Course Architect(s): Robert C. Weed, Chi Chi Rodriguez (Consultant)
Year Opened: 1991
Location: Lutz, Florida
Slope: 135. Rating: 73.6
Par: 71
Yardage: 6,898
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 395 Yds    10 - Par 4 395 Yds
                      2 - Par 3 191 Yds    11 - Par 3 179 Yds
                      3 - Par 4 425 Yds    12 - Par 5 495 Yds
                      4 - Par 4 427 Yds    13 - Par 4 345 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 332 Yds    14 - Par 5 588 Yds
                      6 - Par 3 144 Yds    15 - Par 4 452 Yds
                      7 - Par 5 541 Yds    16 - Par 4 430 Yds
                      8 - Par 4 414 Yds    17 - Par 3 217 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 472 Yds    18 - Par 4 456 Yds
                      Par 35  3,341 Yds     Par 36  3,557 Yds

Key Events Held: GTE Suncoast Classic (1992-96),
                 GTE Classic (1997-2000),
                 Verizon Classic (2001-03),
                 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am (2004-11),
                 Encompass Insurance Pro-Am (2012),
                 Champions Tour Qualifying School (1994).

Course Record: 61 (Rocky Thompson, 1994; Fuzzy Zoeller, 2004)

Awards Won: Received a four 1/2-star rating in Golf Digest's Places to Play.
            Re-certification in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.


HISTORY: When the course was constructed, Bobby Weed took an already open
piece of land and opened it up even more, as he removed over 50-percent of the
trees. When he first viewed the property, he chose a horse as his guide around
the  landscape. In a short period of time, the TPC of Tampa Bay has proven
itself amongst the best on the Champions Tour. The course has a great history
of top notch golf with some of the past winners including: Jack Nicklaus,
Larry Nelson, Bob Gilder, Hale Irwin and two-time winner Bruce Fleisher.

When Nicklaus captured the  1996 event, he  rebounded from an opening  round
of 76 to shoot 68-67  and win  by one shot over  J.C. Snead. Rocky Thompson
captured the 1994 title  in record fashion when he carded a course-record of
61 on the final day to  knock  off Ray Floyd by  one shot. Fleisher  captured
the first of his two Verizon titles in 2000 with three rounds in the 60s, as
he tied the tournament record of 200, set by Jim Colbert and George Archer in
1992. In 2003, Fleisher became the event's only multiple winner when he
outdueled Champions Tour all- time wins leader Hale Irwin down the stretch.
One shot off the pace with two holes to play, Fleisher birdied the tough 17th
from seven feet to take the lead, as Irwin three-putted from 20 feet away.
Fleisher has had amazing success at the TPC of Tampa Bay. In eight
appearances, Fleisher has two wins, two seconds, a third, a fifth and eight
top-25 finishes.

In 2004, Mark McNulty became only the 11th player in history to title in his
first elder circuit start. Trailing by four shots after round one, McNulty,
from Zimbabwe, fashioned rounds of 65-68 to post a one-shot victory over Larry
Nelson. McNulty, who shot all three rounds in the 60s, became the first player
to win in his first Champions start since 2001 when Bobby Wadkins captured the
Long Island Classic. McNulty's three-day total of 200 tied the tournament mark
set by Jim Colbert and George Archer in 1992 and equaled by Fleisher in 2000.

Irwin captured the 2005 weather-shortened event by one stroke over Morris
Hatalsky and 2004 champion McNulty. Rain throughout the weekend reduced the
tournament to 36 holes and Irwin was forced to complete his second round on
Monday. Irwin finished at eight-under-par 134 for his second victory of four
in 2005 and gave him multiple wins for the 11th consecutive year, by far a
tour record. Irwin, who played the back nine first in the final round, began
his day on the 16th hole and one stroke behind Hatalsky. Irwin parred his
first two holes to remain in contention. He nearly holed his second shot at
the par-four 18th, as his shot stopped within two feet of the cup. He kicked
in that birdie putt to grab a share of the lead. Around the turn on the front
nine, Irwin moved atop the leaderboard with a birdie at the par-four third. He
parred his final six holes, including a tough two-putt par at the last, to
hang on for the win. It was the first time in event history that the
tournament was shortened by weather.

