By Angela Higginbotham
2018 at THE PLAYERS Championship will be one to remember. Never ceasing to put fans first and continuing the effort to make the experience as enjoyable as possible, the PGA TOUR strives to improve every year upon the last. Special announcements and new additions were recently unveiled at the media day held at Sawgrass.
THE PLAYERS youngest ever winner and reigning Champion, Si Woo Kim, answered questions from the media. Si Woo’s Kimchi short ribs were revealed as the Korean inspired addition to the menu.
Long time favorites such as Tacos on 12 with Tacolu will be available again this year. Hawkers and Mojo BBQ will also be on hand to serve fans. Perhaps the most highly anticipated new addition will be the bier garden behind the 16th green. THE PLAYERS Championship is teaming up with a local brewery to provide an area for craft beer fans to enjoy during the tournament. THE PLAYERS Championship Bier Garden, presented by Hoptinger, will be open to all fans of age with a Stadium Pass.
“It speaks to our vision to not only embrace all tastes, but also highlight restaurateurs like Hoptinger that are indigenous to northeast Florida. The tournament celebrates Northeast Florida and that’s what makes THE PLAYERS so different,” said Executive Director of THE PLAYERS Jared Rice.
In an effort to conserve, parking will be complimentary for fans who arrive at the tournament with four or more people in their vehicle. Rules apply and no parking passes will be sold on site; they can be obtained online before arriving at the tournament. THE PLAYERS is continuing its partnership with Uber and other ride sharing services. Tournament goers can be dropped off at the Marriott Sawgrass Convention Center and from there, they can take a shuttle to the tournament.
Many changes have been in the works to expand food areas and the kids’ zone, extend fairway bunkers for more approachable viewing areas, increase seating availability, and an updated PGA TOUR app will be available to help fans move around easier and to make the on site experience different and better. The new Family Care Suite, presented by Baptist Health, will be available just inside the Nicklaus Gate for nursing moms and young families to cool off in the climate controlled setting. Expansion of the lower lawn and the wall removal will be valuable at the closing ceremony.
Among many other changes this year, the PGA TOUR Shop will be expanded to 21,000 sq. feet of retail space with more lifestyle apparel and limited edition hats and tees than ever before.
The musical act for this year’s Military Appreciation Day ceremony on Tuesday, May 8 will be award-winning country music artist Luke Combs. The ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the 17th hole.
With the return of Tiger Woods and fans eager to see all their favorite players, ticket and parking sales will be watched closely in order to prevent tremendous overcrowding.
THE PLAYERS Championship will be held May 8 –13 at TPC Sawgrass.
Photos courtesy PGA TOUR
THE PLAYERS defending champion Si Woo Kim with Executive Director of THE PLAYERS, Jared Rice.