It’s #THEPEOPLESOPEN week at the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course January 29-February 4. Why the special hashtag? Because this PGA stop boasts the largest attendance on tour and it is an audience participation event, especially on the 16th hole. While this is probably the most famous hole on tour, other spots draw sponsorship and crowds. To understand the scope and magnitude of the mass, consider 207,000 fans attending last year on Saturday alone.
On media day this year, January 18th, tents were erected throughout the course and the Bay Club on 17 looked like a stylish permanent building. The enclosed super stadium 16 was almost complete but workers were putting the finishing touches on as we lucky golfers played through. Last year we both made birdies. This year, as our final hole in a shamble format we had no chance of coming close to a prize. We all took no count mulligans and still didn’t hit the green, leaving the workers shaking their heads. Imagine the shame if the gallery were full. Of course we would have had fantastic prizes to throw up to the stands but that would not have made a difference. We would have been booed with a deafening decibel level just like the pros.
That’s ok, it was a 75 degree sunny day with green lovebirds singing their peach colored faces off on the teebox of number 5, drawing attention to the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. A few guests were lounging at the pool. If you come for the Waste Management Phoenix Open where there is #zerowaste, and you are lucky enough to secure lodging at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, you will enjoy comfy rooms with rich amenities, superb cuisine, mixology and one of the best spas in the country, Willow Stream. Let the Havasupai Falls pulsate on your shoulders. Lounge beside their rooftop pool and lunch in your robe in between treatments and golf. There is no greater luxurious indulgence.
Back in the 90s the 18th hole was the spot for corporate tents of people who had no idea about the game but loved the food, drinks and sunny lakeside party spot. When golf was over for the day, the die-hard partiers continued on to the Bird’s Nest for more carousing and dancing to Duck’s Soup, the rock and roll band that journeyed every January from Texas. The Bird’s Nest has evolved to a larger nightclub where tickets are sold out to hear more famous bands. This year’s headliners are Flo Rida, Florida Georgia Line and One Republic plus more. And this year anywhere you walk or watch will be the place to be because it is after all #thepeoplesopen.