18 Holes of Championship Golf
General Manager: Brad Williams
Head Golf Professional: Doug Hodge
Course Superintendent: Jeff Plotts
Architects: Tom Weiskopf & Jay Morrish
Par 71 – 5464-7261 yards
Slope/Rating: 74.7/142; 71.5/131; 68.4/123; 75.9/141; 70.8/122
By By Alice and Danny Scott
The TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course, as we all know, is famous for the largest and wildest tournament on the PGA circuit – our own Waste Management Phoenix Open. Nothing compares to this week long party of golf enthusiasts who find themselves as entertaining as the golf. While every hole has a nice fan gallery perspective, the 16th par 3 has the longest lines for seating in the event that attracts visitors from around the world. But for the fact that it is the most watched, most well attended hole on the course, it is not extraordinary. But it IS what defines “stadium” during the Open where over the years it has become completely enveloped with bleachers. Coliseum might be an even better term as the raucous audiences banter loudly with the players.
Every hole on the Stadium course is an aviary love fest. If not birdies landing on the scorecard, peach faced love birds flit through the air, tree to tree. Waterfowl from ducks to herons thrive on the waterways. Galleries of egrets make the Golf Channel scene. This historic course was renovated last year with fairway and green improvements and crystal white sand to enhance the esthetics. How lucky we are to have this PGA quality resort course in our own backyard.
Hole 3#, par 5, 558 yards from the tips: The first par 5 on the front is a big hitter’s delight with a tabletop landing zone that provides ample room to maneuver through mounding, bunkers and trees bordering the out of bounds housing along the right side. The decision to go for the green in two is determined by the carry yardage over the transitional area that surrounds the elevated green. Strategically placed bunkers and two significant tiers require pinpoint accuracy on the approach for the reward of putting for eagle, birdie or even par.
Hole #5, par 4, 470 yards from the tips: Say hello to the Scottsdale Princess as the pool music serenades. You are witnessed by the gallery of the hotel and pool guests across from the right side of the fairway, which narrows on this long par 4 heading to a massive raised green. The approach seems simple, but subtle breaks on the putting surface require a steady hand. Fly the ball close to the pin to avoid a three-putt bogey.
Hole #15, par 5, 553 yards from the tips: A chance for eagle or birdie separates the field on this hole. A lake instills angst along the left side of a narrow fairway leading to the confounding island green. You need your longest drive to reach it in two. The green is sloped from back to front requiring a perfect trajectory to make the ball stick or it could be swimming with the ducks. High rough and a few bunkers exacerbate the challenge. It is a three shot hole for most. Concentration is paramount as well as distance calculation. It is long in yards and beauty and for the pros, full of anticipation before they enter the 16th coliseum.
Hole #18, par 4, 442 yards from the tips: This special closing hole makes a beautiful and difficult grand finale. A Glimmerglass effect shines off the large lake with church pew bunkers, a la Oakmont adorning the north end. High side hills create a canyon effect into the green. Crowds swarm the grassy knolls and surrounding grand stands for the best view as drama plays out for pros in contention during the tournament. TV cannot do justice to showcasing one of the best finishing holes in all of the PGA circuit. It is in fact a great final hole for any golfer on one of the best courses in Arizona.
Practice and play where the greats of the world have trodden and improve with lessons at their TOURAcademy. The pro shop is well equipped and high fashioned with the new Toro restaurant collocated, overlooking 18. Cart service and the Midway Grill at the turn quench thirst and cravings before, during or after the round. Service is exceptional throughout TPC Scottsdale. Check out the no brainer package deals online for repeat play on the TPC Stadium Course and the sibling Champion Course down the street.