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The Phoenix Open

  |   Newsletter

Greetings Golfers,

Are you set for sports viewing this weekend? I don’t mean the Super Bowl – I mean the Phoenix Open.

They’re both crazy events – but the golf event might be the crazier one.

The Phoenix Open is played at the TPC in Scottsdale, and the par 3 16th hole is what put the tournament on the map.
Last year’s winner – Brooks Koepke – said “ It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Guys have explained it to me and it’s nothing like what they say. The fans make it unbelievable.”

The rumor has it that some guys from Minnesota started the shenanigans on #16. Here’s from a 2009 article in CIGAR AFICIONADO – “A group of former Arizona State students from Minnesota return every year to lead the chorus of cheers and catcalls from the stands closest to the players on the left side of the tee.”

Don’t blame me – I’m not one of them. I used to go to the Phoenix Open while I was at ASU in the ‘70s. It was held at the Phoenix Country Club and got about 10,000 fans per day. Last year’s opening day got over 118,000 fans and the total for the tournament was 563,000 fans.

Is this a golf tournament or a party? Both – but mostly a party. Is that bad? Let’s compare it to the Super Bowl – is that football or a party? Both – but mostly a party.

I’ll admit that I’m kind of a sports purist. I love the games – the athletic skill, but especially the strategy involved … chess on a playing field. But there’s no market for that – not really. Is that a shame?… no – it’s just a game. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that.


Tom Abts
GM and Head Golf Professional