The Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by the Ak-Chin Indian Community is the Place to be in Early February
The 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community returns to Scottsdale February 1-7 for a week of fun-filled excitement and outstanding athletic competition. Each year, more than 500,000 people converge on the Valley of the Sun from all over the globe to see the PGA TOUR’s best tee it up at TPC Scottsdale for their share of the $6.3 million purse. And while the winner’s cut will be hefty, it pales in comparison to the extraordinary charitable contributions of The Thunderbirds. As the host, The Thunderbirds donated a record-breaking $9 million dollars just last year alone, and an amazing $102 million since the first tournament in 1932.
Each year, The Thunderbirds strive to improve the tournament in new and exciting ways. Last year, the civic organization added the 16th hole loge suites to an already expansive construction project, giving patrons who ponied up a pretty penny an upgraded 20-foot by 20-foot loge overlooking the action on 16, as well as Hole 15’s island green. This year, the Corporate Village tents will be removed to make way for the Bay Club, an upscale, luxury hospitality venue that will feature formal wait staffs, an upscale lounge area and furnishings that resemble a five-star resort. Overlooking the 17th fairway and green, the Bay Club offers fantastic views of this drivable par 4, along with a viewing area to catch the action on hole 10. Bay Club guests also have access to the popular Greenskeeper venue.
The Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament will be played Thursday-Sunday (Feb. 4-7), but there will still be plenty of things to see and do at TPC Scottsdale all week long. Thanks to Ford, the official car sponsor of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, all fans get in free for practice rounds and the Coors Light Pro-Am on Monday, Feb 1. Free admission continues through Tuesday.
Tuesday, Feb. 2 will feature the R.S. Hoyt Jr. Family Foundation Dream Day activities located across the street at TPC Scottsdale’s Champions Course practice range. The festivities include a junior clinic sponsored by PING, motivational speeches from PGA TOUR professionals and a trick-shot golf show. Additionally, the Outfront Media Special Olympics Open will take place on Tuesday at TPC Scottsdale’s putting green, showcasing Special Olympian athletes, celebrities, sports stars and business leaders from the community.
Wednesday Feb. 3 brings the ever-popular Annexus Pro-Am to TPC Scottsdale where fans can catch a glimpse of celebrities, rock stars, professional athletes, coaches and community leaders playing with the TOUR pros. Fans are encouraged to stick around at the 16th hole for the Phoenix Suns Charities Shot at Glory. Past contestants of this unique closest-to-the-pin contest include Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, country music star, Dierks Bentley, 13-time MLB All-Star Ken Griffey Jr., Ohio State University head football coach, Urban Meyer, and rock star Alice Cooper.
Last year former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow took home the winning honors. The Thunderbirds award more than $100,000 to the charities chosen by each competitor, plus, if a participant makes a hole-in-one, $500,000 will be given to the participant with an additional $500,000 to a charity of their choice. If no one is so lucky, $40,000 will be donated to the charity of the winning participant’s choice, $25,000 to the second-place finisher and $15,000 to the third-place finisher.
Wednesday is also the first night of the Coors Light Birds Nest, a four-night music extravaganza located inside an enormous tent across the street from the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The Birds Nest, with its great music, beautiful patrons and enthusiastic partying, has earned near legendary status on the PGA TOUR offering a show totally unlike anything associated with professional golf. Wednesday kicks off with country music powerhouse, Rascal Flatts. The modern-country group from Ohio is the most decorated country group of the past decade with 15 No. 1 singles including “These Days,” “Bless the Broken Road,” and “What Hurts the Most.”
Thursday, Feb. 4 is the first round of tournament play followed by a performance from Phoenix native Dierks Bentley at the Birds Nest. Bentley first gained frame from his self-titled debut album in 2003 with the album’s single, “What Was I Thinkin’?” topping the country charts. His 2005 album, Modern Day Drifter, was also certified platinum, and the same year, Bentley became the youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Second round action continues on Friday, with the Birds Nest marquee featuring singer/songwriter Robin Thicke, known for his sixth studio album Blurred Lines, which took the pop charts by storm in 2013.
On Saturday, February 6, the tournament invites everyone to participate in the sixth annual GREEN OUT. Players and fans are encouraged to wear green to showcase their support for the environment, the community and all that Waste Management is doing to solidify the tournaments status as not only the greenest event on the PGA TOUR, but also the most charitable. For every person who wears green on Saturday, The Thunderbirds will donate “green” to three charities including Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s “Change the Course,” Arizona Recycling Coalition and the Arizona Chapter of Solid Waste Association of North America (AZ SWANA).After the round, Dutch DJ Tiësto will bring his GRAMMY-award-winning performance to the Coors Light Birds nest for the final performance of the tournament.
With the conclusion of the final round on Super Bowl Sunday, a new champion will be crowned when he hoists the Crystal Thunderbird Trophy on the 18th green, but the Waste Management Phoenix Open doesn’t quite end with the final putt. The Post Open Pro-Am will be held the Monday following Sunday’s round offering players one final chance to live out their PGA TOUR fantasies.
Whether you’re a golf fanatic, prolific partier or concert connoisseur, the Waste Management Phoenix Open has something for everyone and is definitely the place to be in early February.