TPC Scottsdale is home to two outstanding 18 hole courses (the Stadium and Champions Course) and the PGA Tour's FBR Open. Both courses have been carved out of the Sonoran Desert and are surrounded by the majestic McDowell Mountains. The Stadium Course was designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf and is a masterful blend of challenge and playability for golfers of all skill levels. Golf Week rated the course #6 in of the "Best Top 30 Municipal Courses," Golf Digest ranks it in the "Top 10 Public Courses," and Sports Illustrated chose the famous #16 as the "Top 4 Most Exciting Par 3's on the PGA Tour." Of the two 18s, the Stadium course seems to be more forgiving and in much better condition. The Champions couse is fun, has a true desert feel to it, and is more challenging and unique.
When we played in 2009 the Stadium greens and fairways were making the transition to summer, but they were still in near perfect condition, lush, and green. Sergio Garcia stated that the Stadium has "best course conditions on our west coast swing" and Fred Couples said "the greens are really, really nice." TPC Stadium is also very well manicured and the landscaping is impeccable and stunning with a wide variety of desert fauna of all colors – pink, red, yellow, orange, purple, and green! The designers must have moved millions of cubic feet of earth to create the elevation changes, mounds, and fairway contour. The fairways are wide and forgiving and the greens are fairly flat but fast and a little hard to read. Be careful when playing the Stadium, although the sand is great, some of the bunkers are deep and steep and will add some strokes to your round.
In general, TPC Stadium is pretty straight forward and what you see is what you get. You will need to contend with the back yards of some multi-million dollar homes, desert areas, water on 4 holes, dog legs, and strategically placed bunkers. There are some really fun and beautiful holes on the Stadium.
#16 is the signature par 3 which you probably remember from watching the FDR Open on TV. Off the tee box, the par 5 595 yard #13 takes some thought on which way to play the desert island that splits the fairway – but you first have to make it across the dessert and water to get to either side and also avoid landing smack dab in the desert island. The right side is riskier but shorter. Survive that and you'll need to miss the desert on the right and the enormous left bunker and smaller bunker on the right on your way to what seems like a tiny green, also protected by a bunker. But my favorite was #15 which is a 552 yard par 5 with desert on the right and water on the left – both going all the way to an island green with a tree and trap. "Great risk reward shot where you can make a 3 or a 7" according to Rich Beem – I got the 7! #15 through #18 are all fun, scenic, challenging, and some of the best finishing holes – and they'll make you want to come back and play this course again.
The service is the best, the Grill is ranked the #1 Steak & Seafood restaurant in Arizona by Conde' Nast Traveler, and the practice facilities and club house are first class. Near perfect on everything!!!