News & Tours

What other golf holes warrant the TPC Scottsdale "stadium" experience?

January 31, 2018

In all due respect to TPC Scottsdale, only one hole comes to mind when conjuring images of the course. The vista at the 16th during the Waste Management Phoenix Open is one of the more unique panoramas in golf, replacing the sport's normally reserved galleries with a crowd straight from an SEC football game. No other golf event comes close to duplicating the Scottsdale coliseum, making it, hands down, the tournament's signature hole.

But … what if golf tried to replicate Phoenix's stadium scene? We polled our editors for their thoughts on other holes warranting the amphitheater treatment; here are the nominations.

Chris Condon

Riviera Country Club — 10th hole

When it comes to short par 4s on the PGA Tour, none test the mind quite like the 10th at Riviera, a hole where going for the green or laying up can yield equally disastrous results. Just ask Ryan Moore, who nearly made an ace on the 315-yard risk-reward par 4 in 2015 and ended up walking away with par after his ball took the green's nasty slope and rolled some 50 feet away in the collection area. Or Scott Piercy, who probably still has nightmares from his adventure at the 10th a few years ago. Imagine either of these situations going down with a stadium-like atmosphere around the green. The heckling could get out of control, but the potential eagle and hole-in-one scare roars would be well worth it. If the fans brought half the energy to the 10th that this rolling fan brought to the 18th at Riviera in 2012, then we've got something. — Christopher Powers

Professional Event Photography

Trinity Forest Golf Club — Eighth hole

There will be some fantastic theater at Trinity Forest, serving as the new host of the AT&T Byron Nelson. One of the most fun holes to watch will be the par-3 eighth hole, which is short—in fact, incredibly short—by tour standards. The championship tee plays from 138 yards, and they can move the tees up to 110 or even 75 yards. It’s an incredibly interesting green with bumps and ridges that will reward a great strike, but a poor shot will be punished. Perched in the back corner of the property, a stadium-like atmosphere at Trinity Forest’s eighth hole would be wildly entertaining. How often do you get to see a tour pro play a short hole? Holes-in-one will be a real possibility—and on this Coore and Crenshaw course that will drive some pros crazy if they don’t embrace the ground game, and the bad bounce here and there—the eighth hole might be the most interesting to watch how tour pros will play it on the property. —Stephen Hennessey

Michael Cohen

TPC River Highlands — 15th hole

TPC River Highlands is undoubtedly, from the perspectives of both spectator and player, one of the most entertaining and enjoyable venues on tour. The 15th epitomizes this sentiment. Listed at 341 yards, this hole—depending on the box—can be reached from the tee. A mounded green, with a lake on the left and sand on the right, brings more bite than the scorecard says. And laying up is no easy matter, with deep rough, trees, and sand surrounding a narrow fairway. Only one eagle was made during the 2017 Travelers Championship, so you'd have to slightly tinker with the design to offer more reward. Nevertheless, given the respectable, yet spirited, crowd this event attracts, perhaps no venue is suited to replicating TPC Scottsdale's success. —Joel Beall

Keyur Khamar

Muirfield Village Golf Club — 14th hole

Far be it from me to tell Jack Nicklaus—only the greatest golfer ever who has been a part of more than 400 course designs—how to set up a tournament. BUT, if I was the Golden Bear, I would move up the tee box on No. 14, which usually hovers around 340 yards, to entice more players to give it a go. The hole's configuration—guarded by a creek on the right, adjoined with bunkers on the left and deep rough—would still give many guys pause, yet the green is deep enough to receive its share of missiles. As evidenced on fall afternoons at the Ohio State's Horseshoe, Columbus can get rocking. He's hoping the Memorial sprinkles that spirit into Muirfield Village. —JB

Michael Cohen/R&A

Greenbrier Resort's Old White TPC — 18th hole

Jim Justice has already done well to utilize a unique opportunity at Old White TPC's par-3 closing hole—such a rarity to end on a one-shotter on the PGA Tour. The West Virginia governor gives out cash for a hole-in-one at the 18th, which has created quite the atmosphere with money on the line. (In 2015, Justin Thomas and George McNeill both aced the hole on the same day, leading to an expensive day for Justice—handing out $192,400 to fans—$100 per fan for the first ace, $500 for the second.) If the Greenbrier added more of the same party elements that TPC Scottsdale did to its 16th hole, the fireworks could be tremendous. —SH


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