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Monday, February 3, 2014

16TH HOLE PHOENIX OPEN

16TH HOLE 
WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA

DREAM REALIZED!  Finally made it to the 16th Hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open 
in Scottsdale, Arizona.  There is nothing like this event in the world of golf or life.  It is something that has to be seen to comprehend and experienced to really understand the magnitude of the party.  This has got to be the largest cocktail party in the world and there just happens to be a golf tournament happening simultaneously.  Our adventure began with a friend scored Sky Box tickets on the 16th Hole for $200 each (Thursday).  This turned out to be a bargain and we were very lucky to get the tickets.  Getting to the Sky Box was an adventure unto itself.  Began in a huge parking lot adjacent to the TPC Scottsdale golf course.  From the parking lot you wait in long lines to board a bus that shuttles you to the entrance of the Phoenix Open.  The buses are filled to capacity with people standing in the middle isle.  It is early morning so most people are normal and sober.  Once on the bus, the ride to the course only takes a couple of minutes.  You are then dropped off in a huge lot with each bus assigned a letter to correspond with the location you were picked up at.  We were on bus "H".  Good to know when you need to get back to your car at the end of the day.  As you enter the Phoenix Open there are two security checks and then you enter a huge tent that is basically a golf trade show with dozens of booths and vendors demonstrating and selling products.  As you depart the large tent you enter another world unlike anything I have ever seen in golf.  Tents, Cabanas, Sky Boxes, Bars, people and hey…a golf course that is meticulously manicured and breathtaking.  As we make our way towards the 16th Hole my friend recommends we stop for a cold beverage at a tent overlooking the 18th Hole.  We are carded by large security officers and then issued a wrist band granting access to a sort of Sky Box that is really the Tilted Kilt Bar on the golf course.  There is a huge bar serving food and beverages.  The female staff of bartenders and waitresses are all wearing short Kilts and tops that lets say enhance their assets. They are all smiling, friendly and happy to take your drink order.  The beer begins to flow at the Phoenix Open.  From the Tilted Kilt, you have an excellent view of the 18th Hole.  But I have realized something interesting after just minutes at the Open.  People are not here to watch the greatest golfers on the PGA Tour hit a small white ball into a cup.  They are here to Party!  And party they do.  Only a handful are actually watching the golf course action.  The majority are just into drinking, talking and partying.  While most golf events feature "Quiet" cards on every hole, the Phoenix Open has the background noise of a large bar.  People laugh, yell and even boo when a golfer makes a bad shot.  Our 16th Hole Sky Box seats include all the drinks (including alcohol) and food.  There are bars set up every 10 yards or so.  Each bar has a smiling girl that actually has a great attitude.  They laugh and provide excellent service as well as great drinks.  Beer, wine and mixed drinks are all served up to your hearts content.  There is actually a limit of 10 drinks per person I was told and a few times the bartenders marked your badge to indicate the number of drinks you had.   I was there all day and had three marks! Enjoyed a few brews, some wine and maybe a couple of vodka and grapefruits before the day was done.  At some boxes there were waitresses that actually brought you your drinks and checked on you every time they saw your drink getting low.  This was the case in the Coors box.  Great service and hospitality and we were not even invited.  The 16th Hole is three levels and seats/Sky boxes circle around the entire hole.  We roamed every inch of each level and walked into dozens of Sky boxes.  Not one person said a word.  While our passes were for Sky box 93 we managed to hang out pretty much everywhere but our own box.  There was just more fun in other places.  We roamed, ate and drank all day.  The food is also included in the price of your ticket.  Enjoyed some really good Italian Sandwiches, Pasta, Corn Dogs, Salad, Fried Fish, Brownies, Chips and Fruit.  Food stations were all over the place and were always stocked and staffed with happy, smiling people.  There is one section on the second level where leather sofas and coffee tables look like a hotel lounge.  Dozens of people just hanging out smoking cigars and drinking.  Golf?  Who needs it.  I was totally amazed by the magnitude of this party.  Three levels with open bars and the place was pretty well behaved.  Police officers are around but pretty much blend in and do not get in peoples way.  They stay back and observe but do not overpower or show any attitude.  That said, if you really are abusive or obnoxious, I am sure they will escort you out quickly.  Cannot tell you how fun it was to watch golfers tee off on the 16th Hole.  People cheer before, during and after their swing.  When the golfers walk towards the green, the crowd roars.  Many of the golfers bring hats, balls, towels and other things to throw to the crowd on 16.  Some golfers dance.  One did a dance for Arizona State and had the crowd yelling A-S-U.  Some golfers were booed when they hit the ball in the bunker or far from the green.  When someone hit close to the hole, the stadium erupted with cheers.  There is nothing like this in golf.  It is truly amazing!  This was supposed to be a one time Bucket List thing for me, but I gotta tell you I want to go back next year and enjoy the 16th Hole Sky Box...

