30 Jan GolfPass Grass Guru – TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course
Waste Management Phoenix Open • TPC Scottsdale – Stadium Course • Hole 18 • Par 4 • 442 yds • by Eric MacPherson
TPC Scottsdale. The Phoenix Open. An event that is for sure on any golf fan’s bucket list. The 16th gets WILD. Miss the green and you’ll get covered in beer. Hole out and you’ll get covered in beer. While I definitely recommend just watching the 16th hole, the bunkers are not the best this course has to offer. And, remember, we’re here for the bunkers.
TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course is a relatively recent build in comparison to some of the courses that we’ve seen in 2019. It is a perfect example of a top-notch desert course. The vast expanses of desert, with cacti and boulders bordering all the holes and practically all the tee boxes, make for a truly spectacular looking course. I mean, who can forget when Tiger moved a boulder here with the help of the crowd? If I were in the crowd, I’d probably stand on that dumb rock and add some extra weight to it. Use some of that Navy Seal training Tiger, drag that puppy by yourself now.
The bunkering at TPC Scottsdale is equally as amazing as the course’s overall aesthetic. The beautiful, white sand against those lush, velvet bentgrass greens. God-dang! Fun fact, velvet bentgrass (Poa trivialis) in addition to being my all time favorite grass, makes the absolute best putting surface. If I had my own course, you better believe every green is getting that smooth, smooth carpet of velvet bent.
I could talk forever about Poa triv, but you’re here to read about bunkering. Choosing a bunker here was surprisingly difficult as several beauts stood out. Ultimately, the fairway bunkers on 18 take the cake. Falling perfectly in the range of most players off the tee, especially if they are trying to shave some distance off their approach, these church pew wannabes stand out. It will be a few years before Oakmont hosts the US Open again, so these will have to fill in. And they do an admirable job of it.
This bunker has four long grass islands making it the minor league version of that famous bunker in PA. It is an absolutely gorgeous hazard. The longer grass on the islands help conceal a hard second shot for anyone unfortunate to end up in it. Not to mention, the bunker does have a bit of a lip making a shot close to the edge equally as difficult. Oh yea, how can I forget – it’s next to a body of water. This is the epitome of a hazard.