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!
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!