Every year, the “greatest show on grass” takes place in Scottsdale, AZ at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Although the sponsors of the Open have changed through the years changing the name along with it, you will still hear it referred to as the Phoenix Open. I’m guessing this is partially because humans are creatures of habit and a little forgotten fact: the Open began by being held at the Phoenix Country Club. It changed to its current location, The TPC Scottsdale, in 1987.
As background, the tournament benefits The Phoenix Thunderbirds – one of Arizona’s most prominent charities that raises money for charity. The tournament helps to generate millions of dollars in donations to the area’s most deserving organizations annually. One charity that The Thunderbirds help is Homeward Bound, a transitional housing program that helps to create pathways out of poverty for homeless families ready to make a change. Oftentimes, their families have fled domestic violence or have just had a rough go of it and found themselves homeless. I try to volunteer here usually around Thanksgiving helping hand out turkey boxes so their families can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner. Last year we had so much help that we wound up organizing the food pantry and closet as well.
In any event, last year The Thunderbirds raised over $9 million that they donated to charities within Arizona. Talk about making a difference in your community!
Though it technically started February 1st this year, the part that the Open is known for really gets going today. Over the years the tournament has become known for the party that takes place at the 16th hole. Here’s an interesting article on Golf.com on how it became the biggest party in golf. And, as the article points out, the 16th hole is definitely a party. Lots of people, lots of noise, lots of drinking. It’s not your proper Pebble Beach golf tourney, that’s for sure. Additionally, it’s the first round of the Open. The few days that the Open was going on earlier this week were mostly the Pro-Ams and Practice Rounds.
There are also other events that go hand in hand with the Open, like the Birds Nest. The Birds Nest is awesome because there’s a different performance each night of the Open and lots of people who’ve been at the Open all day hit up the Birds Nest afterwords. This makes for great people watching if you didn’t go to the Open during the day but show up for Birds Nest. A few years back (I forget which year, but I do know the Packers were in the SuperBowl) we went to watch Slightly Stoopid at the Birds Nest and this guy was so drunk that he thought my husband was Aaron Rodgers- the QB for the Packers. He literally didn’t believe my husband when he said he wasn’t so my husband finally went along with it and told him he couldn’t tell anyone because he had to fly out shortly to get to the SuperBowl, ha. If I remember correctly, the guy even insisted my husband sign his hat. Drunk dude, if you ever read this, sorry about that.
This year, on Saturday, spectators are encourage to wear all green to support the eco-friendly efforts that the Open has incorporated into the event. Since it’s technically the beginning of the PGA Tour, lots of great golfers participate and some even look forward to the chaos that is the Phoenix Open. (My favorite has always been Phil Mickelson- go Phil!) Whether you go to the 16th hole or not is up to you but it’s always a fun time nonetheless. Have you been or are you planning to go this year?
The calendar of events for the Open the remainder of this week are:
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4
7:30 a.m. — Waste Management Phoenix Open 1st round
3:30 p.m. — Coors Light Birds Nest entertainment tent opens (Dierks Bentley performing)
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5
7:30 a.m. — Waste Management Phoenix Open 2nd round
3:30 p.m. — Coors Light Birds Nest entertainment tent opens (Robin Thicke performing)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6
9:00 a.m. — Waste Management Phoenix Open 3rd round
3:30 p.m. — Coors Light Birds Nest entertainment tent opens (Tiesto performing)
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7
9:00 am — Waste Management Phoenix Open 4th round
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8
9:00 am — Post Open Pro-Am, TPC Stadium Course
$30 Thursday | $40 Friday, Saturday, Sunday