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« Gallacher Wins! Rory, Tiger Get All The Attention | Main | Stephen Gallacher: 10-Under On Last 10 In Dubai »
Saturday
Feb012014

Renovating TPC Scottsdale: Careful Please!

Working off of reports this week from Adam Lawrence and Matt Ginella, I pen a short Local Knowledge plea for Tom Weiskopf to tread carefully in renovating the TPC Scottsdale. Yes, it could get better and prettier, but there is also the potential to make it less appealing (as we've seen too many times when courses are renovated). The good news here is that Weiskopf is the original designer and understands the theatrical nature of the original design.

Meanwhile for those interested in a further study of the numbers, check out Peter Corbett's story from May of 2013 when citizens and officials were debating the funding of the next $15 million renovation.

The latest deal has prompted critics, citing the losses from operating the golf course, to pressure city officials to get a better deal for Scottsdale taxpayers.

Those critics, a loosely organized group of Scottsdale residents concerned about municipal spending, say the new agreement with PGA Tour Inc. to continue running TPC Scottsdale will be an additional drain on city coffers.

They also contend the city is providing an illegal subsidy to the PGA Tour by having Scottsdale residents pay for $15 million in renovations of the TPC Stadium Course and clubhouse starting next year.

Under the lease amendment, which was unanimously approved by the City Council in December, the PGA Tour will increase its fees paid to Scottsdale by $4 million over 20 years.

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Reader Comments (18)

Most overrated course in Scottsdale.
02.1.2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom Joad's Ghost
$15 million for a renovation for a course that was built poorly in the 1980's and didn't stand the test of time? Sound like Poppy Hills and many others.

Weiskopf should feel lucky that the city didn't have the brains to find a real architect.
02.1.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJSS
I'm sorry, but off topic a bit - So Bubba hits his drive into a huge bush on 13. The ball is just about unplayable, but it is sort of possible he could try and knock it out. But because there happens to be a rodent hole in the ground under the bush, that happens to be in the way of a possible sideways hit out, then he gets a free drop behind the bush ? I understand that the rules were followed, but to me the spirit of the rules not at all. It was very appropriate (and on purpose I believe) that they showed Tiger's boulder incident right afterwards. A joke I think, and I don't think it reflects well on Bubba.
02.1.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
JSS. That's $15m for course and clubhouse. Although not the best course on Tour, it always produces some interesting golf and can still accommodate the tens of thousands of fans that show up year after year. I think Weiskopf probably achieved exactly what they were asking for.
02.1.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBuck
Perhaps they showed Tiger's ruling as it was another example of the rules being correctly applied and coincidentally working the player's favor. It sounds like you're describing this: http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-25/#25-1b/22 .
02.1.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
@ Carl - I am not questioning that he actually complied with the rule, but the fact that equity was achieved. In the ruling, the rodent hole was preventing the intended chip out (and the rodent hole alone). in this case, the rodent hole was located underneath a cactus bush, - it seemed that the primary impediment to the shot was in fact the bush. But I guess without seeing a close up of the lie of the ball that is impossible to say.

With regard to the movable impediment of the boulder, it just seems to me that the intent of allowing movable objects to be in fact move would be based on the premise that since it is movable, perhaps it was moved into the players line at some point, so equity would seem to be achieved by allowing it to be moved away. But to recruit a bunch of bystanders to uproot a boulder that had probably sat there for years seemed to be beyond the spirit of the rule. But so be it I guess.
02.1.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
@ Carl - here is an interesting take on this, and the exception to the rule above :

http://www.golftraditions.com/experiences/bubbas-drop-on-13/
02.1.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Brian, Tiger's ruling was straight out of a Decision (and, from your description, so was this recent ruling).
02.1.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
"Weiskopf Designs is carrying out the work along with Landscapes Unlimited as a design and build package. Only 70 yards of length will be added, but all the greens and tees will be resurfaced. Six greens will be significantly recontoured, while three will be repositioned. “The greens in general will be more rolling and challenging,” said Roderick.

