The Waste Management Phoenix Open is a PGA Tour golf tournament held in Scottsdale, Arizona. Action kicks off on Saturday, February 5th with the “Concert in the Coliseum” featuring top country artists Thomas Rhett and Old Dominion.
Tournament plays begins on Thursday, February 10th and finishes on Sunday, February 13.
Complete with the most popular hole among many golf fans, “The Coliseum” is an enclosed par-3 where fans get up close and personal with the players. The hole is a perfect representation of the tournament—elite golf, elite entertainment. For further evidence of this, check out #ThePeoplesOpen on Twitter.
What is the Phoenix Open?
Known for its unruly crowds, the Phoenix Open is one of the fastest growing professional golf tournaments in terms of popularity and notoriety. Golf fans of all ages flock to Phoenix each winter in mass numbers to let loose and enjoy professional golf by the way of the common man.
At the Phoenix Open, you don’t need to act the way you would at Augusta. Instead, the environment is closer to a scramble where each player has had a few drinks.
Now let’s not mistake what growing popularity means here. The Waste Management Phoenix Open baseline is high and regularly pulls some of the largest crowds on the PGA Tour. Add to the fact it’s played in the middle of winter when people’s minds are more focused on clearing their driveways of snow than golf and those numbers get even more remarkable.
The Waste Management Open is a party—and a much needed one to hook more young fans and non-golfing fans. There’s chug-offs, BDR chants for fan-favorite Rickie Fowler (look it up), and an unmatched atmosphere—much of which is NSFW.
The Phoenix Open is not just fun and games. Contributions from the tournament are donated to local charities such as the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, First Tee of Phoenix, Special Olympics
Arizona, Homeward Bound, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Save the Family, Ability 360 and
Child Crisis Arizona. The tournament raises more than $10 million each year and has generated over $160 million in its history.
Taking first place is also worth a pretty penny to the top Tour player. The winner goes home with $1.35 million and overall purse is $7.5 million.
What Course is the Phoenix Open Played On?
The Waste Management Phoenix Open is played at TPC Scottsdale. While TPC Scottsdale is a 36-hole facility, the tournament is always played on the Stadium Course. PGA players will play the course at Par 71 and around 7200 yards.
On the whole, distance isn’t much of a concern for PGA level players at TPC Scottsdale. However, well placed fairway bunkers and rough that quickly turns to desert keeps everyone honest.
Fans like birdies, pros like birdies. We also like eagles. Par 5’s play easy at TPC Scottsdale with the most birdies and eagles coming on these three in 2021. Hole 13 was good for 201 birdies and 15 eagles. The 3rd hole gave us 185 birdies and 4 eagles. The most difficult par 5, if you can even call it that, hole 15, had 179 birdies and 10 eagles.
A bit surprising to some considering the location, water also comes into play on several holes.
- Water is directly in play off 11 tee and the shot into the green. Anything left of the fairway means pulling a ball from your bag. This hole had the highest average score to par last year (+.24 strokes) including 16 double bogeys.
- The par 3, 12th hole has water horseshoeing around the back of the green making right-side pins a nightmare.
- Hole 15 is similar to hole 11, though this time as a par 5. Two good shots give you a green under regulation, but it’s not without danger. The green is an island and missing by even a bit leaves a tough up and down for par.
- Hole 17 is a drivable par 4 and the definition of high risk, high reward. There are sand traps short left, right, and middle. Add water left of the green and long and a good tee shot picks up a stroke on the field, but an errant one will cost you one.
- What’s a closing hole without a little water? Safe play from the tee is hitting the ball to the middle of the fairway casually over the hazard and leaving yourself a 150-170 shot into the green. If you’re in need of a birdie, you might try to take a shortcut over water and sand traps requiring a carry of 300+. Guys like Bryson will clear it no problem. Others not so much.
The final four holes almost always make for a great finish with a few birdie-able holes that demand distance control and accuracy. We talked about 15, 17, and 18 due to water hazards and hole 16 is of course The Coliseum. Hole 16 requires confidence and unwavering nerves. Holes 17 and 18 are the reward for a golfer feeding off the adrenaline of 16.
Where to Watch for Spectators
It’s the Phoenix Open. The best place to watch here, and maybe anywhere in golf, is hole 16, The Coliseum. 16,000 rowdy spectators. The only fully enclosed hole on the PGA Tour. Pure insanity. After all, the nickname “The Greatest Show on Grass” came from somewhere.
Another great spot to watch is by 11 green. There is ample room to sit to the right and behind the green, with a nice hill making it so people beyond the first row can see.
The 18th hole has suites and grandstands down the left and open grassy areas down the right. As the days goes on, you’re going to want to get there early. Even though there’s a lot of open space, it fills up quick.
Don’t overlook the first hole. Hanging by the tee lets you hear introductions and be part of players opening shots and the madness that is the Waste Management Open. It’s a pretty basic par 4, so being by the green means you’ll see some shots get close to the pin as well.
Where is the Phoenix Open Tournament Held?
