The home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open was improved over the spring and summer, re-opening on Friday with some new design features recycled from some of the world's great courses.
Original architect Tom Weiskopf oversaw the $15 million refresh of the Stadium course at TPC Scottsdale, done by the city of Scottsdale with the aim of refreshing the entire facility, which first opened for play in Dec. 1986 after then-Tour commissioner Deane Beman hired Weiskopf and Jay Morrish to build a stadium-type design in the desert akin to what had opened just three years prior at TPC Sawgrass.
The renovation was all-encompassing, including resurfacing all putting surfaces, moving and reshaping some tees, greens and bunkers and improving landscaping, as well as a modern irrigation system. The greens at holes 2, 3, 4 and 14 were moved from their original locations. Some 250 trees were planted to reshape holes and provide better scenery.
However, the two most fascinating changes harken to the architecture of a pair of golf's greatest venues.
Short of the green on the par-5 13th, Weiskopf added a coffin bunker, a nod to the Old Course at St. Andrews, to make for a nasty present for the golfer inaccurate with their second shot.
On the closing hole, conventional wisdom had long become to drive the ball over the corner of a lake to the left of the tee box to cut off as much of the par 4 as possible. Weiskopf added some danger in making that choice, add church pews -- a la the third hole at Oakmont -- to the guarding bunker just beyond the hazard. At 305 yards from the tee, even bombers will have to at least mind the sand.