Last week, Phil Mickelson’s victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open not only saw him move back into the World’s Top Ten, but also saw golfers play what has become known as ‘the loudest hole in golf’.

The par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale is almost cavernous, surrounded by tall grandstands that allow over 20,000 fans to clamour around the hole and watch proceedings and to liven up things a little further, players and caddies got in on the act.

Not content with peppering the pin looking for an elusive hole-in-one, Irish golfer Padraig Harrington celebrated Superbowl Sunday by kicking an American football into the crowd from the tee box.

However, undoubtedly the highlight of the day for the fans, and perhaps players participating, was the caddy races.

 

 

As has become tradition, caddies strap the clubs of their player on the back and as soon as the final tee shot is made, they race towards the green in friendly rivalry, to the cheers of the packed stands.

Sunday’s events were made all the more memorable when Robert Garrigus’ caddy Brent Henley performed arguably the least acrobatic, but most amusing, somersault when he stumbled as he raced towards the green (apologies for the poor quality of the video).

 

 

This video has however caused some debate about whether it is right, proper and ‘within the spirit’ of golf to indulge in such on course antics while a competition is in full swing.

Some observers point out that it is merely a bit of fun and, as Golf Digest blogger Dave Shedloski stated:

“Hey we’re for just about anything that brings more paying customers to golf, so we have no problem with caddies adding to the festivities with wind sprints.”

 

However he did add a cautionary note.

“But that spill Brent Henley took could have resulted in a serious injury or damage to the clubs belonging to Robert Garrigus…Perhaps next year the loopers should at least put down the clubs before leaving the starting blocks.”

Karen Crouse of the New York Times however was far less complimentary in her piece entitled “At This Hole Golf Captures the Spirit of a Keg Party” she stated that the events on Saturday were typical of “another tournament round at the Phoenix Open, a PGA Tour stop that decorum routinely skips.”

Crouse view that the 16th at Scottsdale “has five bunkers, but the real hazard takes the form of five rows of bleachers replete with beer vendors and organised agitators and 177 skyboxes from which it occasionally rains gin and tonics.” Is not unique; Jeff Maggert complained “some of the things that are said are pretty crude. You expect that at an NFL game, not a golf tournament.”

The video below shows you some of the more ‘memorable’ events that have occurred at the hole over the years. What do you think?

 

 

While the comments above are certainly valid, there is certainly a split in how people view the 16th.

For some, it is merely good natured fun, a chance for golfers to unwind at one of the most intimidating holes in golf and for their unsung caddies to get a little of the limelight. Even unwittingly as Brent Henley found out.

For others, the lack of respect and decorum clearly evident at the 16th is exacerbated by the antics of caddies and players who indulge in a little non-sanctioned tournament activity. For traditionalists, it may stick in the craw.

 

Whatever your view, you cannot argue that events like these help liven up an early season tournament and provides you with something to talk about, look at and enjoy. Not every golf fan is enamoured of watching four rounds of competitive stroke play every weekend. Some of us enjoy seeing golfers indulge in a little of this:

 

 

Some of us love the game for the fact that at times, it is different, it is non-conformist and also, unintentionally hilarious.

And finally, let’s not forget that the 16th is a stadium like hole. Keegan Bradley stated that it “reminds me of when I go to Fenway Park.” And for golfers that is a unique sensation, which makes moments such as this one by Tiger Woods, that extra bit more special.

 

 

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Comments

If you enjoyed this post please leave us your comment below

http://gasperlazzara.com/philanthropy/ February 13, 2013

Hilarious post! Thanks for sharing…not sure how I missed this one.

-Gasper

1

h2o-boy February 14, 2013

Ha! How could anyone not enjoy watching the caddy races? Some of those guys were really moving. The highlight for me was the Henley brothers and I hope to see more of it next year as well.

2

Troy Vayanos February 16, 2013

I think it’s okay as long as it’s only at one event each year and it doesn’t get overdone.

It’s light hearted and gets people through the gates to the golf event which is what we all want.

3

Tommy Priest February 25, 2013

Thank you! Let your freinds know too. 🙂

4

Tommy Priest February 25, 2013

🙂 Thanks.

5

Tommy Priest February 25, 2013

All in good fun.

6

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