Ryan Trapp, a caddie at TPC Scottsdale since 2014, has worked an estimated 450 rounds on the stadium course, home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He's witnessed two holes-in-one on the famous 16th hole, watched a shot ricochet off the grandstands there and land on the fringe of the green, and had a player hole out from the fairway on 18 to shoot even par. In short, Trapp has seen it all. Join him for a round as part of the TPC's forecaddie program (mandatory in peak times from November to April) and you'll reap the rewards of his experience with tips like these:
THE CADDIE IS YOUR FRIEND
First-time players can be nervous, and not everyone is used to playing with a caddie. But we’re there to keep your sanity intact and help you have a good time. We know every inch of the course – just be patient, play smart golf and we’ll get you around in one piece.
GO AHEAD, ASK ME ABOUT THE 16TH HOLE
I start getting these questions before groups even hit their first shot. It’s cool. We like telling stories about it. The stadium seating around that hole starts getting built in October, so you can see it from almost every inch of the property. People get fired up just talking about it.
THE 16TH HOLE
It’s shorter in person and not the hardest par-3 out there, either (that’s the seventh hole). But when the stands are up for the tournament, the wind is much harder to judge. We like to have a lot of fun here, which usually means we try to rile people up. Some like to hear noise, so we’ll boo if it’s a bad shot or cheer if it’s a good shot. And yes, we’re happy to take pictures of you and your group here.
I tell golfers the last five holes are what you came to see. Each is pure risk/reward. Play conservatively and smart, and you will probably get through those holes at even par. Or test yourself and do what the pros try to do by going for some heroic shots. You may only play here once, so why not try it?
The course is overseeded with Rye grass, and that tends to follow the sun as it grows. Usually, it heads southwest, right towards the center of Phoenix, or basically toward the blue spire on nearby Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard. That’s where most putts will break toward, so be aware of where you are (we’ll help with that, too).