Another 16th-hole beer bash added to the PGA Tour
There's no scene in golf that compares with the 16th hole at the TPC Scottsdale, the par three surrounded by corporate tents and wild fans during the FBR Open early each PGA Tour season.
Golfers who miss the green with their tee shot are booed and mocked heartily by the often well-lubricated 20,000 spectators surrounding the 162-yard hole. And the roar that Tiger Woods elicited with his 1997 hole in one is still echoing.
The scene is like a massive fraternity party. Some players love it, some hate it. But it's definitely a far cry from the hushed tone at most tournaments.
Now the late-season tournament in Scottsdale, this week's Frys.com Open at Grayhawk Country Club, is taking a page from the FBR manual.
Take a par three, mix in a bunch of fans, add beer and, voila, you get instant excitement ... maybe.
Whenever a player makes a birdie on the 174-yard par-three 16th hole at Grayhawk, beer will be sold at half price for 15 minutes at a beer truck parked near the hole, the Arizona Republic reported. A sky box and grandstands have been set up at the hole to accommodate the crowd.
"We're just trying to create an atmosphere and a venue for our general spectators so that we have an area where they can go hang out together and have fun," tournament director Scott Reid told the Republic.
Whether fueling fans with half-price beer is a good idea is open to debate, though many would argue that adding a little life to watching golf is a move in the right direction. Just as long as things don't get out of hand.
Beer isn't always involved, but as Jim Rome's rant against some golf fans points out, there can be a difference between excited fans and mindless ones.
-- Mike James
Photo: Tiger Woods celebrates his hole in one in Scottsdale in 1997. Credit: Reuters.