Tag Archives: waste management phoenix open


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.

Golfers practice Tuesday at TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Photo by Albert Gossie

Spectator tips for WM Phoenix Open

After hosting the Waste Management Phoenix Open over many years, the Thunderbirds have developed a few key spectator tips they think will help you enjoy “the greatest show on grass” even more.

The 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open will be held at TPC Scottsdale from January 26 to February 1, 2015. 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.

Check The Weather

Check the weather forecast before you visit the Waste Management Phoenix Open and dress appropriately. Expect cool mornings and sunny afternoons, so dressing in layers is the best idea.

Inclement Weather Policy

Spectators will be alerted to weather that tournament officials identify as potentially dangerous. Weather warnings will be broadcast on the electronic leader boards that are located throughout the golf course. Spectators should take appropriate precautions upon observing any weather warnings and avoid hilltops/high places, golf carts, isolated trees and wire fences.

A prolonged blast on an air horn, repeated once, will indicate that tournament play has been suspended, all attendees should seek safe shelter immediately. Two short blast of an air horn, repeated once, will indicate play has resumed.

Must-Have Items

Sunscreen, hat, comfortable shoes and binoculars.

Have A Plan

There are basically two ways to watch a golf tournament. “Parade Style” is where you pick a spot and watch the field pass by or “Cross-Country Style” is where you follow a particular player or group around the course.

Arrive Early

Arrive early to reserve a spot, especially if you plan on watching the tournament “Parade Style.” On Thursday and Friday, groups are simultaneously started on the first and tenth holes. Most people watch the action on the back nine holes which may give you the opportunity to get a better view of the players on the front nine.

Daily Pairing Sheet & Map

Pick up a daily pairing sheet to find out when the players tee off and the order of the groups. Pairing sheets include a course map, and are available near the entrances and at selected other locations on the tournament grounds. The pros usually play in threesomes on Thursday and Friday and twosomes on the weekends. Check the scoreboards to find out who the leaders are, and where they are on course. One way to tell the players from a distance is to look for their caddies, who wear color-coded vests (green, white or yellow), which will be indicated on the daily pairing sheet.


Players are more receptive to requests for autographs after they have completed their round, so don’t interrupt them before or during their round. A good place to catch them is at the practice area, as most players will return there after they play their round.


Concession stands are located throughout the tournament grounds. For lunch or dinner, visit the Fry’s or Coca-Cola Food Courts. Souvenirs are located at the TPC Merchandise Tents, near the 1st tee and the main entrance.

Who is playing in this year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open?

A list of who is playing in the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open will be available in early January and will continually update through tournament week. Check back at WMPhoenixopen.com for the latest information.

How can I find out what time my favorite players tee off?

Daily pairings will be published in the daily newspaper sports sections and will also be posted on the PGATour.com website. Thursday and Friday pairings are determined before the tournament starts, with each golfer playing one day in the morning and the other day in the afternoon. Saturday and Sunday pairings are based on a player’s score, with the leaders teeing off last. Free daily pairing sheets will also be available at the tournament.

What are the best days to see celebrities?

Wednesday of Waste Management Phoenix Open week features the celebrity event. Wednesday, many celebrities and others take part in the annual Annexus Pro-Am, which begins with at 8:30 am.

Will the Waste Management Phoenix Open be broadcast on TV or radio?

Yes, the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open will be broadcast nationally on television on The Golf Channel (Thursday and Friday) and CBS (Saturday and Sunday) Click here for broadcast times. In addition, the Waste Management Phoenix Open will also be broadcast on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio (Thursday — Sunday).

Are chairs permitted?

Collapsible chairs, without chair bags are permitted.

Accommodations near the TPC Scottsdale

Click Here for a list of hotels and resorts near TPC Scottsdale.

Transportation Companies

Click Here for a list of Transportation companies in Scottsdale or visit the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau for a complete list of transportation options.

Bicycle and Motorcycle Parking

Fans riding bicycles to the Waste Management Phoenix Open can park and lock them at the City of Scottsdale pavilion in the park between Lots 3 and 4. Motorcycle riders without a parking pass should park in Lot H or W.


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.


