Quiet on the tee?

“Quiet on the tee” is commonly heard on the tee boxes of the PGA tour throughout the season, on every tee except the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale. This hole is unlike any other hole at any stop that the tour makes. It is a raucous party scene that produces a stadium like atmosphere with grandstands and skyboxes that enclose every end of the hole. Certain players, like Bubba Watson, even encourage the crowd to get rowdy while he is getting ready to tee off. This hole has had this “feel” to it ever since Tiger Woods made a hole-in-one there in 1997, and the green was berated with anything and everything that could be thrown onto it. Recently, however, PGA tour professionals have embraced the party-like atmosphere of the hole. They get the crowd involved by wearing college or pro team jerseys or bringing gifts such as hats, goggles, or anything else they could throw into the crowd to keep them on their side and not booing. Needless to say it is something that isn’t seen every day on tour so I went out to see what some of Elder’s golf fans had to say about the unique hole. It makes the sport more appealing to everyone, said Mr. Rogers, Elder’s Varsity B golf coach. “It brings electricity to a sport that may sometimes lack it and makes it exciting for the players.” Mr. Rogers went on to say that “with golf struggling to become mainstream, especially when Tiger isn’t playing every week, this hole gives incentive for the casual fan to turn on golf instead of anything else in that time slot.” Mr Gergen, economics teacher, American government teacher and golf aficionado said, “It is something that is out of the ordinary for golf”. “Every hole on the course is not like that, it makes this hole unique.” Just this year, they have started what seems to be a new tradition called the caddy races. The caddies of tour players take off from the tee box and race to the front of the green. “This is a neat event that they added and just adds to the excitement and atmosphere of the hole,” said Mr. Gergen. When asked if this hole was good for the game, Mr Gergen said, “I think it is, it grabs a different audience that might not ordinarily watch or go to a golf event.” The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale is most definitely different from anything else in golf. And yes it does stray pretty far away from the normal etiquette of the sport. But maybe “not so quiet on the tee” isn’t such a bad thing, just for this one hole.