TPC Scottsdale a treat even without the crowds


The galleries, particularly around the enclosed par-3 16th, are what make the Waste Management Phoenix Open unique among the world's golf tournaments. They're the largest on the PGA Tour, of course, and where else can a pro get booed for missing a green or a birdie putt, and it's all in good fun?

What's sometimes lost in this event, though, is the golf course itself, the Jay Morrish-Tom Weiskopf-designed Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale, built specifically for the Phoenix Open back in 1986.

While nobody would ever suggest the 7,126-yard par-71 Stadium Course for a U.S. Open, it's a solid really fun design.

Oddly enough, the short 16th, which features the PGA Tour's only fully-enclosed hole, is probably one of the least memorable holes on the course when played well before or after the tournament when the bleachers aren't in place. It's a nice little par 3 to be sure, but the holes before and after it are much more noteworthy.

The 15th, for example, is probably one of the most fun par 5s you'll ever play. It's not overly long, so if you play your proper tees, you might have a chance to go for this island green in two. And the 17th, a short par 4 with water left of the green, also has become a risk-reward hole ever since Andrew Magee drove the green in 2001 into the group in front of him (unintentionally) and made an ace as his ball caromed off Tom Byrum's putter and into the hole.

Watch Andrew Magee describe his hole in one.

What really makes this course enjoyable, though, is the terrific bentgrass greens – which aren't super difficult to read – great conditions in-season, and wide fairways. It doesn't have the vistas or challenge of other area courses like We-ko-Pa or Troon North, but you really do get that PGA Tour-like experience when you tee it up on the Stadium Course at the TPC Scottsdale.