Getty Images/Scott Halleran
The Greatest Show on Grass returns as the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open kicks off this week, January 30 before wrapping up on February 3. The tournament is hosted by the TPC Scottsdale at the famously raucous Stadium Course, designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish. Competing at this unique event will be a packed field including defending champion Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Gary Woodland, and Jon Rahm.
The inaugural Phoenix Open was held at the Phoenix Country Club in 1932, though the tournament would fold in 1935 in the face of the worsening Great Depression. After a 4 year hiatus, the Thunderbirds civic group, an influential group limited to only 55 active Phoenix-area members at a time, stepped in to relaunch the tournament in 1939 as a way to raise money for charity. The tournament remains a valuable tool for charity by donating millions of dollars to the Special Olympics and area Boys and Girls Clubs. The Phoenix Open moved to its current home in 1987 and slowly became known for its huge attendance. The fan friendly layout features stadium seating and ample vantages for spectators to watch their favorite golfers, and routinely sees attendances of between 150,000-200,000 daily. The signature hole is the par-3 16th known as the “Coliseum”. The hole is surrounded on 3 sides by stands that hold over 20,000 fans, mostly college students, who are known to cheer great shots while booing mishits. It is routinely called the loudest (and drunkest) hole in golf.
The tournament has had many notable winners, including Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Mark Calcavecchia, Phil Mickelson, and Brooks Koepka. Mickelson and Calcavecchia share a number of records, including lowest scores at -28, and lowest single round scores at -11 which is also shared with Grant Waite. The tournament was also the site of the PGA Tour’s first ace on a par-4 when Andrew Magee hit a hole in one on the 332 yard 17th hole in 2001.
The Coliseum. photo courtesy the Waste Management Phoenix Open
There are many options available for fans looking to catch all the action in person at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. General Admission tickets are $45 for Wednesday’s practice rounds, as well as Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday GA tickets are $60. A Weekly Sponsor Package including 4 Sponsor badges for the whole week and 1 reserved parking pass can be had for $450. General Admission tickets provide access to the grounds and all public hospitality venues. Upgraded options are abundant and run from several hundred to several thousand dollars per ticket and range from upgraded shared hospitality venues to private all-inclusive skyboxes. In addition, youth 15 and under are free when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult and all First Responders and Active, Reserve, and Retired Military get free admission with one accompanying individual.
Television coverage of all 4 rounds is provided by the Golf Channel and CBS. Coverage begins Thursday and Friday, 3-7pm ET, on the Golf Channel. Saturday and Sunday coverage begins on the Golf Channel 1-2:45pm ET before finishing on CBS from 3-6pm ET. Streaming coverage of featured holes and groups can be streamed on PGA Tour Live through NBC Sports Gold. Radio commentary is provided by PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM satellite radio and streaming online at PGATour.com/liveaudio.