From par-three to party: Golf's most infamous hole

The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale can hold over 20,000 fans

BY Daniel Kelly 09:37 Wednesday 1 February 2017, 9:37 1 Feb 2017

Picture by John Marshall AP/Press Association Images

It's not a major, a WGC event or even in the FedEx Cup playoffs, but the Waste Management Phoenix Open is one of the premier stops on the PGA Tour. This week, it's set to host one of the wildest crowds in golf.

The tournament's final round concludes historically concludes on Super Bowl Sunday helping to add to the carnival atmosphere around the TPC Scottsdale course. While Sawgrass has the famous island hole on the 17th, TPC Scottsdale is infamous for its stadium hole at 16.

Over 20,000 loud (and sometimes drunken) fans surround the hole in stands and hospitality room in what is the only fully enclosed par-three in world golf. The crowd can get very very loud if there is something to cheer for, as Franceso Molinari found out in 2015.

Up until that year, the hole was also famous for caddy races before they were stopped due to health and safety reasons. The premise is very simple. The golfer's caddies run from the tee to the front of the green as they are cheered on by the fans. The winner gets to milk the applause from the Arizona crowd, the losers must hang their heads in shame.

Depsite the pressure of over 20,000 fans breathing down your neck, it is also one of the most relaxing holes in golf as the players regularly give freebies to the crowd. Padraig Harrington even got in on the act in 2013. His sponsors also manufacture footballs for the NFL, and he kicked some into the crowd.

Shane Lowry and Harrington are both competing in Phoenix this week. The Offaly star tweeted that the 16th was the best hole in golf.

Despite the hole's notoriety, the stands are taken down annually after the tournament, and built from scratch the following year.

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