Suggestion box: Let's do Phoenix every week!
Besides attracting more fans (on site) than any other tournament in history, the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week also produced a wonderful story of rebound resurrection on the part of Kyle Stanley. More than anything however, the tournament once again took stadium golf to an indelible level. That's what impressed this Golf World reader:
As I watch this weeks tournament at TPC Scottsdale, I can't help but wonder why every single tournament on the schedule doesn't adopt their own par 3 stadium.
Ever since Tiger created the golf boom, purists have continually complained about the behavior of the modern fan. Cell phones ring. Cameras click. People move and yell during backswings. The list goes on and on.
But the 16th hole at Scottsdale is the glaring exception.The constant buzz and hustle-bustle that surrounds the 16th has not only become a draw for fans but also a favorite of the players who obviously revel in the atmosphere that is commonplace to pro athletes of other sports.
So why not give the uninitiated golf fan a place to go?
Build a stadium around the shortest par 3 at every tournament and let the drinkers drink and the talkers talk.
The fans and the players would love it while the purists have the 17 other holes on which to enjoy the game the way they like.
It's really a no-brainer for a tournament organizer--not to mention the networks.
John Sheehan, Long Island City, NY
Not a terrible idea, but finding a suitable par 3 is only the first challenge in replicating the noisy magic of No. 16. What the Thunderbirds have created in Phoenix is the combination of a state fair and and a rock concert where a little golf fortunately breaks out. This year, our sources tell us, in the middle of a continuing recession, the tournament sold 44 more $40,000 suites on the 16th hole than they had the year before! Holy Mackerel. John, the real miracle of this tournament is the $4-$5 million dollars a year it generates for charity. Let's see other tournaments duplicate that!