Natpharm I would have gladly paid $40 to just walk out to the car and leave at my convenience than to wait in line almost as long as the drive home just to get on the shuttle
We went last year, and I think I paid $25 to park, but I honestly don't remember. I didn't think much of it at the time, because I had never been to the Players before, so I didn't have a clue how the whole thing worked. However, if I am paying that much to park, you sure as hell better have a GREAT system for funneling traffic in and out of the lot in an efficient manner. That is not the case at TPC Sawgrass. If anything, I'd call the system a giant ripoff for several reasons:
A) You don't have a choice in parking there. TPC Sawgrass was built on a swamp with NOTHING resembling civilization anywhere near it. You'd have to walk 5 miles now to be able to park at a shopping center and walk in for free. That's too far.
😎 It took us 2 1/2 hours to go about a mile on A1A on Saturday last year, which is the one entrance into the parking for the Players. I would have said screw it, even after driving for 2 1/2 hours to get there, but the catch to that is that the PGA Tour forces you to pay for parking in advance, so you have no idea what you will be getting once you arrive there. So they take your money in advance and there are no refunds. That's as big a con as I've ever seen in my life.
C) You could fork over about $1,000 and pay for a hotel room at the one hotel designated for this golf course, which is the Marriott on site. But frankly, I work for a living. And I think that hotel is booked like 2 years out the week of the tournament, probably to all of the players, and tournament officials and whomever else can afford it. There are no other hotels even close to this golf course. Another giant scam.
D) They do have shuttles to this event that come from downtown Jacksonville. Well, that's a good hours drive in traffic, and it's a $10 fee for the shuttle, PLUS you have to pay the $20 to park at the hotels. So it's $30 for the shuttle. Factor in that last year, I noticed that all of the shuttles had ZERO priority in traffic, and were parking along A1A just like me, waiting in line just to get to where they needed to go. So why would I pay for a shuttle just to sit in traffic like I could in my own car?
In short, the logistics of getting in and out of TPC Sawgrass are a giant clusterjerk, with seemingly no solution in sight. I saw a news clip online from the local police and tournament officials that basically took the attitude of, "Well, you're going to get stuck in a lot of traffic, so just deal with it."
So, after carefully reconsidering all of the above, and Tim Finchem's lack of response to my letter complaining about all of this from last year, I'm going over to Panama City Beach, and playing golf for free over there on Saturday. I honestly think at this point that even if the tickets and parking were free I wouldn't go to this event.
And ironically, someone in my Tuesday night golf group was offering up 4 free tickets and a parking pass to the Players for Thursday's round, and out of 44 people in the room, NO ONE wanted them. So maybe I am just late to the party in realizing that those that have been before aren't interested in returning to see the Players, maybe for some of the reasons I listed above.
But hey, they get record attendance every year, and evidently 30,000+ people a day have no problems doing this every year, so maybe I'm the nutjob in all of this.