Celebrities lined up for Phoenix Open Pro-Am

The list of athletes and celebrities playing in the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open Annexus Pro-Am on Wednesday, January 28th includes:

·       Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians
·       Country music star Dierks Bentley
·       ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman
·       Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter
·       ABA and NBA legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving
·       Arizona Cardinals all-pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald
·       Major League Baseball great Ken Griffey Jr.
·       ESPN NFL Analyst Ron Jaworski
·       2015 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Randy Johnson
·       Former all-pro quarterback Jim McMahon
·       Ohio State University Head Football Coach Urban Meyer
·       Country music star Jake Owen
·       Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson
·       Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger
·       NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith
·       Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow

The Waste Management Phoenix Open Annexus Pro-Am, will tee off at 8:30 AM on Wednesday, January 28th on TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course.

Tee times for the Annexus Pro-Am will be from 8:30 to 10:30 AM. Exact tee times for participating amateurs and celebrities will be announced the evening of Tuesday, January 27th on the tournament website – wmphoenixopen.com.

The 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, known as “The Greatest and Greenest Show on Grass,” will be held at the TPC Scottsdale from January 26 to February 1, 2015. 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 will mark 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. For more information on the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com.


Keegan Bradley, Brandt Snedeker join Phoenix Open field

2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley and 2012 FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker are among the latest commitments to the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open — to be played the week of January 26 through February 1 at TPC Scottsdale. A field of 132 players will vie for the $6.3 million purse, the $1,134,000 first-place check and 500 FedExCup points.

The field now includes 12 players who have combined to win 34 Major championships, including: Tiger Woods (14 Majors), Phil Mickelson (5), Padraig Harrington (3), Angel Cabrera (2), Retief Goosen (2), Bubba Watson (2), Keegan Bradley (1), Stewart Cink (1), Lucas Glover (1), Justin Leonard (1), David Toms (1) and Mike Weir (1). 86 of the top 125 from the final 2014 PGA TOUR Money List have entered the 2015 WM Phoenix Open, including 15 of the top 50 players on the Official World Golf Ranking, with Watson (4th), Jordan Spieth (9th) and Rickie Fowler (10th) the highest ranked players currently in the field.

Keegan Bradley is a former PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year award recipient, taking home the honor in 2011 after winning his first Major at the 2011 PGA Championship. Bradley joined Willie Park, Sr. (1860), Francis Ouimet (1913) and Ben Curtis (2003) as the only players to win in their Major debut. Bradley has claimed two other PGA TOUR victories in his career, including the 2011 HP Byron Nelson Championship and the 2012 World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational. The 2015 WM Phoenix Open will be Bradley’s fourth start at the event. His highest WM Phoenix Open finish came in 2012 when he tied for 15th.

Snedeker began his career in 2007 in spectacular fashion with six top-10 finishes and a win at the Wyndham Championship carrying him to 2007 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year honors. Since then, he has collected five more PGA TOUR wins and five runner-up finishes, including one at the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open. The 2015 WM Phoenix Open will be Snedeker’s ninth tournament appearance. He currently sits 18th on the tournament’s all-time money winners list.

Six past tournament champions are currently in the field, including Kevin Stadler (2014), three-time winner Phil Mickelson (1996, 2005 & 2013), Kyle Stanley (2012), Mark Wilson (2011), Kenny Perry (2009) and J.B. Holmes (2006 & 2008).


Hiring military veterans adds competitive edge

During his military career, Capt. Eric Engquist negotiated mortar attacks, roadside bombs, ambushes and rocket grenades in the Iraqi desert, employing strategic planning and problem solving skills under extreme pressure. After eight years as an Army infantry officer, Engquist left the military to join corporate America, bringing those skills with him.

Today he is the assistant vice president for military transitions at USAA, a company that has been advising and hiring service members for more than 92 years. Engquist helps veterans entering the workforce recognize the skills they have that may give businesses a competitive edge.

“If companies are looking to hire veterans, it is important to understand the value that veterans potentially bring to an organization and that actually hiring veterans is not to be looked at as charity. It makes good business sense,” Engquist explains. He sites a recent study by the Corporate Leadership Council that says on average, veterans are 4 percent more productive and have 3 percent higher retention rates than their peers who don’t have prior military service.

“When you think about the increased productivity and the increased retention—provided that you have a good cultural fit and you onboard and retain employees well—it will impact the bottom line,” Engquist says.

“Veterans are adept at embracing change and operating in nebulous environments. They are very team oriented and they are results driven,” Engquist says. “All of those demonstrate to companies that hire veterans and have good hiring programs that they make good employees.”

