When Steve was in college he worked for NBC at The Players as a walking scorer (there will be a future post TPC week) and there was a lot of talk about 17 being gimmicky. It feels like every TPC course has a hole like that on it.
This week the PGA Tour is playing the Waste Management event in Scottsdale. They have created the Colosseum around the 16th hole and can hold anywhere from 16,000 to 20,000 people around the hole.
Golfers remember Tiger making the ace and getting showered in beer. We know that the fans boo when you miss the green (or a 10 footer for that matter) but the question is…Is 16 at Scottsdale good or bad for golf?
Personally we think it isn’t bad to have a hole like this every once in a while on tour. It makes the game fun. In an event that is played the same week as the NFL’s big game every year gives people a reason to watch and have fun. It also adds some drama late in the round on Sunday adding pressure to a moment that the leaders are already feeling it.
If you were to do something like this at a major it would go over about as well as the shank that Ian Poulter hit in Dubai. This week it works.
We also like the fact that the hole is a shorter par 3 proving yet again you don’t need to have a 240 yard par 3 to make it good. Holes like 16 at Scottsdale, 17 at Sawgrass, 7 at Pebble Beach and 12 at Augusta are all great for golf and are some of the best Par 3’s ever made. Course designers (and the USGA) need to sometimes be reminded that 300 yards isn’t a par 3.
As far as the “Dads say so” we think this is good for golf to make people remember that the game can be fun. There isn’t the air of the “snobatorium” that can be associated with many events where it is the Country Club atmosphere that Judge Smails was after. If someone else makes an ace on 16 this weekend here is to them getting showered with more plastic cups filled with the fans favorite libation…and having to pay for the dry cleaning bill for the other guys in the group as well as the rounds in the bar.