Crowds of over 500,000 people attend the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona. More people flock to this golf tournament than any other golf tournament in the world. For the PGA the Open is the big event that really kicks off the golf season. For spectators, it is a chance to enjoy watching the greatest golfers in the world compete on a very challenging golf course.
Scottsdale, Arizona has been hosting the Tournament since the Stadium Course was completed in 1986. The Tournament once was called the FBR Open after the investment banking, brokerage and asset management company Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, Inc. The sponsor’s name caused confusion for golf enthusiasts and the Phoenix Open name was returned to the event. Today, the event is known by the current sponsor’s name as The Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Scottsdale is approximately a 30 minute ride from Phoenix. Like most of Arizona, it is located in the desert. The area has great year-round weather and is home to 174 public and private golf courses. Known as one of the world’s greatest golf destinations, Scottsdale is also home to many of the professional golfers that play on the PGA Tour. Phil Mickelson is probably the most famous golfer to have a home in Scottsdale. Also calling Scottsdale home is well known pros Billy Mayfair, Kirk Triplett, Tom Lehman, Hale Irwin and Gary McCord.
Scottsdale is also home to 11 acclaimed golf training schools. Both professionals and amateurs come from all over the country for a chance to improve their golf games with some of the best teachers in the sport.
The Waste Management Phoenix Open is a great spectator event. One thing that really differentiates this tournament from other golf tournaments is the crowd. They are encouraged to cheer enthusiastically for their favorite players. The usually subdued golf audience screams and shouts, really letting the players know that they appreciate a good shot.
Every year, the Phoenix Open raises millions of dollars for charity. Phil Mickelson started Birdies for the Brave which supports the men and women of the US Armed Forces and their families. Other worthy charities include the Make a Wish Foundation that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions and The First Tee which encourage youth development through golf.