Tag Archives: PGA Tour


WM Phoenix Open tops $100 million in charity giving

Waste Management Phoenix Open hosts, The Thunderbirds, announced that proceeds raised through the 2015 WM Phoenix Open will help them surpass the $100 million mark in charitable giving.  The exact charity dollars from the 2015 tournament are still being calculated and will be announced in a few months, but Tournament Chairman Danny Calihan verified that this year’s tournament has raised at least $7 million for local charities.

“We take pride in how much we are able to donate to charity each and every year but reaching the $100 million mark and doing so in our 80th year is really special,” Calihan said. “We have tremendous support from Waste Management, our corporate sponsors, and the community, and thanks to them we are able to help thousands of children and families in need.”

Since 2003 when the tournament first brought on a title sponsor, The Thunderbirds and the Open have raised more than $75 million for charities in Arizona and now more than $100 million in its history since 1932.  To date, the highest charitable donation was set in 2008 ($8.8 million), followed by the $7.8 million that was raised in 2007.  The 2014 WM Phoenix Open raised $7,061,282.


The Waste Management Phoenix Open wrapped up today with Brooks Koepka taking the 2015 title in front of 83,552 spectators.  For the week, a tournament record 564,368 fans flocked to the TPC Scottsdale, breaking the previous weekly tournament attendance record of 563,008 by 1,360 fans.  Two single-day attendance records were broken throughout the week, with 75,380 fans on Wednesday, breaking the 2014 record (62,234) and 118,461 spectators on Thursday, shattering the 2014 record (88,113).

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the best-attended golf tournament in the world and has gained legendary status for being the most unique stop on the PGA TOUR. The 2015 edition marked the 80th playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the sixth as the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports.  The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members. For more information on The Thunderbirds or the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open visit www.wmphoenixopen.com.


Phoenix Open most tech-friendly event on PGA Tour

With a new and improved tournament mobile app and increased on-site Wi-Fi and cell coverage and capacity, the Waste Management Phoenix Open remains the most technology-friendly golf tournament on the PGA TOUR.

Improved technology at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open includes:

• More than a dozen new Wi-Fi wireless access points have been added between the 18th green and 16th hole to improve capacity and reception. The entire golf course is now one giant hot spot with free Wi-Fi provided by Cox Business. The free, expanded Wi-Fi from Cox Business not only provides faster download speeds everywhere on the course, but also cuts through cellular network congestion in the area for fans who just want to download the tournament app, access the Internet, make phone calls or text message.

• Sprint has brought a high capacity Cell Site on Wheels (COW) to the tournament.  The COW will enhance Sprint’s wireless capacity and coverage for voice, data and text messaging. Simply put, more golf fans will be able to enjoy the tournament App and share their WM Phoenix Open experiences using Sprint cell phones. “Sprint has enhanced its network at TPC Scottsdale to give attendees more reliable access to the WM Phoenix Open Mobile App, sponsored by Kyocera,” said Kevin Kunkel, regional vice president of sales for Sprint. “Together, we are bringing more people closer to the game of golf and the Greatest Show on Grass.”
• The WM Phoenix Open Mobile App, sponsored by Kyocera, for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets is new and improved with a new “Get in the Q” sweepstakes for fans to be engaged in tournament action. Plus, detailed information on the tournament’s security procedures, including what is and what is not allowed into the TPC.

The free app, developed by Scottsdale-based AGN Sports, features:

• “Get in the Q” Sweepstakes – During tournament week, fans can play the Quicken Loans “Get in the Q” Sweepstakes through the Waste Management Phoenix Open App. If a PGA TOUR player hits their shot inside of seven feet on the 16th hole, winners will receive a one month mortgage payment courtesy of Quicken Loans. To register for the Quicken Loans “Get in the Q” Sweepstakes, fans can sign-up on-site at the tournament, or download the Waste Management Phoenix Open App via iTunes or through Google Play.

• PGA TOUR Leaderboard – So fans can see where their favorite players are in the standings

• Car Finder – Using GPS and navigation functionality, users arriving at the tournament can save the location of their cars and be guided back upon their departures.

• “Take Me There” Navigation – Users can search and select points of interest on the golf course, including tees, greens, concession stands, restrooms and merchandise areas and tap “Take Me There.” A yellow path will be superimposed on a virtual course map that takes the user to that point of interest from his/her current location on course.

• Links to Waste Management Phoenix Open social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

• TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course hole descriptions.

• Information on Waste Management, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Kyocera, the Thunderbirds, Coors Light Birds Nest, local weather and more.

• Daily Event feature – information and schedules detailing each day’s activities during the tournament.

Advancements in technology support Waste Management’s “Zero Waste” initiatives by reducing the amount of information distributed by paper at the tournament (brochures, guides, programs, etc) and transferring it to mobile/digital form. Plus, 100 percent of the electricity to power the tournament has been purchased from renewable energy.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open will be played January 26 – February 1, 2015, at TPC Scottsdale. The tournament host The Thunderbirds have raised more than $93 million for charities, with more than $68 million generated since 2004. The 2015 edition will mark the 80th playing of the event, making it one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR (not including the major championships). For more information on the Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit wmphoenixopen.com.


HSMAI member profile: Tiffany Nelson

Like most industries, hospitality took a hit during the economic downturn, but the Arizona travel industry started to recover in 2010 and pumped $18.3 billion in direct travel spending into Arizona’s economy in 2011.

Helping fuel that economic engine is the Arizona chapter of the the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). Az Business is profiling some of those HSMAI members who are driving Arizona’s economy.

Tiffany Nelson
Senior business development director
TPC Scottsdale/PGA Tour

What attracted you to the hospitality industry? “Golf is my passion and to be able to do what you love every day, I don’t ever feel like it’s work.  My office is a golf course — it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Biggest challenge: “The economy. When the economy is down, people don’t travel, which hurts our industry,but when it’s up, the industry thrives.  It’s a double edge sword being tied so directly to the economy.”

Greatest accomplishment: “Being selected amongst my peers as the hospitality sales and marketing person of the year.”