Golf News

What’s it really like to play the 16th hole at the WM Phoenix Open?

TPC Scottsdale

James Hahn drives a golf cart through the tunnel to the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale. (Photo: Golfweek)

Hahn insists during the tournament, he doesn’t peek ahead to 16. Not even when he’s playing the preceding hole, the par-5 15th, which is generally a golfer’s last chance to make an eagle.

But once you putt out and walk across the short bridge off 15 green, your brain gets into 16 mode.

Then comes the walk through the tunnel into the arena.

“Right about here, you’re just trying to get your emotions in check,” Hahn said, about halfway through the tunnel marked “PLAYERS ONLY.”

“Your heart starts beating, you hear the crowd, you hear the music, you hear everything that’s going on.

“And then right here (with the 16th hole hole-in-one monument front and center) is your last chance to gather yourself before you enter the stadium hole.”

Then come those first few steps out of the tunnel on the other side.

“Right about now,” he said craning his neck to look up towards the three-tiered stadium “is when all the fans start seeing your group come up. They start cheering, they start yelling, they start chanting. Some guys are happy you’re there, some guys are not. Some guys start heckling you.”

There’s no doubt, even after having played here for a decade, there’s simply nothing like this rush.

“The nerves always hit on this one. The nerves will always hit,” Hahn said, noting that “a lot of guys enjoy this type of experience and I absolutely love it.”


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