b'course setup than my shot-makingthough technically a gallery of ability. I was soon proven right. Likepeople was close by erecting risers Sawgrass, San Antonio, Boston,of all sizes on seemingly every and others, TPCs are first andgreen and fairway. foremost designed for professionalNo excuse our mess signs golf tournaments. Easier startingeither, and certainly, no pauses holes encourage early charges.when pounding against poles Those charges electrify thewhile the days guest, whos paid galleries, especially on Sundays.somewhere between the twilight Not that the PHX Open needs muchrate of $259 and upwards of $400, encouragement to energize theputts out. Playing on a construction crowd, which totals around 750,000site is somehow part of the thrill. for the week.Who wants to play 16 without No patrons to be found here.stands or scaffolding in sight? I An insider told me Arizona Stateknow I dont. students start pre-funking beforeThe problem for a medium hitter 5:00am in preparation for a daylike myself isnt that 403-yard first of player-specific songs, catcalls,hole or even the 442-yard second boos, and general mayhem during its that every hole after the first what he affectionately called atwo, with the exception of 17, will daylong tailgate.stretch well into the 400s.He also intimated that traditionalI and the poor guy who way back tournament goers (aka non- on the first hole issued the what the 5:00am pre-funkers) can findheck, Ill play from back here too soon the whole scene a wee unsettling.figured out that playing one 400+ hole Scottsdale is arguably home to theafter another is bloody exhausting. most golfers per capita in the U.S.We also agreed that any imperfection Trying to focus on the Sundayin our drives compounded the leaders critical putts whiledistance issue by several degrees, engulfed in a 20,000-human wavean obvious equation I know but a canwell, you get the idea. Wastedpainful reality nonetheless. management, indeed.And dont get me started about There are no throngs to watch mythe cacti. putts slide by the razor-sharp cupCacti line many of the fairways at TPCI did catch a break when it came to edges (Id forgotten about those),Scottsdale. Dont get me started.par 3s, however. I usually judge the distance I want to play by these holes, in that Ill play to 6,500-yards if I can ID GOLF employ short to medium irons on the PNW Hats & Apparel par 3s. At TPC Scottsdale, each par 3 had a sign which read, Professional Tees are Closed in Preparation for the Tournament, albeit three months away. So, faced with an average distance of 160 yards, I should have USE CODE LWYG20 TO GEThad my way with the par 3s. 20% OFF ANY ITEM But then again, who wants to be IDGOLF.COM that guy. Certainly not me.22PACIFIC NORTHWEST GOLFER| DEC 2021'