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. John McGarrity is the executive director for talent programs delivery with USAA. He says veterans have a tremendous amount of talent.

“I think sometimes people focus on the technical skill they bring to the table but there is a lot there beyond technical expertise. They have been trained to lead. They have been given missions and directives and have been told to execute on those and when they encounter an obstacle they know how to work around that.” McGarrity explains that service members have the ability to adjust to new situations and can easily learn the nuances within an organization.

“Also military members are great risk managers,” he says.  “They know how to walk into an organization and identify those areas that need to be strengthened.”

A recent survey by the University of Phoenix highlights more skills gained in the military that include: responsibility, teamwork, ability to work under pressure, ability to follow instructions, leadership, problem solving, accountability, ability to focus on tasks, communication skills, critical thinking, technical skills, analytical skills and cultural awareness.

But even with this valuable skillset, the survey shows that, although the unemployment rate of military personnel is declining, many veterans may be underemployed. According to the survey, 61 percent of past service members who have held civilian jobs say they have previously been or currently are in jobs beneath their skill sets, with nearly three-quarters saying they accepted a position because they needed a job.

Some companies recognize the value in service members and have programs in place to hire and retain them.

GoDaddy, a leading technology provider dedicated to small businesses, embraces a culture that supports veterans and appreciates their service to country. “GoDaddy has a robust population of veterans across every function of our company,” says Elizabeth Driscoll, vice president of public relations.

That includes the company’s founder, Bob Parsons, a decorated veteran, who was honored with the Combat Action Ribbon, the Vietnam Gallantry Cross and Purple Heart for his service with the United States Marine Corps in Vietnam. The company’s resource program, GoDaddy Veterans, is dedicated to creating a welcoming community for service members and their families, promoting career and skill development, and building a recruiting pipeline across all service branches and rank.

USAA focuses on attracting, developing and retaining veteran talent. Twenty four percent of USAA’s workforce is comprised of veterans or spouses of military service members and the company has set a goal of 30 percent for new hires.

“We have a program called VetNet comprised of former service members and spouses of service members,” Engquist says. “They maintain social networking among like experience individuals, mentor and support one another, and provide visibility and education for employees who don’t have military experience.”

Kim Morton, senior manager of media relations for Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, says some businesses in the Phoenix area, such as TriWest Healthcare, Allied Waste, Republic Services and University of Phoenix are recognized by the chamber as being proactive in veteran hires.

“Our strongest partner and recruiter in the area is the University of Phoenix,” Morton says. “Their support allowed us to expand our employment workshop and resume review offerings. We’re now able to offer full and free workshops and one-on-one resume review at virtually every Hiring Our Heroes event due to the University of Phoenix. Their military division also recruits at our events across the country.”

In addition to recruiting events, Hiring Our Heroes has online resources for veterans seeking employment atuschamberfoundation.org/hiring-our-heroes as well as tips for employers to build or improve upon their veteran hiring program at employerroadmap.com.

Hiring our Heroes recently partnered with USAA and the Disney Institute to host a symposium to educate businesses about the advantages of hiring veterans as Corporate America faces an influx of veterans seeking meaningful employment.

“We are in the midst of the largest drawdown in the history of our U.S. military,” Engquist explains. “Between now and 2017 we will see our services shrink to pre-World War II size. About 1.5 million active duty service members and national guardsmen and reservists will be leaving the force and joining corporate America. They are joining an existing 2.8 million service members that are post 911 veterans and half of those are the ages 25-34.”

No private company can meet the needs of these veterans by itself, McGarrity says. “There’s not any company out there that’s going to be able to hire 100,000 veterans. It’s something that we can do together as a body of companies. We can band together and help share best practices, what’s working in our local areas and share that information across companies.”

“These men and women, these veterans, have sacrificed a lot for our country,” McGarrity says. “If we can help in any small way to get one more veteran hired … then we have done something to reward them. We have thanked them for their service. It really becomes about doing the right thing.”

And doing the right thing is what fuels Engquist’s passion for helping others transition. “I’m just like anyone else facing the separation,” Engquist says. So he continues his mission to better arm those service members so they can have a smoother transition, be better financially positioned and better prepared to demonstrate why they are an excellent candidate for a career in corporate America.




