The Stadium Course at the TPC Scottsdale is the legendary home of golf's largest spectator event in the world. But there is more to it than that.
Named One of the "Top 50 Golf and Resort Destinations in the World" by Conde Nast Traveler and "One of America's Best Courses" by Golfweek Magazine, the club's superb par-71 Stadium Course which for many year's was the venue for the FBR Open, but now plays host to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, not only can accommodate spectators like few other courses in the game, it also offers weekend amateurs a magnificent desert-based experience they are not likely to forget very easily.
And you could quite easily say the same thing about Stadium's sister course at the resort, the Champions Course. which was built on the sight of the old Desert Course and was specifically designed to "fit seamlessly into the natural desert terrain".
But in this week's review it is the venue for this weeks Phoenix Open, and the facilities that go with it, that we are looking at so we must turn our eyes to TPC Scottsdale's par-71, 7,216- yard Stadium Course which was designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf expressly to serve as the stage for a professional golf event that today is called 'The Greatest Show on Grass'.
The enthusiastic and rowdy fans that famously surround the 16th each year and create around this short par-3 hole a "stadium" atmosphere and one of the most exciting settings in professional sport, will certainly vouch for that.
So will the large galleries that regularly pack into some of the other unique locations on the course.
Set in the Sonoran Desert and surrounded by the majestic McDowell Mountains, TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course, a PGA Tour facility that is open to the public, is a masterful blend of challenge and playability for the enjoyment of all levels of golfers, be they professionals or weekend warriors, and, boasts the club's official website, 'embodies the standards of excellence in (TPC) golf operations world wide'.
"Our goal, during your visit," adds the website, is to exceed your every expectation with superb course conditions and the best in customer service.
THE STADIUM COURSE
While TPC Scottsdale meanders over several hundred acres of native Arizona desert, it has only 110 acres of irrigated land.
Lush green parcels of manicured turf are woven throughout a rugged tapestry of arroyos, paleverde's and other natural features in the Sonoran desert. The theme of TPC Scottsdale was designed with a more natural and rugged look and Stadium spectator mounds to create a contrast unsurpassed in Arizona.
Featuring Bermuda fairways that are over-seeded annually with Rye, TPC Scottsdale provides top-shelf playing conditions throughout the year. The Tiff-Dwarf Bermuda grass greens are exceptionally true and possess an average green speed of 10.5.
Over-seeding takes place the first two weeks of October every year and after over-seeding, carts are restricted to the course's paths through February to March.
Because this process involves growing new grass, the fairways are a little longer and the course a little wetter during this period, but it is always in great shape and very playable even soon after over-seeding.
- Golf Shop: TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Golf Shop has received the "Top 100 Golf Shops in America" award by Golf World Business Magazine on an annual basis for the past 20 years and is considered to be a leader in the golf merchandising industry.
"We hold true to our mission to create long-term golf equipment relationships with our members and guests," The club claims on its website, "by using state of the art technology, club fitting systems, fitness opportunities, instruction and the industry's best educated professionals and staff.
"For your equipment needs TPC Scottsdale's staff of PGA Professionals can assist you with the right selection for your game. With featured vendors Titleist, TaylorMade, and Nike, TPC Scottsdale's golf shop can assist you with all of your golf equipment needs."
- Wining and dining: The Resort offers quality dining at its high class restaurant, The Grill, and a wide variety of drinks and food options from its Desert Oasis at the turn and from its plentiful cart services operating on both courses.
Both light breakfast and lunch items including muffins, Starbucks coffee, freshly made deli sandwiches and many other snack options are available from these facilities as are a wide variety of soft drinks, fruit juices, beers and even cocktails.
- Golf Instruction: TPC Scottsdale's award-winning Tour Academy offers a full schedule of two to five-day golf schools, private lesson programs and comprehensive player development programs for golfers of every skill level.
The Academy feature state-of-the-art technology, coupled with instructional programs that consist of highly personalized attention to the unique needs and skill level of the player in question.
Whether a beginner, intermediate or low handicap golfer, "making your game the absolute best it can be" is the Academy's stated priority.
If you wish to play the Stadium Course in the Peak Season (Jan 1 to Apr 1) it will likely cost you in the vicinity $300.00 for 18 holes and $210.00 for a Twilight round with juniors paying about $190 (18 holes) and $110 (Twilight).
Much lower rates are charged in other seasons (ie June - Sept) but you can get all the rates for Residents and No-Residents, both for the Stadium Course and the less-expensive Champions Course by visiting http://www.tpc.com/scottsdale/rates/index.html
- TPC Scottsdale's physical address is: 17020 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
- Its phone numbers are (480) 585-433 and (888) 400-4001 Toll free.
- And its website address is http://www.tpc.com/scottsdale/index.html