It’s that time of the year again. Time for the streets of Scottsdale to be clogged with the overflowing traffic caused by classic car auctions and a little golf event known as the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Now, if you’ve never been to the Phoenix Open, you probably don’t understand it. Sure, there’s golf being played, but it’s oh so much more than that. For an entire week, the TPC Scottsdale is taken over by golf fans and those just looking to have a good time. It’s arguably our favorite drinking event of the year, and certainly the one we look forward to when warming up from what passes as winter in Phoenix.
Here are 10 reasons you need to go to the Phoenix Open at least once. The 2016 edition of the tournament takes place from February 1 to 8, with the primary event taking place February 4 through 7.
Golf tournaments aren’t usually this fun.
If you’re not into baseball, a Diamondbacks game isn’t a great place to find yourself. The nice thing about the Phoenix Open is that it’s as much of a social event as a sporting event, so you don’t even have to like golf to go and enjoy it.
Why not pregame the Super Bowl?
All right, so the Cardinals aren’t playing that Sunday, but we know you’ll still be getting hammered and cheering for Brock Osweiler (Sun Devil pride!) to come off the bench and beat the Panthers. Think of the Open as a warmup for your liver’s duties on Super Bowl Sunday.
Everyone seems to give away tickets.
Seriously, it seems like every company and group of any size gets tickets to give away. If your job doesn’t have any, ask your friends with corporate jobs. If not, they start at $30 through the event's website
and can usually be found cheaper through other outlets.
Drinking with old people can be fun.
You’re used to pounding beers with other people around your age, but how often do you get the privilege of taking shots with folks your (grand)parents’ age? You’ll be drunk, they might be a little drunk, and you could gain a whole new worldview from a random old stranger. Then you can go back to hating them for clogging up restaurants and freeways as soon as you leave.
Maybe it’ll help you talk to your dad — or your significant other's dad.
Continuing on the old folks theme, many elderly gentlemen love golf. It’s just something in their DNA. If you see one guy hit a ball at the Phoenix Open, that’s more live golf than they’ll have expected you to see.
There are always noteworthy bands at the Birds Nest.
This year, it’s Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley, and Robin Thicke. It might not exactly be a Coachella lineup, but it’s better than we’d expect for what generally ends up feeling like a giant frat party for grownups in a warehouse.
When else can you get drunk on a golf course with thousands of other people?
Having a drink or 10 while playing golf is a perfectly acceptable part of the game. Unfortunately, that whole experience usually costs quite a bit of money — thanks to clubs, tee time, etc. — and only takes place with the people you’re playing with (and sometimes other nearby parties). The Phoenix Open basically turns one of the Valley’s finest golf courses into a raging outdoor party. The puke is way easier to wash out of the grass than a Scottsdale club’s floor.
The weather is often perfect (for social media).
At the beginning of February, Phoenix usually calls for jeans and maybe a light jacket. With the sun shining down (or sometimes a bit of rain), you can totally take photos of your outfit to make your northern friends envious of the climate. While they’re shoveling their cars out, you’re sipping a drink and wearing short sleeves.
You can pretend to be classy.
Phoenix isn’t exactly known for its high-class events, but when you tell people who don’t know about the Open that you’re going to a golf tournament, it totally seems fancy. Plus, you can wear khakis and a polo and not look like a total preppy douchebag. All that for a price that won’t break the bank.
It’s famous for its debauchery.
Over the past 10 years or so, the PGA has had to ban everything from caddie races to golfers throwing things into the crowd at the Phoenix Open. Some golfers won’t even play the event because it can get too rowdy and disrespectful (Tiger Woods just returned last year after not playing since 2001). We’re not saying you have to be part of the problem, but do you really want to say you lived in Phoenix and never took part in one of the Valley’s most infamous annual parties?
The Waste Management Phoenix Open takes place at TPC Scottsdale February 1 through 8. Tickets and more information are available on the Open's website.