The Top Party Scene On The PGA Tour A Haven For Scottsdale Singles
But to most people who go to it – particularly on Friday and especially on Saturday – they do not care.
That is because the Phoenix Open is the biggest party on the PGA Tour. Heck, it’s one of the biggest parties in all of Scottsdale. The 2021 event is Feb. 4-7. And if those dates sound familiar, yes it’s the same weekend as the Super Bowl but here, there is no finer party than the Phoenix Open.
Tickets, by the way, are $50 on the weekend and can be purchased at the event.
COVID-19 Update: A limited number of tickets will be available for fans at the 2021 tournament. This report reflects the party scene during a normal Phoenix Open.
The Phoenix Open Party Scene
The golf is pretty much a secondary thought for most of the spectators. In fact, many are only vaguely aware that a professional golf tournament is even taking place
What they are here for – 170,000 strong on Saturdays is the atmosphere. It’s see, get seen and one heck of a scene. It’s cocktails mixed with conversation, the Sweet 16th and the Bird’s Nest. Now that’s a winner for the tournament, regardless of who holds the trophy on Sunday afternoon.
With a PGA golf tournament as the backdrop, the Phoenix Open is an open opportunity for single people in Scottsdale and beyond to step out and take their social swings.
It’s on par with the best of any outdoor-oriented street or music festival, a prime party that is the centerpiece of the Phoenix/Scottsdale cocktailing calendar.
This social sensation is a partier’s paradise.
The Georgia-Florida football game may be known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” but the Phoenix Open might as well be “The World’s Most Social and Scenic Outdoor Experience.”
It is held at the TPC Scottsdale and for those who actually desire to watch some golf, it has the perfect setup.
At most tournaments, it’s extremely difficult to see much action because the terrain is flat and fans are lined up 3-4 deep against the ropes.
Here, though, hills adjacent to the holes provide elevated vantage points throughout the entire course. There is great viewing everywhere – down the long fairway of the 552-year Par 5 15th, at No. 10 with the 16th hole also in range, from the green on No. 6 that looks back to the 215-yard, Par 3 7th – and on and on.
Even the famed 16th – where partying takes priority over putts and pars – offers a full look at the hole and views to the 17th tee box and fairway. The 10th green and 11th tee box are within pitching wedge range.
This “stadium-style” layout is a trademark of the TPC (Tournament Player’s Championship) courses, the original of which is in Ponte Vedre. Fla, with its famous “island green.”
The course is not particularly difficult one for the players. There are no woods, the rough is not PGA tough, water does not come into play and the greens are large. “The hazards here,” remarked one PGA official, “are the fans, not the golf course.”
The views of the fans are something different entirely. Some come casual and comfortable, a few have golf shirts or sleeveless sweaters and smoke cigars, and others – particularly blondes wearing heels, yes heels to a golf course – are dressed as if looking for “sponsorship.” As far as the “beautiful people” factor, as anyone who’s been pubclubbing in Scottsdale can verify, let’s just say it’s reflective of the area.
One of the most amusing sights PubClub encountered was a guy stumbling into a “No Alcohol Beyond This Point” sign.
The Sweet 16(th)
This is where the golfers and praters meet. It’s a Par 3 hole and golfers who drive the green are cheers and those who don’t get catcalls, like at a basketball game when a player throws up an airball.
There is a beer station on the hill and people stand there with beers in hand, drinking, socializing and watching tee shots. Its such a loud environment that some golfers won’t even play this tournament (we’re talking about you, Tiger Woods) because it’s so loud at this hole.
If you’re going to the Phoenix Open, you must spend time at the Sweet 16(th).
The Birds Nest Party
The Sweet 16th may be what defines the Phoenix Open on the course, but it’s true flavor comes out in something called the Birds Nest, by far the best post-day party on the PGA Tour.
Or it used to be until it’s become less of an after-golf 19th hole type party and more like a nightclub. This year, KYGO is performing.
Located in an area adjacent to the golf course, it’s a full-on party (with separate admission fee, keep reading) featuring name touring bands, tons of beer and cocktails and every single (or wanna be single) person in Scottsdale.
Long one of the most anticipated single and social events of the year it goes from about 5-9:30 and is a good warm-up on Wednesday Thursday (tho it’s gotten so popular on Wednesday that it’s sold out this year) and like a big-time club on Friday and Saturday.
Several people don’t even bother with the golf tournament and instead just come to the Nest. It’s big enough to easily hold the thousands who flock here as if answering a mating call.
The one unfortunate thing about the Birds Nest is that is has become so popular that it’s not priced like a concert. Tickets are a whopping $115 on Saturday. And Friday is sold out.
Frankly the Bird’s Nest should go back to its $20 days because this is a party, not a Las Vegas nightclub or a concert like Coachella.