The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale turns into golf’s biggest party when the Waste Management Phoenix Open rolls into town. With the ability to house over 15,000 rowdy golf fans in a stadium setting, the 160-yard par 3 becomes a must-watch spectacle, regardless of the player standing on the tee.
The fans and caddies love it, and even most players love it, as they often encourage the crowd to make more noise as they settle in for their shot. Hit it close to the hole – the fans go nuts. Miss the green, or do the unthinkable and make a bogey – the fans will rain down boos upon you.
Here’s what’s made the 16th at TPC Scottsdale so special:
Before the grandstands became a thing and luxury boxes lined the entire hole, a young Tiger Woods made a hole-in-one on the 16th in 1997. His “raise the roof” gesture to fans as he walked the hole is iconic. If Tiger ever returned and somehow made another ace, it would be pure pandemonium.
Players who embrace the chaos on the 16th are cheered. Players who throw freebies into the crowd … even more so. The standard giveaway is wrapping a ball with a $10 bill and saying “have a beer on me” – not that the fans need any more booze.
Padraig Harrington changed things up in 2013 by kicking footballs into the crowd. His background with kicking rugby balls definitely helped.
Bubba Watson – an Oakley endorser – handed out sunglasses, of all things.
James Hahn didn’t have anything to give away after making a birdie but did treat the crowd to a “Gangnam Style” dance as a celebration.
Former Arizona State Sun Devil Jon Rahm has thrown on a Pat Tillman No. 42 jersey multiple times at the 16th. Rahm’s connection with the Arizona locals makes him a huge fan favorite.
The fun isn’t only for the players. Caddies get into the festivities on the 16th with hilarious races to the green.
Check out this photo finish:
The outrageous fans
Hats off to the patrons who line up outside the gates at 6:00 a.m. and sprint across the course to get a seat at the famed hole. Mostly populated by bachelor parties, the gang around the 16th green cheers on the grounds crew as they cut the grass and punch the day’s pin location. Volunteers throw out breakfast burritos and waters to tide the anxious crowd over while they wait. These fans go hours without seeing golf, and when the first group rolls through, the place goes nuts. Video of the entire experience can be found here.
At the end of the day, after plenty of beers have been downed and all the birdies and bogeys have been made, No. 16 will have you walking home like this:
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