The par-three 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open is an undisputed iconic hole of the PGA tour, which takes place at the TCP Scottsdale just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. If you're in town for the open, this may be the most exciting place to see a round of the tour.
The 16th hole, affectionately known as "The Coliseum," has changed in design and layout over the years, but about 16,000 people sit at this hole alone during the tour, where they can watch the action from tee to green. The crowd here eschews typical golf etiquette, as they cheer and jeer the tee shots of the pros—making for a stadium-like environment as if it were a basketball or football game.
In fact, the 16th hole has become so popular that the course has installed a digital runner video board that wraps around the back of the tee box, and golfers now either love or dread the walk through the tunnel to approach the tee.
In 1997, Tiger Woods, a 21-year-old at the time, took a nine-iron out of his bag and hit a hole-in-one on the 16th, making for one of the most famous plays of all time on the course.
Controversy and Crowd Control
Over the years different procedures have been put in place to try to control the amount of alcohol consumed by fans in that area, who can get overly rowdy and downright rude by the late afternoon hours. You'll have to check each year to see if there are specific liquor policies in place, but generally speaking, security staff patrols the area to take care of unduly and unruly patrons.
The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale has been controversial over the years, and many fans debate whether or not the atmosphere is good for the game of golf or not. Many argue that the one-to-10 scoring and loud cheering some fans in the crowd do takes away from the art and peacefulness of the sport. On the other hand, some claim this type of fan engagement is what's gotten people excited about golf again since Tiger Woods hit the stage in the late 1990s.
Many go to the Phoenix Open to see fantastic golfers do their best on a challenging golf course during what is hopefully a week of beautiful weather. Many go to walk and enjoy the outdoors and actually avoid the 16th hole. All can admit, it does provide a great opportunity for unique television coverage and commentary.
Seating for the 16h Hole at TCP Scottsdale
If you're planning on watching the Waste Management Phoenix Open this year and want to be part of the action of the 16th hole, there are three seating options available for fans: skyboxes, a special Skybox Loge Section, and general admission seats.
There are nearly 275 skyboxes at the 16th hole, which are typically purchased by corporate entities, so you'd have to know someone at a company who purchased a skybox to get one of those seats. Of course, if you and 33 of your friends want to share the cost of a skybox, it will cost you about $1,800 each.
The Skybox Loge Section, which requires a special loge ticket for entry, is literally built into the stadium and features views of the 15th and 16th holes as well as couches, HD televisions, and an incredible selection of food and beverages.
There are no other tickets sold that are specifically for the 16th hole, and there is no grass seating or standing room area with a view of this hole. However, there are about 3,700 General Admission seats, which means that anyone who paid to get into the Waste Management Phoenix Open can sit in those areas.
Attending the Waste Management Phoenix Open
The Phoenix Open takes place usually beginning the last week of January and through the first week of February, at TPC Scottsdale. Called the "Greatest Show on Grass," this event is the most popular PGA event, bringing out up to 500,000 spectators.
You can purchase tickets online and at the gate. Spectators get in free on Monday and Tuesday courtesy of Ford Free Days. Young people 17 years old and under are free when accompanied by an adult. All first responders and active, reserve and retired military get in free along with one accompanying person.
Don't forget to wear a hat, put on comfortable walking shoes, and slather on the sunscreen. Do a bit of research online and have a plan for watching the action, like knowing when your favorite players are scheduled.
When you go, pick up a daily pairing sheet (which includes a course map) to find out when players tee off and the order of the groups. You'll usually see the pros playing in threesomes on Thursday and Friday and twosomes on the weekends. If you are a distance from the players, you can spot your favorites by looking for the caddies, who wear colored vests as described on the daily pairing sheet.
If you are an autograph hunter, don't bother players until they have finished their rounds. You'll then be able to catch them in the practice area.