Event: Military Career and Job Fair Presented by BestCompaniesAZ, Waste Management Phoenix Open, and Birdies for the Brave

What: With more than 30 of Arizona’s best award-winning companies recruiting on site, this event will showcase companies that have earned awards such as Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work for in America, Fortune Most Admired Companies, “Military Friendly” awards, Arizona’s Most Admired Companies, Careerbuilder Top Companies to Work for in Arizona and Best Places to Work in the Valley, to name a few.

When: Monday, Jan. 26, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Monterra at WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N, Pima Rd., Scottsdale

Information: bestcompaniesaz.com


Tiger Woods playing in Waste Management Phoenix Open

Tiger Woods hasn’t played in the Waste Management Phoenix Open since 2001, but according to a Golf.com report, that drought will end in about three weeks.

A field of 132 players will vie for the $6.3 million purse, the $1,134,000 first-place check and 500 FedExCup points.

The 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, known as “The Greatest and Greenest Show on Grass,” will be held at TPC Scottsdale from January 26 to February 1, 2015. 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 will mark the 80th playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the fifth as the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Golf.com cites two anonymous sources saying Woods will return to the event after a 13-year absence. The tournament is played this year over Super Bowl weekend. One of the most highly attended and popular events on the PGA Tour, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is played at TPC Scottsdale, which was recently renovated by original architect Tom Weiskopf.

The 14-time major winner has made three previous Phoenix starts, finishing T-18 in 1997, third in 1999 and fifth in 2001. In 1997, Woods made a hole-in-one on the layout’s 16th hole, a par 3 whose single-day attendance typically outdraws the entire, whole-course gallery for a single day at other PGA Tour events. The ace lead to Woods’ roof-raising celebration that was an early highlight of his career.

Rising PGA TOUR star Jordan Spieth is the latest commitment to the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open. The 21 year-old Texas native has had an impressive start to his career, winning the 2013 John Deere Classic as a teenager and capping off 2014 with back to back wins at Emirates Australian Open and The Hero World Challenge, where he won by a record setting 10 strokes. Since turning professional in December of 2012, Spieth has accumulated 18 top-10 finishes on the PGA TOUR including five runner up finishes, the most notable of which came at the 2014 Masters.

For more information about the event, click here.


Waste Management launches ‘Green in 15’ video contest

Waste Management, the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America, announced today the launch of the “Green in 15” social media video contest in advance of the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open. To enter the “Green in 15” contest, participants must creatively demonstrate how they will commit to going green in 2015, in 15 seconds or less, using Instagram’s video platform.

The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older. Video submissions can be uploaded between Jan. 7, 2015 at 12:00:00 a.m. (midnight) EST and Jan. 25, 2015 at 11:59:59 p.m. EST. No purchase or payment necessary to enter or win. Purchase does not increase your chances of winning. Void where prohibited. Information on the official rules and eligibility are available on Waste Management’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wastemanagement.

Videos can be fun or serious, but must be uploaded to Instagram using the hashtag #GreenIn15 and tag both @WasteManagement and @WMPhoenixOpen to be eligible. Video submissions will be judged on the following criteria: the effective communication of ideas around sustainability (illustrate one or all of the Four R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover); creativity and originality; entertainment value and suitability of video content to be used by Waste Management.

Up to four finalists will be selected and their videos will be made available for popular online fan voting on Waste Management’s Facebook page during the Waste Management Phoenix Open tournament week from Jan. 26 to Feb. 1. The winner will be announced on Waste Management’s Facebook page on Monday, Feb. 2. Finalists will receive various prizes, including Waste Management Green Gear, solar powered phone chargers and other prizes. One grand prize winner will receive a “Green Your Home” experience from The Home Depot to be used toward the remodel or “greening” of the winner’s chosen living space.

To promote the video contest, Waste Management enlisted the support of notable PGA TOUR players including 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open champion, Kevin Stadler, 2014 Houston Open winner, Matt Jones, and others whose homemade promotional videos will be showcased throughout the contest.

“Waste Management developed the ‘Green in 15’ video contest to demonstrate to fans, followers and tournament attendees that making changes to go green isn’t just simple, but takes less than 15 seconds,” said Jim Trevathan, Waste Management executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Waste Management continues to leverage our title sponsorship of the Waste Management Phoenix Open to challenge consumers to make small changes in their daily lives and commit to a more sustainable lifestyle.”

