Mark Twain famously said that “golf is a good walk spoiled,” and while the famed Colonial Country Club golf course can set a majestic backdrop for a leisurely stroll, should fans opt to stake out a spot, there are an abundance of options with good views and shady trees to partake the newly christened Charles Schwab Challenge.
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While not the pure insanity frat-party atmosphere that encompasses No. 16 at the Waste Management Open at TPC Scottsdale, the 13th hole at Colonial has carved out its niche as the “party hole” with suites and sky-boxes surrounding the 190-yard par-3 that is protected by water.
If you are not among those fortunate enough to secure a pass into one of the exclusive sky-boxes, there are often seating options behind the green at the base of the suites that initially involves maneuvering through the ocean of fans behind the grandstands that may remind one of a packed West 7th nightclub.
It is highly recommended to grab these coveted spots as a group of friends so that at least one or two members of the party can save the seats while the others visit the concession stands behind the suites.
No. 1 tee and 9 green
The new title sponsor Charles Schwab is not the only thing that will be new to those who annually attend Fort Worth’s PGA Tour event.
In this instance, you do not have to venture too far out on the course as there is a new raised platform/patio area located between the first tee and the ninth green.
This spot allows for views of the golfers teeing off on the opening hole in the shadows of the Wall of Champions while simultaneously being able to see the action on No. 9.
Over the years, the ninth hole has been known to see its fair share of balls splash in the water hazard in front if the green, including an 8-iron by Tiger Woods in the final round of the 1997 Colonial. Woods’ double bogey at nine was followed by a bogey at 10 as he would finish three shots off the pace of champion David Frost.
This new area also provides a view down to the No. 10 tee box if you can score a spot close to the railing on the side of No. 9 near the staircase.
No. 9 fairway
The ninth hole is a 407-yard par-4 that ranked as the second most difficult hole in last year’s tournament won by Justin Rose.
The all-important shade is a huge factor in choosing to watch players from the trees to the right of the No. 9 fairway.
This locale can provide the added excitement of keeping your eyes on the Titleists off the tee as many of the golfers will find themselves to the right of the short grass.
In breaks between groups, the 1936 Colonial Bar & Grille, relocated from its previous spot on the 10th fairway, is now mere steps away near the country club’s indoor tennis courts.
There is the added bonus of the short game practice area where fans can watch the golfers work on chipping and putting during lulls in the play.
No. 4 green and No. 5 tee
Two thirds of the vaunted “Horrible Horseshoe” can be seen from the back corner of the course that is essentially closer to the Woodshed Smokehouse than the Colonial clubhouse.
The three-hole stretch of 3-4-5 is one of Colonial’s classic calling cards and if you can find a spot between the No. 4 green and No. 5 tee, you can have views of the longest par-3 (the 247-yard No. 4) and the hardest hole on the course, the par-4 481-yard 5th that yielded 41 birdies last year against 104 bogeys and 22 double bogeys and higher.
No. 16 green
Should you chose to avoid the shenanigans of the 13th hole, a spot behind the par-3, 192-yard No. 16 green is a good alternative.
There is a ideal spot to the back left of the No. 16 green that is covered in shade and sits between a section of sky-boxes and a CBS TV tower. Be forewarned, this area tends to fill up rather quickly on sunny days.
Another benefit for fans in this area is the close proximity to the players when they exit the green for the No. 17 tee.