Bringing Back The Fun in Golf

This is an article I wrote last year. I realize I should get over the fact that the PGA Tour is trying to change the atmosphere of the 16th hole, but I am still not convinced that it is important to have fun golfing. And the craziness of this hole may just what I need during the winter while I am waiting for my golf season to start.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open starts today. It is a great event and has a history of creating an atmosphere not found outside a Major! Over the last few years, I have discussed the changes imposed by the PGA Tour on the antics on the 16th hole at the Waste Management professional event. After years of writing articles, I still stand by my views, but maybe there is room for a minor adjustment!

The three articles are Let the Games Begin! Caddie Race and No Caddie Races!

Basically, the PGA Tour continues to try to impose a sense of decorum. I think the Tour believes that the Professionals are losing focus and the crowd is becoming unruly; especially on the last day when the tournament is on the line. However, the players and fans seem to embrace the carnival like atmosphere and I definitely enjoy watching the interaction between the pros and the fans.

But really, how about someone having their 15 minutes of fame! “This was, by far, the best caddy race of this years tournament at TPC Scottsdale, home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.”

“In the third round of the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Padraig Harrington kicks an American football, for the first time, into the stands on the par-3 16th hole.”

“In the third round of the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Francesco Molinari cards an ace on the par-3 16th hole.” The crowd goes wild!

What is the common feature for these videos? What is the one thing that makes all these unique events so special? I would suggest that it is the interaction between the fans and the players on the 16th hole. The stadium built around this par 3 is what makes this professional golf tournament unique! If you ask any golfing fan what is their favorite hole on the professional tour, the 16th at TPC Scottsdale would surly be near the top!

This is where my opinion has changed a bit. Originally, I had suggested that the 16th hole was a bit over the top, but in hindsight, it is just fun! A little crazy, but just fun; as we watch professional tournament after professional tournament, fun along the way is not such a bad thing!

Do you like the atmosphere at the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

4 thoughts on “Bringing Back The Fun in Golf

  1. Aloha Jim,
    Once again you have got me thinking. As you know my views on golf miss the popular fairways more often than my drives … but you have me thinking.
    While I don’t watch golf on television (or attend tournaments) I have heard people talking about this tournament. Some think it is an absolute disgrace, but most are enthusiastic about it.
    I believe the “make noise and have fun” attitude will continue to spill out of the grandstands and onto the public golf courses. Depending on how deep their pockets are some “clubs” may be able to resist for a while – but this seems to be the new reality.
    And if that reality gets more players out on the courses … I approve.
    A Hui Hou,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know I enjoy watching it. And I don’t think one hole at one tournament that excites the crowds and viewers can be bad for the game.

    Personally I wouldn’t mind a whole tournament where trash talk from the crowds and other players was not only allowed but expected on every shot like it is in most all other sports.

    We could have the US Open, folllowed by the US Kiss Off

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin

      I am not sure I could handle a whole tournament like the 16th hole at the TPC Sawgrass. But, I sure enjoy this once a year treat. The closest thing I have found is the Ryder Cup last year. Having fun is definitely part of the game.



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