Officially known as the Coliseum in WMPO lingo – and “Thunderdome” in more casual parlance – Scottsdale’s 16th remains the only fully-enclosed hole on the PGA Tour and the trendsetter others look to emulate.
Corporate skyboxes first showed up alongside No.16 in 1992, and it was just five years later that Tiger Woods’ famous ace cemented the hole’s reputation as the rowdiest in golf. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until 2009 that No.16 was completely surrounded by grandstands.
Depending on tee and pin placement. No.16 plays anywhere from 115 to 180 yards. Bunkers guard three of the green’s four corners, plus one alongside the green’s left middle. It’s a fairly stock short iron or wedge – except for the 16,000 folks looking down ready to cheer or jeer.
2017 Phoenix Open: No aces, 60 birdies, 302 pars, 48 bogeys, 2 double bogeys, nothing higher
DID YOU KNOW?
- In 1992, the first 11 skyboxes appeared at the 16th hole.
- More skyboxes were added in 1993.
- In 1994, the first grandstands appeared.
- Historians, though, cite 1997 as the turning point for what is now called the Coliseum. A then 21-year old Tiger Woods aced the hole using a 9-iron. This set off what some say was the loudest roar ever heard on a golf course.
- Today, about 16,000 people sit at this hole alone, where they can watch the action from tee to green.
- There are two types of seats at the 16th hole: Skyboxes and General Admission Seats.
- There are 278 skyboxes. These are typically sold as part of corporate sponsorship packages.
- There are about 3,700 General Admission seats (first come, first seat).
- By 2009, the hole was completely surrounded by grandstands, giving the hole its Coliseum look.
- In 2013, a digital runner video board, with large LED lights, was added. The board wraps around the back of the tee box and down the sides, listing names of players on the tee, along with scores, and the occasional suggestion to “Make Some Noise.”
Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images
Parts of content in this post originally appeared in Jeff Shain’s The Starter.