The Waste Management Open isn't crowds of people at a golf tournament, it's party that happens to take place on a golf course. There is nothing like it in the game of golf, and it takes place in North Scottsdale at a golf course that will attract hundreds of thousands of people this week to hang out in good weather, drink cold beverages and hope to catch a golf shot or two.
There are plenty of things to do in the area this week, and as a Scottsdale resident I figured no better time than now to clue you in on some of the things and places to hit up.
"What is the best day to go actually, you know, watch golf?" -- It's funny that we're here talking about a golf tournament and discussing what day do fans actually want to go and see players hit shots, but honestly, you need to go early in the week (Thursday afternoons are sneaky good at TPC Scottsdale) or Sunday when everyone is preparing their Super Bowl parties. If you want to go see golf, get out there early or later in the afternoon, because it's the middle of the days that has the most fans in your way.
"What is the best day to go people watch?" -- Saturday, absolutely. You'll see every possible demographic that makes Scottsdale what it is; the rich high school kids, the girls with a little, ahem, surgery done to them, the moms that have, ahem, a little surgery done to them and so many Affliction shirts that you'd think you walked into a MMA tryout.
"Where should I go, sit, watch, hang?" -- As my friends and I get older, we understand the importance of a pass to one of the many tent sections on the golf course. The Greenskeeper pass is probably the most popular, and I really enjoy the corporate area over by the 17th green where you can see shots come into the drivable par-4 and also guys hitting tee shots off the 18th.
If you just have general admission and want to see golf shots, head west, and out towards the holes like Nos. 13 or 14. Most high-heeled individuals will not walk all the way out there for the hang.
"Where can I go watch sports at night?" -- There are some solid sports bars in the area, but my first suggestion might be Zipps, because there are a few in the area and they have some of the best bar food I've ever had (get a Focaccia and thank me later).
Blue 32 is also a really solid sports bar on Scottsdale road that has a ton of TVs if you're staying near the golf course, and Dan Majerle has a bar with his name in Old Town that has plenty of TVs and big, frosty beers (If you want to see me at any point, I'd go by Arcadia Tavern, a really great sports bar but a little off the beaten path for visitors of the tournament).
"Where can I go if I really want to experience Scottsdale?" -- Your best bet is to hit up the W in Old Town Scottsdale. The downstairs bar will have plenty of button up shirts and dresses, while the upstairs bar will be packed and jamming each night. It's probably the best spot in the town to get a good drink and people watch, and hey, you might run into a celebrity or three.
Other places you can check out if you really want some Scottsdale on ya - Firehouse, Brew Haus, and Lil Woodys.
"And where should I eat?" -- The Mission has great mexican food and is the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Roaring Fork is a great spot on Scottsdale Road, and you can't go wrong with any of the Fox Restaurant Concept places throughout the city.
"And if I want to play some golf at any point, course suggestions?" -- You've probably heard of the regulars in Scottsdale that most play when they come to town; Troon North, Greyhawk, We Ko Pa and Talking Stick. You can't go wrong with any of them, but give Quintero a chance (it's a drive, but well worth it) and Southern Dunes is a really fun track that used to be private but is now open to the public (also a drive, but a great layout).
Ocotillo is a fun golf course if you're looking for something that isn't desert golf, and if you are looking to hit balls at a great driving range without a ton of traffic, swing by Papago and pick up a bucket.
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