History was made in 2006, as 1976 U.S. Open winner Jerry Pate broke through
for his first Champions Tour title, edging out Hatalsky, Irwin and Mark James
by one shot for the win. Trailing by one shot heading into the final round,
Pate carded a six-under 66, which included a birdie putt on the last, as he
struck a five-iron to within 11 feet. After a birdie on the 14th, Pate moved
into a tie for the lead, but it was short-lived, as James took the lead with
birdies at 15 and 16. Irwin tied James with an eagle at 12 and a birdie at 14.
The par-three 17th became the downfall for both James and Irwin. James,
playing in the group ahead of Irwin with Pate, knocked his tee ball to 35
feet, but his uphill putt came up 10 feet short. James, the 1999 European
Ryder Cup captain, missed that putt to fall back to minus-10. Irwin pushed his
tee shot into the bunker on the right side. He tried to be too delicate with
his blast from the sand and the ball stopped 20 feet shy of the flag. The
three-time U.S. Open winner narrowly missed the par putt, but fell into a
four-way tie for first. James could only make par on the last and Irwin's 50-
foot attempt to tie just missed.  Pate burst on to the golf scene with a win
at the 1976 U.S. Open. His last title came at The Players Championship in 1982
when, playing with an orange ball, he famously jumped in the lake off the 18th
green at the TPC at Sawgrass with then PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman and
course architect Pete Dye.  After numerous operations on his shoulder over the
years, Pate recreated his signature dive from '82, when he dove headfirst into
the adjacent lake by the 18th green. Ironically, the five-iron which Pate
struck on the last, was the same number club he hit on the final hole at the
Atlanta Athletic Club when he won the 1976 U.S. Open.

REVIEW:  The course  starts off with a  sensible par four, turning hard to the
right.  A three-metal is  needed off the tee, which must be placed left of the
fairway  bunkers guarding  the corner of the dogleg. Your approach shot with a
short-iron  should  set up a reasonable  birdie chance, unless the pin is back
left. Stay right and leave yourself 15-feet with the worse case scenario..par.

The  second is  a straight-forward par-three. Nothing fancy, just hit the long
kidney-shaped  green with a mid- to long-iron and move on.

The third hole is a straight  par-four with water guarding the left side to
the green, however the landing  area is an easy target, some 45 yards wide. A
mid-iron will be needed to  dissect the  green, which  slopes from  back to
front with  three dervish bunkers  and a  chipping area  protecting par.

Another severe  dogleg to  the right,  the  fourth stretches 427 yards  from
the tips and requires a straight tee  ball over  the lake that guards  the
right side. Bail out left features a pair  of fairway bunkers, so accuracy is
key. The 40-yard deep green drops off severely  in the  back and by the  way,
don't miss left, as two bunkers await.

One  of the easiest holes on the course, the fifth is a must to birdie at just
332  yards.  A long-iron  or fairway-metal will  set up a  100-yard pitch to a
shallow, but wide green. The putting surface is just 26 yards, the smallest on
the course.

The sixth gives the player another chance at birdie. The shortest par-three on
the  course requires just  a short-iron to a fairly simple green. If the winds
kicks  up, then club selection will be difficult, otherwise, think birdie.

The only  par-five  on the front  side is the seventh,  a definite birdie hole
and maybe better. Players can reach this one in two, however, you must first
avoid the canal that runs along the left side, as the hole bends left and then
right towards  the green.  The putting surface slopes quickly from back to
front and depending  upon  pin placement, three-putting  could offer a

Although just  414  yards in  length, the  eighth is one  of the  more
difficult on the course.  The first  obstacle is  the  tee shot,  which must
carry over  water towards  the  fairway which bends to  the left. The hazard
continues all along the  left  side while  trees guard  the right.  Next
objection  is to find the green.  Not an easy task when the surface is
protected by three bunkers and is very  slender. Although the  green is 50
yards in length, being on in two is a tough  chore. If the pin is back, add
two clubs to your second shot.