The Greatest Show on Grass is played in Scottsdale, AZ on the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale.
How Much Does it Cost to Attend the Phoenix Open?
It costs $50 a single, general admission ticket on Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday. The same ticket will cost you $75 on Friday or Saturday. If you plan on bringing children, admission is free for those under 15.
Getting into most grandstands and boxes requires non-general admission tickets. While most boxes are booked up by corporate sponsors, some tickets can be bought by the public. These tickets come as packages and will get you into the tournament each day and cost $1,000 or more per person.
You’ll be happy to know that public parking is free, as are the shuttles that take you in from farther lots. However. Keep in mind it’s near impossible to spend the day at a golf tournament without buying food, water, or some other beverage so be sure to bring some spending money.
How to Get Tickets to the Phoenix Open
Tickets for the Phoenix Open can be purchased on the tournament website or on Ticketmaster. This page provides information on tickets to the PGA event, concerts, and pro-am tournaments all happening at the Phoenix Open.
How to Watch the Phoenix Open
Cable coverage of the Phoenix Open is on the Golf Channel and CBS. Thursday and Friday will be entirely on the Golf Channel. Saturday and Sunday will begin on the Golf Channel and finish on CBS.
Streaming golf coverage for the 2022 season has never been easier. PGA Tour Live will carry all PGA tournaments beginning in January 2022 and is available through an ESPN+ subscription.
Phoenix Open History
The Phoenix Open first ran from 1932 to 1935. It was kickstarted again in 1939 in large part due to the efforts of Thunderbirds, an organization dedicated to developing commerce in the area. The tournament bounced around a few different locations until 1987 when it settled in at TPC Scottsdale.
At its roots, The Phoenix Open was an event to add to the local economy. The Greatest Show on Grass has grown exponentially since as one of the most well attended PGA events year-in and year-out. In 1987 about 250,000 people attended the tournament. By 2018, that number grew to more than 700,000 total. The tournament also gets a bump in attendance and recklessness from nearby Arizona State University, a school of more than 50,000.
Some come for the golf. Others for the environment. But for most, it’s a week-long party that happens to have a pro golf tournament. Waste Management Open’s always have excitement. The pinnacle of this has to be watching darts get thrown at the 16th pin. There’s been nine hole-in-ones at The Coliseum since the tournament began nearly 25 years ago. They were all pretty chaotic, but none more than Tiger’s in 1997.
The tournament has been won three times each by Arnold Palmer, Gene Litter, Mark Calcavecchia, and Arizona State alum Phil Mickelson. Palmer won each of three titles consecutively. Eleven golfers won the tournament twice, with Ben Hogan, Jimmy Demaret, Johnny Miller, and Hideki Matsuyama winning their two titles consecutively.
2021 Phoenix Open Winner
Brooks Koepka won his second (2015) Phoenix Open in 2021 at -19 thanks to a final round 65. He sealed the deal by finishing his last six holes at -5 including chipping in from 30 yards for eagle on 17. Tied at second were Kyoung-Hoon Lee and Tommy Fleetwood, who led through 54 holes at -18.
The round of the tournament belonged to Jordan Spieth who shot 61 on Saturday with 10 birdies and no bogeys.
2021 Money List
1. Brooks Koepka—$1,314,000
T-2. Kyoung-Hoon Lee—$649,700
T-2. Tommy Fleetwood—$649,700
T-4. Carlos Ortiz—$307,208.34
T-4. Jordan Spieth—$307,208.33
T-4. Steve Stricker—$307,208.33
2020 Phoenix Open Winner
Tony Finau came into the final round of the 2020 Phoenix Open with a one-shot lead over Webb Simpson. The two played their final round together, and then one extra.
Finau was in control with a two-shot lead on the 17th tee. He didn’t lose, Simpson won. He made birdie on 17 and 18, and again on 18 during the sudden death playoff. You all know the #ThePeoplesOpen on a normal Sunday, but a playoff Sunday is like none other. The 2020 playoff at the Phoenix Open is yet another reminder why people call it the Greatest Show on Grass.
We had three hole-in-ones in 2020, yet none on 16. J.B. Holmes aced the 4th hole, Scott Piercy the 7th, and eventual champion Webb Simpson the 12th.
2020 Money List
1. Webb Simpson—$1.314,000
2. Tony Finau—$795,700
T-3. Nick Lashey—$386,900
T-3. Justin Thomas—$386,900
T-3. Bubba Watson—$386,900
2019 Phoenix Open Winner
The 2019 Phoenix Open winner was none other than Rickie Fowler. Fowler survived a final round 74 with no player coming within two shots of him. Winning #ThePeoplesOpen was something Fowler nearly achieved in 2016 before losing to Hideki Matsuyama in a playoff.
2019 Money List
1. Rickie Fowler—$1,278,000
2. Branden Grace—$766,800
3. Justin Thomas—$482,800
T-4. Chez Reavie—$293,467
T-4. Bubba Watson—$293,467
T-4. Matt Kuchar—$293,467