2014 WASTE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM FEATURES LAST YEARS WINNER PHIL MICHELSON
ABOUT 80,000 PEOPLE CONVERGE ON TPC SCOTTSDALE FOR THURSDAYS FIRST ROUND
PASS THROUGH TWO SECURITY CHECKS AND ENTER TPC SCOTTSDALE THROUGH LARGE TENT
ENTRANCE LEADS TO HUGE TRADE SHOW AND MERCHANDISE SALES
MY FIRST SITE AT THE PHOENIX OPEN WERE DOZENS OF CABANAS ON THE 18TH GREEN
CROWD JUST SHOWING UP ON 18TH HOLE.  LATER THIS PLACED IS PACKED SOLID
TPC SCOTTSDALE IS BEAUTIFUL
BEACH PARTY ACROSS THE FAIRWAY.  BEACH CHAIRS, CABANAS AND BIKINIS!
OUR FIRST GOLF HOLE WAS THE TILTED KILT.  A GREAT BAR ON THE 18TH HOLE
ORDER AT THE BAR OR ENJOY WAITRESS SERVICE WHILE YOU WATCH THE GOLF
BARTENDERS AND SERVERS WERE EXCEPTIONALLY FRIENDLY

SERVICE FROM A YOUNG GAL IN KILTS HERE
GOLF COURSE SERVICE AT ITS BEST
BEAUTIFUL WATER FEATURE ON 18TH HOLE
THE CROWD BEGINS TO GROW AS NOON APPROACHES
OUR GOLDEN TICKETS TO THE 16TH HOLE SKY BOX
THIS IS IT……THE 16TH HOLE AT THE PHOENIX OPEN
200 SKY BOXES ON THREE DIFFERENT LEVELS
OUR SKY BOX HAD AN INCREDIBLE VIEW OF #16 GREEN
SEEING THIS IN PERSON FOR THE FIRST TIME WAS TOTALLY AWESOME
COUCHES, CIGARS, COCKTAILS……WHO NEEDS GOLF?
16TH HOLE AT THE PHOENIX OPEN……ONE OF BEST TIMES OF MY LIFE!

HANG HERE AND WATCH GOLFERS TEE OFF
PRETTY AMAZING
DOZENS OF FOOD STATIONS THROUGHOUT THE 16TH HOLE SKY BOX
PRETTY GOOD FOOD
FRESH MADE ITALIAN SANDWICHES WERE GREAT
TAKING A BREAK FROM THE GOLF ACTION TO ENJOY SOME FOOD
SKY BOXES ALL PURCHASED BY CORPORATIONS
BARTENDERS ALWAYS SMILING AND VERY FRIENDLY
16TH HOLE AT PHOENIX OPEN - A DREAM REALIZED!
ANOTHER HAPPY BARTENDER SERVING THE LUCKY PATRONS ON THE 16TH HOLE
THE SKY BOX JUST GOT BETTER, LOUDER AND ELECTRIC AS THE DAY WENT ON
THE CIGAR TABLES WERE FULL ALL DAY LONG
THE THUNDERBIRD MEDALLION - THE ULTIMATE TICKET TO PHOENIX OPEN

MET SEVERAL THUNDERBIRDS.  THESE GUYS HAVE ACCESS TO EVERY SKY BOX, CABANA, TENT, PARTY AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN.  THE ULTIMATE TICKET TO PHOENIX OPEN
BLOG AUTHOR ENJOYS A COOL BEVERAGE ON THE 16TH HOLE
VIEW FROM COORS SKY BOX ON 16TH HOLE
ANOTHER CHECK OFF THE OLD BUCKET LIST - MADE IT TO THE 16TH HOLE AT PHOENIX OPEN
COORS EMPLOYEES WERE SO NICE TO LET US IN THEIR SKY BOX
GOLFERS APPROACHING 16TH GREEN
THE SUN BEGINS TO SET AT THE PHOENIX OPEN
18TH HOLE TEE BOX
HEADING TOWARDS THE 18TH HOLE GREEN AT THE END OF THE DAY
ALOHA TO THE PHOENIX OPEN.  ONE OF GOLFS GREATEST AND MOST FUN EVENTS!

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