Golf fans the world over know the WM Phoenix Open as the “Greatest Show on Grass” thanks largely to the historically raucous atmosphere on the par-3 16th hole at the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course. Surrounded on all sides by very vocal fans, the 16th draws a crowd (especially during Saturday’s third round, when it can be a long wait for general admission seats) who are there as much for a good time as they are to see the likes of Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau going for birdies. In honor of the 2023 WM Phoenix Open golf tournament (scheduled for February 6-12), we’re counting down the top five most memorable moments on the famous 16th hole.
Two years after winning the tournament, Hal Sutton made the first hole-in-one on the 16th during the third round of the event. At that time, the tournament was known simply as the Phoenix Open and was in its second year of being played at TPC Scottsdale.
The first 11 corporate boxes are built at the 16th hole. By 2020 there were 278 of those in a three-story high structure with room for more than 13,000 people. Pricing for a Skybox 16 Loge suite now starts at $155,000 for the week.
Tiger Woods hits the “shot heard ‘round the world” on the 16th hole when his tee shot landed on the green and rolled right into the hole. The ace electrified the crowd and exposed the world to the fun and rowdy atmosphere of the Phoenix Open thanks to the shot being replayed on television over and over (and over – still, to this day!).
The “coliseum” takes shape as the 16th hole is completely surrounded by stands, making it the first hole of its kind on the PGA Tour. Total capacity in 2020 was almost 17,000, with 3,700 general admission seats. Construction of the grandstands and corporate hospitality suites usually takes 121 days to erect and uses 1,600 tons of structural steel.
Francesco Molinari of Italy made the most recent, and the ninth-ever, hole-in-one on the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Who will be the next to make 16th-hole history?