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Golf's Most Exciting (and Loudest) Hole--WMO's #16. A Fan's Review

Yahoo Contributor Network

TPC Scottsdale's 16th hole on the Stadium Course isn't the longest part three on the PGA Tour. Nor is it the shortest, or the easiest or even the hardest. But ask just about any pro and they'll tell you it's one of the favorite holes they'll play all year.

Every year during the Waste Management Open, the 16th hole is transformed from a ho-hum, 162-yard par-3 into golf's version of the coliseum. Bleacher seats and skyboxes ring the entire hole. Tens of thousands of fans literally surround the pros on all sides, making this hole the loudest and arguably the most unique experience on Tour.

"16 is always fun, you just want to give them what they've been waiting for. You just want to hit a decent shot," says Tour veteran Geoff Ogilvy.

During this year's WMO, young guns Ben Crane and Rickie Fowler sung number 16's praises via Twitter.

"The 16th @WMPhoenixOpen is a highlight every yr. Props to all 175k fans who brought the energy today. I think it's great for the @pgatour," tweeted Crane.

Fowler echoed Cranes thought after a birdie on 16 during his Saturday round. He tweeted, "The birdie on 16 made my day...the crowd is awesome...need a low one tomorrow for a good finish...it's out there!"

In the last 25 years, TPC Scottsdale's 16th hole has recorded 8 hole-in-ones. Most notably, Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker aced it back in '97. According to the PGA Tour, since 1987 10,394 pro golfers have teed it up on number 16, but just 8 of those tee balls have found the bottom of the cup in one stroke. That means it's taken 1,299 tee shots to record each of those hole-in-ones.

With thousands of fans surrounding the hole, many players feel more than just the Arizona desert heat, but some relish the time in the sun on number 16. This year, Keegan Bradley tipped his cap to his favorite football team and Super Bowl contender, the New England Patriots, by putting on one of their jerseys while playing 16.

Even more entertaining, however, an impromptu concert given out by new-schoolers Ben Crane and Bubba Watson. The pair, as well as Fowler and Hunter Mahan, are part of a self-titled golf boy band dubbed the "Golf Boys", and Saturday this broke out a microphone, a helmet, and a live version of their (semi) famous rap. See it here.

Some are now wondering what antics could possibly transpire on number 16 during next year's Waste Management Open.

Kent Lister is a journalist working in the Midwest. He's covered a number of PGA Tour events over the years, and has spent the better part of his life playing competitive golf. From junior tournaments all the way up to NCAA tournaments, and while organized golf has come to an end for Lister, he continues spending a disproportionately large amount of time perfecting his game. Follow him on twitter @listerkent for a complete rundown of all his previews.

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