The Waste Management Phoenix OpenPosted: Updated:
One of Arizona’s most anticipated event of the year has a storied history dating back to 1932.
The Phoenix Open got off to a stuttering start. It was actually canceled after the 1935 tournament because there was no support for it.
But, much like the Phoenix rising from the ashes that is the symbol of the City of Phoenix, the tournament made an amazing comeback and has enjoyed incredible growth since Bob Goldwater Sr. encouraged The Thunderbirds resurrected it in 1939.
Goldwater, known as the “Father of The Phoenix Open,” was one of the earliest members of the group, which got its start in 1937 as a special events committee “when the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce expanded its role as a convention and tourism bureau.”
The Phoenix Open, officially dubbed “The Greatest Show on Grass” and known on social media as #thepeoplesopen, is one of the organization’s best-known and longest-running events.
With one exception caused by wartime travel restrictions in 1943, the tournament has been played every year, and The Thunderbirds have been part of each one.
“Synonymous with The Thunderbirds is the Waste Management Phoenix Open, possibly the finest sporting event in Arizona,” according to WMPhoenixOpen.com. “Every January, the Waste Management Phoenix Open attracts the largest sporting event crowds in the world and is recognized as one of the finest golf events on the PGA TOUR.”
The tournament was first played at Phoenix Country Club and later at Arizona Country Club, but has called TPC Scottsdale home since 1987.
While the name of the tournament has changed several times over the years, the spirit of sportsmanship and entertainment has remained constant.
- The Western Open
- The Arizona Open
- The Ben Hogan Invitational
- The Phoenix Open
- The FBR Open
- Today: The Waste Management Phoenix Open
The players who have been part of the tournament is a like a "Who's Who of Golf," and 14 have won more than once.
- Arnold Palmer (1961, 1962, 1963)
- Gene Littler (1955, 1959, 1969)
- Mark Calcavecchia (1989, 1992, 2001)
- Phil Mickelson (1996, 2005, 2013)
- Byron Nelson (1939, 1945)
- Ben Hogan (1946, 1947)
- Jimmy Demaret (1949, 1950)
- Lloyd Mangrum (1952, 1953)
- Johnny Miller (1974, 1975)
- Miller Barber (1971, 1978)
- Bob Gilder (1976, 1983)
- Vijay Singh (1995, 2003)
- J. B. Holmes (2006, 2008)
- Hideki Matsuyama (2016, 2017)
Last year, the weeklong event set an attendance record -- 655,434 people, and there were three record-setting days -- Wednesday (77,906), Friday (169,004) and Saturday (204,906).
2018 tournament schedule
Monday, Jan. 29
- 9:30 a.m. — Kadima.Ventures Pro-Am, TPC Stadium Course
Tuesday, Jan. 30
- 10 a.m. — R.S. Hoyt Jr. Family Foundation Dream Day Activities
- Motivational Speeches by PGA TOUR Professionals
- Trick Shot Show
- Junior Golf Clinic Presented by PING
- Located on the TPC Champions Course Practice Range
- 11 a.m. — San Tan Ford Special Olympics Open
Wednesday, Jan. 31
- 8:30 a.m. — Annexus Pro-Am, TPC Stadium Course
- 3:30 p.m. — Phoenix Suns Charities Shot at Glory, TPC Scottsdale 16th hole
Thursday, Feb. 1
- 7:30 a.m. — Waste Management Phoenix Open 1st round
Friday, Feb. 2
- 7:30 a.m. — Waste Management Phoenix Open 2nd round
Saturday, Feb. 3
- 9 a.m. — Waste Management Phoenix Open 3rd round
- All Day -- Green out! Everybody is encouraged to wear green to support the green/eco-sensitive efforts of the tournament
Sunday, Feb. 4
- 9 a.m. — Waste Management Phoenix Open 4th round
General admission tickets are free on Monday and Tuesday thanks to Ford Free Days, $40 Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and $50 on Friday and Saturday.
"The Waste Management Phoenix Open is never sold out and tickets will be available at the gate during tournament week," according to WMPhoenixOpen.com.
If you can’t make it out to the TPC Scottsdale, you can catch Thursday and Friday’s action on Golf Channel and Saturday and Sundays play on CBS 5.
It's not just about the golf
Another favorite component of The Waste Management Phoenix Open presented by the Ak-Chin Indian Community is the Coors Light Birds Nest entertainment, which opens at 3:30 each afternoon Wednesday-Saturday. Concerts start at 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, Jan. 31 – Flo Rida featuring Kelley James
- Thursday, Feb. 1 – Florida Georgia Line featuring Chris Lane (sold out)
- Friday, Feb. 2 – OneRepublic and Natty Rico
- Saturday, Feb. 3 -- Nelly and Zedd
The Coors Light Birds Nest is a 21-and-older venue.
TPC Scottsdale, the sixth club in the TPC network, is located at 17020 N. Hayden Road. There is free public parking in Lot H at Loop 101 and Hayden Road and Lot W at West World (94th Street and Bell Road) with shuttles running to the tournament gates.
Shuttles from Lot H run Monday-Tuesday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m., and Sunday, 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Shuttles from Lot W run Wednesday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sunday, 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
[DOWNLOAD and PRINT: Official parking map]
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