|Posted by Drew Harvie on November 21, 2014 at 6:20 PM|
One of the most exciting renovations was recently completed, and that happened to be the work of Tom Wieskopf at the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale. I've played the course, and although the course is fun and it's always neat to re-create shots you've seen on TV (my brother made par on 16 and said 'Bubba Watson made par on this hole) it was not the best of golf courses. The changes though look great, with new features, new greens and new bunkers, the course will give players a brand new test.
One of the best changes came at the first. A boring opening hole, Tom removed the desert from the tee (around 290 from the back tees) and added a bunker to add options. This hole was one of the most boring opening holes I've ever played, a three wood off the tee to an non-interesting green will be changed with the addition of the bunker.
The fourth is one of the biggest changes. More fairway was added, he elevated the green (this is used by many great architect's now-a-days, and Ian Andrew made a great example of this at Laval when here-designed the course with partner Mike Weir) added three new bunkers and shortened the hole.
The coolest thing Wiescopf added was the Coffin Bunker on the long par 5 13th. I'm not exaclty sure where this bunker is, my guess about 40 yards from the green, but it will certainly be in players minds when going for the green in two. It looks deep, penal and nasty, good work!
Before the 14th was one of the most boring holes on the planet on a rather solid back nine, but now it looks like it'll be one of the best holes out there. The green is up on a hill, with "runway" mounds on the right side of the green, and as Wiescopf said "two beautiful bunkers on the left) will make this hole very, very challenging. I'm a little surprised Tom didn't extend the fairway on the left, and add a fairway bunker on the right, this would make the left more appealing and make players go there with their tee shots, but in return have a tougher angle and approach into the green.
Another nod to classic architecture, Wiescopf added the famous Oakmont Church Pews on the left side of 18 for players (not mentioning any names..... Bubba) who try and fly the water to get a good angle into the green that's angled from left to right. This will force players to challenge the water and Church Pews to get a good angle into the famous back right pin location.
I am extreamely excited to get back, as the changes look well exicuted. The course is on boring land, but it looks like he has made it even better. This will only make the course better and more enjoyable for everyone!
Back9 Network video with Shane Bacon and Tom Wiescopf
Golf Club Atlas discussion