The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale might be golf's most exciting

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The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale, as featured this year at the 2024 WM Phoenix Open, is the closest you can get to a golf arena. Golfers tee off on the par 3 hole completely surrounded by cheering fans in stadium-style seating, magnifying the pressure on every shot. Only 11 golfers in history have made a hole-in-one on the 16th, an event which inevitably sends spectators into ecstasy. Tiger Woods did so at the 1997 Phoenix Open, and it remains one of the most memorable moments in PGA Tour history.

With the WM Phoenix Open in full swing, we thought we’d take a look back at how some of golf’s best experienced one of the loudest and most exciting holes in golf, and see what new memories competitors are making.

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“I remember early on, the first couple of years I played, there were guys that were right by the tee box.[They] would have like a sheet of like funny things about where you went to high school or just kind of like little things that were kind of like jabs at you, but I feel like now they moved the tee box a little bit, so you’re not like right there. So, it’s a little different.”

“For me, I chipped in back left pin. I missed the green left, got booed, chipped it in, crowd erupted. So it was like a Jekyll and Hyde moment. It was probably 2017 or so. But I played with Francesco Molinari when he made the hole-in-one there. I think it was on Saturday [in 2015]. Front left pin. I hit first. I hit it probably 12 to 15 feet right, like a great safe shot. He holes it. Beer cans on the green, literally felt like we stopped play for like 20 minutes to get everything cleared up. And I can’t remember who we’re playing with, Brian Davis or something hit after him, but it was unbelievable. I mean, even when a playing partner makes a hole in one, like, you’re so pumped for him just to see the crowd go wild. I mean, I don’t think there’d been a hole in one there for a couple of years and he made it and it was it was incredible.”

Missed the green, got booed, chipped in [in 2015 or 2016]. That was fun. I was there when Sam Ryder made the hole in one a couple of years ago. That was pretty wild. Other than that it’s been pretty standard, standard stuff, man. It’s gotten a little more tame over the years. It’s gotten a little more corporate in there towards the tee box but it used to just be absolute madness right there by the tee box but they brought the boxes down a little bit, so it’s gotten a little tamer. It’s still nuts up by the green though.”

“I came pretty much every year when I was in college. Then I came to watch CT Pan quite a bit. It was crazy back then. I thought it was crazy just seeing all the people yelling at it, and people — when you play golf, people feel like you have to be quiet and everything, but 16 is definitely the opposite. They try and get louder and louder. It’s just kind of wild for the first time.”

ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss and Paolo Uggetti contributed to this report.

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