By Michael Graybeal

The Players offers golf fans of all types the opportunity to get up close and personal with the players.  .  Below are some of the best hidden gems and tips when it comes to the ideal spots and times to do so.

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Front Nine

4th tee box – This is a great spot to watch the players up close when teeing off.  The elevated tee lets you get a good look at how well these guys are at ball striking.  This tee shot leaves little room for error in the landing zone so accuracy here is a must.

8th green – It’s rumored that there will be a new grandstand behind the 8th green this year.  This shaded par 3 is one of the toughest holes on the course due to the length of it.  Most players will be using long irons or hybrids on this hole.

9th tee box – This Par 5 is a great opportunity to see the players up close with the driver.  The fairway is wider than most on the course so a majority of the players will be hitting their drivers and won’t be playing conservatively.  In the past, this hole has been used by the PGA Tour and Shotlink to determine the average driving distance for the players.

Back Nine

12th tee box/green – There’s no other spot on the course where you can get closer to the players than the tee box on 12.  This short par-4 is a one of the easiest holes out there so the birdies should be plentiful.  It’s also really cool to watch the approach shots on this hole from the green as well.  Players usually have short irons to wedges in here and most of them will be throwing darts at the pin.

14th tee – This is one of the toughest holes on the course and requires a great tee shot off the tee and anything right or left on this hole will lead to trouble.  Depending on the wind, the players will have a lengthy second shot to a green guarded by trouble.

18th tee – This is one of the toughest finishing holes in golf, especially when millions of dollars are at stake.  If you go left, the obvious trouble is the water and if you bail out right into the hills and trees, par will be hard to come by.  This is also the spot where you’ll more than likely run into your friends as it’s an area that’s become a social gathering place over the years, but be sure to take a minute and watch how good the players handle this tee shot.