outside water bottles and/or beverages allowed though). Taste of JAX features Hawkers Asian Street Fare, Mojos Kitchen, Brucci’s Pizza and Candy Apple Cafe. Wine & Dine on 9 is hosted by Matthew Medure, one of Northeast Florida’s most renowned chefs, and features William Hill Estate Winery. Fans can also indulge in Bono’s BBQ, Trasca & Co Eatery, M Shack, Tropical Smoothie Café, Daily’s and Firehouse Subs in the Food Court. “Trucks on 10,” is an outdoor dining area where spectators can purchase food from local food truck vendors, including Cely’s Filipino Food, BUBBA Burger, Mama’s Food, Pele’s Wood Fire and Up In Smoke BBQ and also enjoy Texas – style BBQ at 4 Rivers Smokehouse located at The Patio. There is also THE PLAYERS Club and The Wine Lounge presented by William Hill Estate and the 21+ Blue Room VIP Lounge presented by Michelob Ultra for additional ticket price. For younger fans, kid -friendly options such as fruit and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will be available at most concession stands around the course! 

THE PLAYERS Gives Back 

A heartwarming aspect of THE PLAYERS Championship is that the tournament gives back! To give local organizations a way to raise their profile during tournament week, THE PLAYERS designates a different charity as “Charity of the Day” from Tuesday through Sunday and some of our favorite organizations are included this year  Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, Museum of Science & History (MOSH), Wolfson Children’s Hospital, United Way of Northeast Florida, St. Vincent’s HealthCare Foundation, and The DONNA Foundation.

THE PLAYERS also hosts many other charitable elements throughout the tournament including THE PLAYERS Wives Association and Community PedsCare event, Dreams Come True of Jacksonville VIP visits, Robin Strano Golf Clinic for the Florida School of the Deaf and Blind, events for The First Tee of North Florida, Junior Achievement, Birdies for the Brave Operation Shower and more.

With so much to do and see at THE PLAYERS, we hope you make time to stop, relax and enjoy the view and all THE PLAYERS and TPC Sawgrass offers for this family-friendly event! For more information on THE PLAYERS or to purchase tickets, click here!

Lindy Mullen
Lindy is a Nashville, Tennessee native, soaking in the beach life with her husband and two adorable kids. A full-time marketing manager for over 10 years, Lindy has spent time working with shopping centers, local and national retail businesses, and planning community events. Upon relocating to her husband's hometown of Atlantic Beach in 2013, Lindy enjoys a more flexible schedule as a work-from-home mom and retail marketing consultant, and helps Jax businesses get in front of local moms as the Director of Sales for Jacksonville Mom (formerly Jacksonville Moms Blog). In her free time, she enjoys exercising with friends, trips to the beach or park with her kids, eating sweets and the occasional kid-free shopping trip!

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