TPC Scottsdale - Stadium Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.2

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 71
Scottsdale, AZ

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TPC Scottsdale - Stadium Course Review

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.

 Click here to read our review of TPC Champions Course. We spent 6 days in Scottdale and played 150 holes, went hot air ballooning, kayaking, off-road jeeping, and lots more fun things - here is a link to Golfing In Scottsdale article.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,525 71.1 129
White 6,049 68.7 125
Gold 7,216 74.6 138
Red 5,455 72.9 130

Course Information

Course Architect:
Tom Weiskopf & Jay Morrish
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Course Map
Beware of water on 4 holes and the 72 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.2 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Approximate Weekend
$29.50 to $272.00

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!!!



Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking. 


About Texas Outside

Texas Outside has been alive & well since 1996 - that's ancient by today's internet standards! Texas Outside was originally developed by Lone Star Internet which is an Austin based web development company with an excellent reputation & client base. In March of 2006, we purchased Texas Outside & made a commitment to add new, exciting, & informative content on Texas outdoor activities & fun things to see & do.

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