Inside Comments: Steve Turcotte

Waste Management Open: A weeklong party at the TPC Scottsdale in Phoenix

We had made this walk up the back stairs of the bleachers of the 16th hole at the TPC Scottsdale before. You know the hole. The one at the Waste Management Open where there are more than 16,000 fans lining this short par-3 hole.

The first time we did the walk up the stairs, we had no idea what we would see. We were stunned. Now, two years later we made the same walk and again, it’s amazing what greets your eyes when you get to the top of the stairs on the 16th hole.

There are people everywhere. There are drunk people. There are people who won’t shut up. There are people who boo every shot, even the good ones. There are people who scream at their favorite players. There are people yelling for players to throw their golf ball into the stands. There are people who aren’t even golf fans, just there to take in the big show.

Get the idea?

This is a golf party at its finest. On this day, there were over 175,000 people on the grounds at the TPC Scottsdale to watch Phil, Jordan, Ricky and Bubba do their thing. They were also there to be part of the viewing party and madhouse that is the 16th hole.

As we found our seats, we quickly realized we were out of place. Everyone around us had a drink. Our friend Marv quickly made a bee-line for the beverage shack to make sure we were well equipped.

We hadn’t even sat down in the seats when Marv reappeared with several beverages. Not many people sit down in the bleacher seats around the 18th hole. In fact, many people don’t even watch the golf shots. They are looking at the costumes (there was a guy in a Big Bird outfit that day), taking a look at the ladies in the crowd and doing their part to yell at every golf shot that leaves the tee box on the 16th hole. It’s an awesome experience. If you are a golf purist, don’t go. If you want quiet, stay away. If you think you are going to be able to enjoy a quiet experience for the day, you are in the wrong place.

This is the Waste Management Open. The place where typical golf rules don’t apply to the fans. Not only are there thousands of fans lining just the 16th hole, but the course is jam-packed, all day, every day during the week of the tournament.

I have some friends who would not be caught near this tournament, being the golf purists they are. I have others who say the tournament is on their bucket list.

If you enjoy golf, a party atmosphere and the chance to see the best players in the world do their thing in front of a huge crowd, this is your kind of place.

Steve Turcotte is the editor of Inside Golf Newspaper. He can be reached at sdturcotte@comcast.net.