Known as the "Greatest Show on Grass," the Waste Management Phoenix Open draws nearly 500,000 enthusiastic spectators every year. Vastly larger and entirely different than any other PGA tournament, this event comprises a long weekend of spectator-focused revelry, along with world-class golf on one of the country's toughest tracks, the Stadium Course. On the first day led by Phil Mickelson with a 3-point lead at 10-under, PGA stars are vying for a $6,200,000 purse.
The infamous16th hole––“The Coliseum” ––is by far the loudest hole in golf, surrounded by an amphitheater of 20,000 screaming fans who fill up the blue skies of Arizona with an avalanche of sound when each player emerges from a tunnel onto the tee(beer cans have been known to fly when birdies happen. In 1997, Tiger's hole-in-one on the 16th produced a blizzard of bottles and cans that covered the green.)
The $6 million tournament benefits The Phoenix Thunderbirds – one of the region’s most prominent charities – and helps to generate millions of dollars in donations to the area’s most deserving organizations annually.
Avid golfers flock to Phoenix after the Open for the chance to play TPC Scottsdale while course conditions are PGA-caliber sizzling fast and perfect. Through March, the TPC offers guests up to 5 days to play both the Stadium Course for $199 per person including forecaddie, and the Champions Course for an additional $55 per person (a savings of more than $84).
Headquarters for PGA players and fans, adjacent to the TPC, the 5-diamond-rated Fairmont Scottsdale Princess recently launched a new Well Being at Willow Stream program in their spectacular spa. Also recently opened is the new 53,000-square-foot Palomino Ballroom and Conference Center, which makes the resort the largest meetings hotel in the Fairmont portfolio worldwide. With over 150,000 square feet of total event space, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is the premiere event and meetings destination of the Southwest.
Founder/editor of BestGolfResortsofTheWorld.com, Karen Misuraca is a travel and golf writer from the California Wine Country. She blogs golf travel and writes about Deep Culture Travel. Check out Karen's new iPhone app, California Coast North.