A bear of a  par-four awaits as  you close out the front side. At 472 yards,
this is the longest  two-shotter on the course. Bending slightly to the left,
water guards that  entire side,  so play out to  the right side of the
fairway. Yes, you'll have  a longer  second shot, but you will  be dry. The
green is protected by a grass bunker on the left and a surface that slopes
down to the front.

The  back nine  begins with a par-four  with water all along the right side of
the fairway to the green. The landing area is wide enough, so chose wisely, as
cutting  it too close to the right could spell doom. The green slopes from the
center  to all  three corners making a  two-putt a difficult task.

The 11th is one  of  the finer par-threes on  the course. Cypress trees
protect the entire right  side while sand guards the left. This hole usually
plays into the wind, so  picking the right stick will be key. Don't be ashamed
to make par.

Another reachable  par-five,  the 12th  is just  495 yards.  However, don't be
fooled, water  is this holes defense with two separate lakes on the right. The
wind is no  bargain either, as you play directly into the breeze. The
horseshoe-shaped green  slopes  from the  center out to  the sides and  down
towards the water.

Similar  to  the fifth in  length, the  13th is a  simple par-four of just 345
yards.  A  wide fairway with  water left and  four bunkers protect the landing
zone, but this hole can be had. Although the green is elevated, a little wedge
will  set up  another birdie.  The putting  surface has  a huge  swale in  the
center,  so if the  pin is up front, attack. If it's back, settle for par.

The longest  hole  on the course, the  14th is a brute  of a par-five at 588
yards from the gold tees. Bending to the left, water protects the entire side
with a huge  bunker, 75 yards in length at the bend. The layup area is wide,
so leave yourself  a  wedge to  an elevated  green that  is 36  yards deep.
The putting surface slopes from back to front with three pot bunkers around
the green.

The final four holes at the TPC at Tampa Bay are top notch. We first start out
with  the  second-hardest hole on  the course, the  15th. Bending to the left,
this  452-yarder  requires  accuracy  and  length. The  entire  left  side  is
protected  by  sand and water  while the right side  features trees and out of
bounds.  The second shot with a long-iron must avoid the bunkers on both sides
of  the green, and water on left. The green is the longest on the back side at
41  yards deep. When the pin is back, this one plays like a par-five.

The 16th is  a straight away  par-four with sand left and trees right. The
landing area is  wide enough  to catch  a mis-hit  off the  tee, but  it will
leave a  long approach  to a  very wide green. Sand  guards the right of the
surface while a chipping  area  flanks the  left. Once  again, par  is a  very
good score.

The longest  par-three  on the  course, the  17th is  a beaute  at 217 yards.
Club selection is always a key, but is at its utmost importance here with an
11,000 square  foot  green. The  right side  is guarded by  a pond  while the
left is protected  by  a large bunker.  Birdies are rare  on this undulating
and large green.

The final  hole of the course  is a gem, stretching 456 yards from the back
tees. With water flanking the entire right side to the green, this dogleg
right  is  a great finishing  hole. When playing into  the wind, your tee shot
must be played down the left side to avoid the hazard and sand. A fairway-wood
or  long-iron is  next to  a green  which is  very undulating  and features  a
chipping area, short and left. Finishing off your round with a par is a bonus.

"It's a beautiful golf course," commented Tom Weiskopf. "We don't play courses
in  this kind  of condition with this  kind of challenge, for the most part. I
think  the  design is very fair.  There is enough width and enough definition.
There  is nothing tricky, nothing controversial. There's a lot of variety. You
hit a lot of different clubs. It's a good, straightforward kind of traditional
course."  There's  no question that  Weiskopf hit  it right on the head...Wide
fairways,  large  greens (averaging  6,400  square  feet), variety  and  great
conditions.  It's  not the  hardest course  in the world,  which makes it more
attractive  to  all types of  golfers with  numerous tees and generous greens.
There  is  plenty of  water however,  as the fairways  weave through lakes and
natural  wetlands -  19 in all -  and around strategic bunkers that number 81.
Not  to mention,  the TPC  at Tampa  Bay also  boasts an  outstanding practice
facility  along  with a spacious clubhouse  and pro shop. To make matters more
appealing, the price is right, especially from April through December at
under  $100.  How about that, a  course the pros  play that you can play. Just
what the doctor ordered.