TPC Scottsdale - Stadium Course

Reviewed By: Andy
The TPC in Scottsdale has two courses. The Champions Course on the east side of Hayden Road and the Stadium Course on the west side. There are some huge differences in these two courses so I will not merge them together in a single review. The Stadium course is the home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open and probably most well known as the "Greatest Show on Grass" or as I like to refer to it as the "biggest shit show in golf" (not because Waste Management is the sponsor, but because it gets packed with loud obnoxious drunks). The tournament would also be a different review, but I digress...back to the course.

Scenery: While you can see off into the distance because the course is so wide open, there is nothing really worth saying, "wow, look over there". Some of the homes are nice, but not spectacular, the grounds around the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess hotel are quite nice, but that is only along one hole (I think #5). The "native" areas are quite nice. They are not native (thus the quotes), but use local vegetation to bring the desert to the course. 

Service: Not much to say here. Everyone was friendly professional and not an air of snootiness.

Variation: This is a really great track of holes. Definitely some distance, 7,261 from the tips, sand traps always in range of your shots and water on a few holes that will fluster even low handicap golfers. I have people ask me, "What's it like to play number 16?" the infamous par-3 hole in the Waste Management tournament. Well, it plays like most any par-3. Remember when you get out there it is not surrounded by 4 story tall temporary buildings with thousands of screaming, drunk fans. It is wide open and the only remnants you may notice are some concrete footers in the ground that are used to support the tournament structures. If you walk the course during the tournament, it may seem unrecognizable while playing any other time of the year.

Maintenance: This is an impeccably well maintained course... assuming you are not playing anytime right after the tournament (February). Because the tournament brings in as much as 200,000 people on just Saturday, you can imagine the grass trampling that takes place off of the fairways. Not to mention that they build tens of thousands of square feet of indoor venues, grandstands and VIP booths that all crush the surroundings. These come down each year and then go back up in January. Most courses I bitch about the sand traps, but these are some of the best in the valley.

Value: This is a very overpriced course. The lure to play a course that you have seen on TV is very much there, and for low handicappers they will probably want to see if they can theoretically do as well as the pros. But face it, without the grandstands and the crowds of people, it really is nothing so amazing that you should be plopping down $300 at peak season. If you really want to get out there go late or early season where you can jump on for $100-120.

In summary, remember the Champions course across the street. It is cheaper and more challenging and when you are done, you can go look at the Stadium course and say to yourself..."That is not what it looked like on TV"...