Television can be a tremendous asset for courses that on closer inspection are not especially significant -- but because of the wherewithal to stage a PGA TOUR event the fanfare can be a real catalyst for golfers to seek them out.
Last week's event at Torrey Pines South is one example of that. It's not special in terms of the architecture despite a stellar location alongside the Pacific Ocean. The same holds true for TPC at Scottsdale. Here you have a big piece of property capable in hosting vast throngs of people. When people ask where's the biggest tailgate party -- head to Scottsdale for the golf event because it's nothing less than massive.
The golf design is simply low level design with a few holes of note sprinkled within.
When you compare what TPC at Scottsdale provides against the other upper echelon courses in the immediate area you simply scratch your head and wonder what's with all the fuss. Like I said, television exposure has clearly helped the course's profile.
The land is frankly unexceptional. Everything has been sculpted to provide differentiation. The greens do feature tucked locations on a number of holes but when the world's best are playing a top tier level you can likely count on some serious low scores happening.
The front nine is fairly straightforward but far from memorable. The inward half of holes is more daring and water does play a key role on several of the holes.
So much of the fanfare is tied to the circus-like atmosphere at the par-3 16th. Frankly, the hole is simply ho-hum but because of the complete surrounding with gallery stands the atmosphere is simply grandiose with mega-noise always present.
If anything, the short par-4 17th is smartly done -- especially when the pin is placed in the far rear "tongue" location. When that happens any tee shot that misses right will be fortunate to get within 20 feet for the approach. The closing hole has been upgraded over the years and driving the ball in the fairway is no longer a sure thing. Too bad the final four holes at the layout could not have been carried out elsewhere.
Given what the course charges there are numerous other superior golf locations to consider. For those wishing to be part of a major party scene head to TPC at Scottsdale at tournament time because you will not be disappointed. Just take the clubs elsewhere.
by M. James Ward
Date: February 02, 2018