- North America
TPC Scottsdale (Stadium)Scottsdale, Arizona
- Address17020 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, USA
The Stadium course at TPC Scottsdale opened for play in 1986 and Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish fashioned it. They were commissioned by the City of Scottsdale to design a municipal golf course that would also test the world’s best players. The designers should take a bow as they have achieved the objective with flying colours because TPC Scottsdale is one of Arizona’s most popular golfing venues and also the long-term, modern-day home of the Phoenix Open.
The Phoenix Open has been known by many names since its inception in 1932: The Western Open, the Arizona Open, the Ben Hogan Invitational and the FBR Open to name a just a few. The tournament was hosted at the ultra-private Phoenix and Arizona Country Clubs before the event moved to the municipal TPC Scottsdale in 1987 where it has remained ever since.
The Stadium course at TPC Scottsdale was excavated and sculpted from the Sonoran Desert and is one of the most popular courses with the pros. Contrary to the earlier TPC courses that were tight and tough, TPC Scottsdale is as open and friendly as a Labrador puppy. The McDowell Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop to a course that has very little in the way of elevation change. The greens too are relatively flat with only subtle contours and often they can be reached with a bouncing approach shot. Nobody has won the Phoenix Open on more occasions than Mark Calcavecchia and during the 2001 event, he recorded a cool 28-under-par for his winning total. The cumulative total for Calcavecchia’s three Phoenix Open victories at TPC Scottsdale is 69-under par. Not bad… even as a bowling score!
Perhaps the most memorable hole on the 7,216-yard Stadium course is the par five 15th, which is in the mould of the famous 13th at Augusta National. Water lines the entire left side of the hole and the island green is reachable for the long hitter but so is the surrounding water. The par three 16th is a popular viewing hole for Phoenix Open spectators who create a human amphitheatre around the tabletop green which is ringed with deep bunkers. A drivable par four has become a trademark for Weiskopf and Morrish and they have designed a cracker at 17 where water on the left side of the green waits to catch errant drives.
The par four home hole is dominated by water, 200 yards of which must be carried with the tee shot. Sandy Lyle became the first European winner of the Phoenix Open in 1988 after Fred Couples (tournament leader by a stroke with only one hole to play) pulled his drive into the water. Freddie’s scrambling five resulted in a sudden death play-off with Sandy Lyle. The third play-off hole brought them back to the 18th and Couples once again dragged his drive into the water. This time Freddie could only manage to card a six and Sandy’s bogey five was enough to secure victory.
The second track at TPC Scottsdale is called the Champions course and Randy Heckenkemper laid it out over the top of Scottsdale’s former Desert course. The Champions opened for play in Nov 2007 and is already receiving positive accolades. Many people think the Champions is a better course than the Stadium but, with nearly 25 years of tournament history, we think the Stadium course will remain the most popular track at Scottsdale, at least for the time being.
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