Let's face it, the Waste Management Open is 20 percent golf tournament, 65 percent party, and 15 percent headache the next day. Few golf tournaments outside of majors get this many people excited for so many different things, and for good reason, because the entire week is the greatest show on grass. But what to do if you're in Phoenix for the week? Holes to visit? Places to hit up? Events to attend? We've got you covered for the 2012 Waste Management Open.
-- Spend an entire afternoon on the 16th hole -- Sure, this seems like a no-brainer, but hear me out. The 16th hole is the biggest draw of the tournament, and one of the easiest places to watch golf on the entire course, but instead of just going and plopping down for 45 minutes, spend an afternoon there. Head into the grandstands behind the green. Walk over to the ones south of the bunker, and then finish in the rowdiest place on the hole, just north of the tee box. Those are where the fans get the craziest, and where the best caddie bets are placed. Trust me, walking from grandstand to grandstand will not be something you regret.
-- Find out where Camilo Villegas is, and then follow his gallery -- Scottsdale is known for the beautiful female contingent. This is where they will all be for about 4.5 hours.
-- Find a way to get into the corporate tents north of the 17th green -- You'll hear all week about Greenskeeper tickets, but the best badge to have of them all is the one that gets you just north of the 17th green. My favorite spot on the course, it's the best place to see drives find the green, find the pond, or find the tough pitching area just to the right of the green. It's also the most relaxing area on the golf course, which would be like finding the quietest place at Coachella, but still ...
-- Walk the front nine -- 160,000 people show up at TPC Scottsdale on Saturday, and about 15 of them make their way out to the far sides of the course. If you're into watching golf, head out to No. 5 or 6 and enjoy a little golf for a change.
-- Make your way to the Bird's Nest on Wednesday night -- It is the "Saturday at the golf course" of nights out, and the Bird's Nest is the place to be the night before golf kicks off.
-- The best people watching spot on the entire golf course ... -- Is a hill just to the right of the 11th tee box as you're heading to the 16th hole. Stand up there, watch just about every creature if existence walk by, and even catch the occasional putt on the 10th hole and tee ball on 11.
-- Find out where Fred Couples is, and then follow his gallery -- You know what I said about Villegas above? Basically Couples is the exact same thing for the Washington State mascot.
-- For golf fans, Friday or Sunday mornings are the best -- Want to get out and actually follow some golfers? Get out early Friday or early Sunday. Yes, it is true, Friday is the new Saturday at the WaMo, but getting out early is always a bonus and will allow you to see some actual golfers. Also, Sunday is smart because most people are scared they'll miss Super Bowl action if they head out. Get to a place early, enjoy it, and make your Super Bowl party in plenty of time (And you'll miss all those hours of pregame shows ... win-win).
-- Don't be an idiot -- The one thing the Waste Management is full of is people that are trying to draw attention any way possible. College kids, drunk visitors and locals alike, you'll see and hear just about anything. Don't be those people. The golfers will appreciate it.