To be honest, it’s an unremarkable Par 3. 163 yards, not-very-penal bunkers surrounding a large, elevated green. A pretty standard short iron for most of the PGA Tour.
But it has become one of the great sights in golf. Whereas it’s not the where whistling birds of The Masters or the waves crashing against Pebble Beach, it’s as much a part of the PGA Tour as courtesy cars and debates about caddie pay.
It’s the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale, home of the Waste Management Open. And for four days in February, it can become more rock concert than rolling hills. 2021 will be the 86th edition of the tournament, but it came into its own after moving to the TPC course in 1987. This is the twelfth year Waste Management will be the sponsor, but the legendary 16th is what makes it special.
DraftKings Sportsbook is offering hole-in-one prop bets for five holes in Scottsdale, but No. 16 is the only one with multiple prop bets. A hole-in-one there at any point in the tournament is +280, and the book is also offering odds for each round at +700 for rounds 1 or 2, +900 for round 3, and +800 for the final round.
There were four holes-in-one on the Loudest Tee In Golf before 1997, but that was the year that what was a prized local tradition became a can’t-miss internationally known party location. A fresh-out-of-Stanford Tiger Woods had just earned his full-time PGA Tour card a few months earlier, and was still more than 10 weeks from A Win For The Ages at Augusta.
And then this happened.
Now The Thunderbirds, the group of Phoenix locals that runs the tournament, leans into the chaos, insanity, and alcohol. You do NOT want to block one right or pull it into the crowd here, as you’ll hear things about your humanity and your family you might not soon forget.
How have things changed? Check out Francesco Molinari’s ace in 2015, the last one in tournament play. Notice a bit of a difference in the crowd? The organizers have made this hole the rowdiest theatre in golf, complete with three decks of fans surrounding the place on all sides.
That won’t be the case this year thanks to COVID-19, as the limited amount of tickets on sale for the 16th Hole Loge suites will run about $700 each on StubHub. But even in front of a very limited gallery, you can bet an ace at 16 will be an unforgettable moment for any pro golfer.
Here is the list of golfers that have made a hole-in-one on 16 at TPC Scottsdale since the Waste Management Open began play on the course in 1987:
2015: Francesco Molinari
2011: Jarrod Lyle
2002: Mike Sposa
1997: Steve Stricker
1997: Tiger Woods
1991: Jay Delsing
1990: Brad Bryant
1990: David Edwards
1988: Hal Sutton