The Stadium Hole 15

 

TPC Scottsdale:

A Dynamic Desert Duo for Tour Players and Visitors Alike.

Posted by: Rick Parnham

 

The City of Scottsdale is widely considered one of the great western golfing destinations. Dotted with dozens of suburban golf courses and resorts, the area is blessed with a variety of top-notch routings that will challenge and impress. One such facility, that also plays host to the world's best tour players, is the city owned TPC Scottsdale.  Located in the northern reaches of sprawling suburban Scottsdale, this 36 hole facility is home to both the Stadium and Champions courses providing premier public-access, and tour-calibre golf.


The Phoenix Open has been hosted in the beautiful desert climate since 1932.  After looking for a long-term host for this celebrated championship, this site in northern Scottsdale, adjacent to the city's airport and built along the high banks of the Central Arizona Canal, became the current home to the PGA and a wonderful public play golf choice. Former tour player Tom Weiskopf, and design partner Jay Morrish, were contracted to build a pair of courses, one built to host the world's best players and the crowds they attract. Now under the brand of the TPC and its member clubs, this premier public play facility has become a Scottsdale favorite for decades.


The Stadium Course: Each spring the PGA is greeted by enormous and raucous crowds at the Waste Management Open on TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course. Famous for the unique stage built for the players with massive grandstands assembled around many of the finishing holes, the atmosphere of more football game than tour event sees some of the largest crowds and deepest fields compete here each year. Having played host to the tour stars since its opening in 1986 this Weiskopf / Morrish design has recently undergone a major renovation to enhance the course with updated greens, bunkers, and overall playing experience. Routed over a gentle terrain, there is little in terms of elevation change, but plenty of subtle rise and fall along with challenging greens which provide the test.

 

Editor's Shot Maker's Picks: TPC Scottsdale Stadium

Featured Holes
Hole 3
Hole 15
Hole 16
Hole 17
Par
Par 5
Par 5
Par 3
Par 4
Black
558

553

163
332
Blue
530
498
140
294
White
510
459
119
255
Red
470
407
98
228
HCP-Men
4
9
17
13
HCP-Women
4
9

17

13

 

The third hole is a lengthy par 5 that is both exacting and demanding. The drive must take aim at the framing bunker on the left and drift back to the fairway, avoiding the grassy bank on the right. The fairway is interrupted short of the green so a lay-up might be the best play for most. The green is divided into an upper and lower tier by a substantial ridge making for a most difficult approach and putt. The final par 5 hole begins the famed finishing stretch. The meandering three-shot hole is framed by water down the left side. The long, deep green is found on a large island and fronted by bunkers both on the left and right. Three solid shots are needed if birdie is the goal on this putting surface.

 

Stadium Hole 3

 

One of the most famous short holes on the PGA tour is the 16th; perhaps the easiest of the par 3 holes on the course except for the stadium and the 20,000 that claim a seat here for the event.  The green is most receptive to a high, right-to-left tee shot likely played with a mid-iron. Four bunkers and slopes gather anything struck errantly, while the contours of the green make for a delicate putt. The penultimate hole is a drivable par 4 well protected with an array of fairway bunkers. The 17th’s green is large and multi-tiered jutting out into a small lake. A back left pin is nearly impossible to get to with water wrapping around  the green and a nasty pot bunker embedded in the back portion of the putting surface.

 

Course Stats: Stadium Course

Par 71
Yardage
Rating/Slope-M
Rating/Slope-F
Black
7266
74.7 / 142
-
Blue
6614
71.5 / 131
-
White
6110
68.4 / 123
-
Red
5464
-
70.8 / 122

 

The Champions Course: Adjacent to the Stadium Course is its sister layout, the Champions Course. Built at the same time as the Stadium Course, and formerly called the Desert Course, Champions was redesigned in 2007 by Randy Heckenkemper. This routing graces the Sonora Desert landscape filled with gulches and lined with cacti and trees. Built along the high banks of the Central Arizona Canal and surrounded by the majestic views of the nearby mountains, this creative and well manicured course is a terrific compliment to its tour host sister. Rolling fairways and tricky green sites characterize the layout with plenty of shot making demands throughout. A creative collection of par 4 holes are assembled; some beastly requiring raw power to conquer while the others dare you with a risk and reward challenge.

 

Editor's Shot Maker's Picks: TPC Scottsdale Champions

Featured Holes
Hole 1
Hole 5
Hole 15
Hole 18
Par
Par 4
Par 4
Par 4
Par 4
Black
371

477

359
460
Blue
338
442
334
429
White
323
385
313
385
Red
278
289
289
330
HCP-Men
16
2
15
1
HCP-Women
16
2

15

1

 

Champions Hole 15


The course opens with one of the round's most exacting tee shots on a shorter but precise par 4. Faced with a cluster of bunkers right of the landing area and framed with a vast pond left, anything but straight off the first tee will find a hazard. The smart play is to lay back of the bunkers with a hybrid or fairway wood leaving you a mid-iron approach. Your second shot must fly over a desert gulch to a raised green tucked behind a couple fronting pot bunkers and backed by a huge hillside covered in scrub and cactus. The par 4 fifth is a beastly dog leg left filled with shot making options. The safe play is to the right side of the fairway where the forced carry over the waste bunker is shorter, but will leave you with a more daunting fairway wood or hybrid approach. The aggressive play takes on the 200+ yard forced carry to the tongue of fairway to the left. Successfully accomplishing this shot leaves you a short iron but this is still no easy task for the green is considerably uphill from this angle and guarded by a cavernous fronting bunker.  

 

The Big Finish

 

The 15th is a splendid example of a grip-it-and-rip-it drivable par 4. Playing the safe way will take nothing more than a long iron or hybrid to reach the corner of the dogleg leaving a wedge or less into this elevated narrow-crowned green. The daring play is to take dead aim at the flag, flying the vast waste land between you and the target.  The green is protected in front by two deep bunkers, but not a bad place to be with the drive, as this green is a small target and hard to hold no matter what shot you are presented with on the approach. The final hole is another lengthy par 4 with a large pond down the left side and framing the front of the green.  A solid drive must avoid the water left and large bunker right leaving you with a calculated approach to a green that is well protected with water in front, a bunker back right and considerable slope to the putting surface.

 

Course Stats: Champions Course

Par 71
Yardage
Rating/Slope-M
Rating/Slope-F
Black
7115
73.4 / 137
-
Blue
6653
71.1 / 131
-
White
6127
68.8 / 120
74.5 / 132
Red
5342
64.6 / 113
69.8 / 120


With a gamut of Scottsdale golf options creating a destination with vast choice, TPC Scottsdale provides a unique opportunity. The Stadium Course provides an authentic tour experience traversing over a creative routing. If you are fortunate enough to time your visit around the set-up for the Waste Management Open, the experience will be most unique hitting shots amid the grandstands as the tour players do. The Champions Course plays host to the final stages of Champions Tour qualifying each year and provides an affordable tour- calibre experience with a natural desert feel. This challenging, creative course is tighter and more exacting than the Stadium. Many who have played both find The Champions  a tougher test with its starker contours and more plentiful naturalized areas.  A memorable visit to one or both courses, each with a different connection to some of the game's best players, provides two unique layouts and has something for everyone. 

 

Drive Times: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport 30 mins

 

Contact:

TPC Scottsdale
17020 North Hayden Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 585-4334
toll free (888) 400-4001

[website]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Imagery Courtesy of

TPC Scottsdale