A number of open drains are to be culverted. “For the resort golfer, the course will be both more playable and much prettier,” Roderick said. The project – including clubhouse renovations – is valued at US$15 million, of which US$9 million will be spent on the course." From Adam Lawrence's article

"If final approvals are made in early February, Weiskopf, 71, will be going back to make significant changes, which include irrigation, grass and cart paths. Weiskopf says almost all greens will get minor contour changes, while three greens will get new locations. The bunkers and sand will have a different look. The clubhouse will be tweaked and updated, but not much will be done to 15, 16 and 17, which are fan favorites.

The 18th, however, will change. There’s no room to add length, the green and lake in front of the tee will stay in the same place, but the strategy of the hole will change as Weiskopf moves the rough in from the left and thus, shrinking the fairway. All told, it’s a $15 million dollar project that will start in April and if all goes as planned, be done in time for the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2015." From Ginella

The Pro Shop needs to be expanded so that patrons can buy non Waste Management stuff. Who actually buys clothing with a WM logo?
02.1.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.
I'm not a fan of the one TomW course I have played regularly, but I like the WM event and I am glad he's leaving 15, 16, and 17 alone, though I think 17 could be made a little less scary so more would go for it with a back pin. It just says ''layup'' as it is now. Simple mowing changes could solve the problem, and keep the ball out of the water.

15M is pizz compared to the BF the NFL and MLB brings to the tax wasters. Get real people. This event is a year round gold mine.
02.1.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Over the years the Valley of the Sun and its residents have been asked to subsidize all sorts of pro sports from the Baseball stadium to myriad Spring Training facilities to Football and Hockey. Depending on who you ask these ventures are job creators and the reason people from all over the winter climes visit and or retire here. The long term economic plan has always been about growth. Golf is no different. The PGA Tour wants - even demands a piece of that economic subsidy pie. But now that times have turned here the people are asking why? The long answer is always a lot of studies and double talk; the short answer is the politicians always have done this and still can. The TPC's were supposed to offer something other courses didn't, namely the chance for a regular golfer to play where the pros play. It has served its purpose but I don't get why the citizens must subsidize it- aren't the green fees supposed to do that?
02.1.2014 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
The 17th is a killer hole--one of the best television holes on tour. The rest of the course may be a bland desert dogtrack, but that hole, at a crucial time down the stretch, creates great drama.
02.1.2014 | Unregistered Commenterhighside
Re Bubba's drop.Did he get a break? See below re exception to the rule.

Exception: A player may not take relief under this Rule if (a) interference by anything other than an abnormal ground condition makes the stroke clearly impracticable or (b) interference by an abnormal ground condition would occur only through use of a clearly unreasonable stroke or an unnecessarily abnormal stance, swing or direction of play.
02.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterStanley Thompson
Re: Bubba's drop: Given the situation as I saw it, which mind you is very limited... I'm sure that the ruling itself was clearly defined and fit the situation, at least in overall scope. I just don't believe Bubba ever had any serious intentions of playing the shot, spotted a get out of jail free card, asked for the clemency and got it.
02.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPA PLAYA
@munihack:
As far as subsidizing sports venues, residents did get hosed on Bank One Ballpark, now Chase Field. After the uproar, the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority was created and approved by ballot measure SB1220. The funding for the football stadium and Cactus League improvements was/is provided primarily on the backs of visitors in the form of a 1% hotel tax and 3.25% rental car tax for thirty(!) years.
02.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterNRH
The above-mentioned debate of Bubba Watson's relief is exactly why players are almost-forced to always call in a Rules Official at PGA Tour events...even for the simplest and most obvious drops and relief. It's the only way the player can protect himself from second-guesses and legitimate differences of opinion. Even if the Rules Official obviously-bungles the call, the Player is protected; no harm, no foul. Just look-back at the atrocious call made last year at the LPGA event where the drop wasn't even near where the Rules would have dictated...but the Player was protected from fault.

It's unfortunate...but there it is.
''legitimate differences of opinion;

Why the book needs a complete simplified redeaux.
02.2.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
despite the bashing you hear, day to day this is a pretty fun course to play (if it didn't cost so damn much)
02.3.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBillV

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