I grew up caddying and working at a very traditional golf “Old School” golf club in, Wheaton, IL called Chicago Golf Club. You’ve probably never heard of it and that’s the point. It is continually one of the top 100 ranked golf courses in the world and hosts limited tournaments. If some of the members went to the Phoenix Open they’d probably have a heart attack.
So many different angles to look at… the Phoenix Open is great for golf, exposing it to a demographic that might not even know golf existed and still might not, even after they attended the event. A lot of the ladies were dressed as if they were going to a night club and not a golf tournament. By 10:00 am, about the time I was rolling in, a lot of the people were ready for last call and the bouncer to show them the door. I would also imagine that 6” wedges, high heels and mini skirts would make it hard to navigate the 3-5 miles one might walk during the course of the day. By the end of the day most of the women had ditched the shoes, and were walking barefoot with huge blisters on their feet.
One of the other ironies of the day was when my friends and I camped out and had great seats around the 9th green. We had nothing to drink, wasn’t noon yet, thought we were being quiet and taking pictures with our cell phones of the players as they approached their greens and addressed their putts. The Marshall seated near us motioned with his head to a Marshall on foot that we needed to be spoken to. The Marshall did come over and said that the PGA does not allow pictures to be taken of the golfers on the greens and it would be best for all parties if our cell phones were in our pockets. We complied with the Marshall but the real irony was that we were within earshot of the 16th hole which sounded like people were being fed to lions in a Roman Coliseum, and the Marshall is holding up a “quiet please” sign. I’m sure that helped. Being the kind person that I am, I decided not to point this out to the Marshall.
Speaking of the 16th, we made an attempt to get in, but I don’t think our blood alcohol level was near high enough and we did have something better to do with 3 hours of our life than wait in line to sit in the cheap seats. (Note to self: by next year become friends with someone who has a corporate box). The level of heckling golfers, not at the 16th, seemed to be unprecedented. I’ve been to other tournaments and haven’t seen people as vocal as they were this last weekend. Then on the flip side of that coin, we are in America, we pay our money and we should be able to have some fun.
All in all, comments and criticisms aside, it was a fun day getting to watch some amazing golfers in the world with the best temperature and backdrop you could imagine. The other funny thing is that watching it on TV it actually looks like the event was pretty sane. Ahh the magic of TV.