TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course set for makeover in 2014

By Matt GinellaJanuary 28, 2014, 2:25 pm

The Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale, built in 1987 by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, joins a long and distinguished list of courses in need of an update.

If final approvals are made in early February, Weiskopf, 71, will be going back to make significant changes, which include irrigation, grass and cart paths. Weiskopf says almost all greens will get minor contour changes, while three greens will get new locations. The bunkers and sand will have a different look. The clubhouse will be tweaked and updated, but not much will be done to 15, 16 and 17, which are fan favorites.

The 18th, however, will change. There’s no room to add length, the green and lake in front of the tee will stay in the same place, but the strategy of the hole will change as Weiskopf moves the rough in from the left and thus, shrinking the fairway. All told, it’s a $15 million dollar project that will start in April and if all goes as planned, be done in time for the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2015.

Video: Ginella on Tom Weiskopf and the Stadium Course

36-hole TPC Scottsdale, also home to the Champions Course, is owned by the City of Scottsdale and leased by the PGA Tour. In 1986, former commissioner Deane Beman, in conjunction with Scottsdale’s 4-term Mayor, Herb Drinkwater, devised a plan to build a stadium course. That year Tom Weiskopf’s Troon Country Club had won "Best New Private Course" by Golf Digest. After a walk of the course, Beman was sold. He hired Weiskopf and his partner, Jay Morrish, to build TPC Scottsdale.

Weiskopf says Drinkwater never gets enough credit for making the deal go through. The cowboy boot-wearing, non-golfing politician cut through the thick red tape to make the land available for a golf course. And without Drinkwater persuading a friend to sell the property used for the first two holes, Weiskopf doesn’t think they would’ve had enough room to build a championship course.

Drinkwater died in December of 1997, but not before he was able to see a scrawny Tiger Woods make an ace at 16 earlier that year. And in that moment, amidst the cup-throwing crowd, witness and appreciate the phenomenon of what that hole would mean to the game of golf.

Is Weiskopf shocked to see the four finishing holes create so much drama? "Not really," he said. "This may sound arrogant, but that was the plan."

As for the 17th hole, every one of Weiskopf’s 66 designs features a reachable par 4. He says he was inspired to incorporate the concept into his designs after playing the Old Course in St. Andrews during an Open Championship. Holes 9, 10, 12 and 18, depending on the conditions, could be considered reachable. He loved them, so why not have more of them? The fourth hole at Troon Country Club was his first. The 17th at TPC Scottsdale, regardless of the fact Beman hated the idea, wasn’t far behind.

Weiskopf says Beman didn’t like the idea because even in the former commissioner’s playing prime, he was always short off the tee. “I won that battle,” says Weiskopf. "And it’s more than just making it reachable. It has to be a challenge off the tee and from the spot where players will layup."

With the amount of fans and money the tournament generates for the city and the tour players, Weiskopf thinks the tournament should be more significant than just a general tour stop. He wishes it would be a WGC event.

"I would’ve liked to play in front of 500,000 fans," he said. 

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Tiger putts way into contention at The Open

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 5:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.

Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.

“I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.

Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.

“I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”

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TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 4:58 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:


At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.

• Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.

• This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.

• One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.

• On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.

• One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.

• In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”

Yes, yes it is.

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Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open

By Grill Room TeamJuly 21, 2018, 4:55 pm

It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.

Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:

Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.

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Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.

No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.

No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.

No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.

No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.

And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.

Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.

Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.