When the PGA TOUR advertises “these guys are good,” they aren’t kidding. The staff at Pinnacle Golf Vacations are not terrible golfers, so we can say with some authority that the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course has never been anywhere near as easy as the tour players make it look. The winning score of the Waste Management Phoenix Open is regularly between 15-20 under par. The tournament record of -28, shared by Mark Calcavecchia and Phil Mickelson, would suggest the Stadium Course is a pushover. But, we promise you, it’s not.
It will be interesting to see what happens at this year’s WM Phoenix Open which runs January 29-February 1. The Stadium Course recently underwent a nine-month makeover by original course architect Tom Weiskopf. Renovations began immediately after last year’s event. Don’t be alarmed though — there have been no radical changes to the undeniably entertaining layout. It was time for the obligatory technological upgrades required for a facility of this nature, and the PGA TOUR seized the opportunity to allow Weiskopf to use the experience he’s gained over the past three decades to refine one of his most applauded designs. The resulting experience will be more challenging to the tour players, while at the same time more fun and playable for locals and Scottsdale visitors the other 51 weeks each year since TPC Scottsdale is a public course that you can play, too.
All 18 greens were resurfaced, and a few greens were moved, along with some fairway bunkers and tee boxes. Other changes include reshaping of bunkers and tee complexes and re-routing of a cart path here and there. Finally, a new irrigation system was installed. All of these improvements have yielded strategic changes on virtually every hole on the course. Something that will be highly visible as you play the course, and even more so as you watch the tournament on TV, are the bright white sand bunkers which will add a dramatic new look to the course. More than 250 trees were planted for both strategic and aesthetic value.
The TPC Scottsdale Clubhouse, always one of the better Scottsdale hangouts after a round, was also upgraded and is definitely warmer and more inviting for both post-round drinks and dining. It all adds up to an incredibly sparkling new TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course experience. We highly recommend you give it a whirl on your next trip. While it was great before…it’s even better now.