The “Green in 15” video contest is one of the many ways that Waste Management continues to educate and engage consumers about sustainability at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a zero waste event. Waste Management will continue to promote the use of the hashtag #GreenestShow to provide an outlet for fans to share their green practices and support for sustainability and sports. Additionally, the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open will continue the “Zero Waste Challenge” for a fourth year as part of its goal to divert 100 percent of tournament waste away from landfills and into recycling and composting facilities.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the first PGA TOUR tournament to achieve Gold Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for its socially and environmentally responsible efforts in the planning and execution of the tournament. Waste Management continues to set the standard for “greening” sporting events and takes yet another step to expand social influence with the “Green in 15” video contest.


An open letter to Phil Mickelson

Dear Phil,

I read your recent comments about the crushing tax burden California has imposed on wage earners like yourself. You said that you might even move out of California. Allow me to suggest Arizona – your former home – as your next home.

Though my time playing golf is usually limited to courses where I try to hit the ball into a miniature windmill, you and I have a lot in common. We’re both left-handers. We’re both Arizona State grads, you with a Bachelor’s, me from the law school. You’re a member of the ASU athletics Hall of Fame. I enjoy watching ASU sports.

More importantly, though, we both understand the impact high taxes have on a state’s economy and its hard working residents. A high-tax environment drives capital and people out of state, which explains why California is currently experiencing an unprecedented exodus of wealth.

It’s apparent you’re not alone in your high-tax sentiments. Even your sometimes rival on the golf course, Tiger Woods, said California’s high-tax environment is why he left the state for Florida.

California’s current top income tax rate of 13.3 percent is a good enough reason to pack up one’s clubs and move on.

Sure, California has sandy beaches and sunshine, but that doesn’t dull the sting of paying out nearly half your income in total taxes. It’s hard to enjoy the ocean when you’re watching your hard earned money float out to sea.

Arizona has sunshine and sand (traps), too. And while California has been pursuing a flawed economic strategy, we’ve been making all the right moves.

Over the past two years, Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature have worked hard to make Arizona a state that is known for job growth and creation. They’ve decreased the corporate income tax rate, lowered the tax on business property and equipment, cut taxes on investment income and have made Arizona’s tax code more attractive to businesses selling goods and services outside our borders.  While California was raising its taxes (again), our voters rejected a massive permanent tax hike. We’ve also balanced our budget.

The per-capita income going to taxes in Arizona is just 8.7 percent, compared to the national average of 9.8 percent and California’s burden of 11.8 percent. That leaves more money for vacations to your favorite beaches (including those in California) or for purchasing a Major League Baseball team.

We’ve also cut back on unnecessary regulations, freeing up businesses to expand without the worry of frivolous government interference.  You can’t even go into a Starbucks in California without a Proposition 65 warning of the dangers of coffee.

All of these efforts have resulted in Arizona’s move up the leaderboard.  Arizona received the title of number one state for entrepreneurial activity in 2011 and was ranked a Top-10 state for business in 2012. We also ranked second – just behind North Dakota – for states with the best job-growth forecast.

I’ll put this all in terms you can appreciate:  If Arizona competed in The Masters of economic competitiveness, we’d end up with the coveted green jacket.

Phil, you know better than anyone that you can’t beat the golf here. You’re already a crowd favorite come Waste Management Phoenix Open time. So go pack your clubs and call the movers.

Just don’t take too long. I could really use some tips on my swing.



Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. 

Phoenix Open

Waste Management Phoenix Open: More Than Just A Golf Tournament

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is an event that draws hundreds of thousands of people to the Valley each and every year. It may boast the largest attendance of any golf tournament worldwide and has an overall economic impact of more than $220 million, but the real conversation piece should be about the millions of dollars the tournament raises for Arizona charities — and the 55 men who make it happen.

Tom Altieri, Photo: wmphoenixopen.comI had the pleasure of speaking with Tom Altieri, this year’s 2013 tournament chairman and 8th year Thunderbird, who gave me the 411 on exactly why the Thunderbirds do what they do.

Where they came from and what they do: the charity of the Thunderbirds

The Thunderbirds began back in 1937, when they selected five committee members to fulfill the role of a special events committee to accommodate the expansion of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. The Phoenix Chamber of Commerce suggested that the committee become an “official” group and expand its membership. Each of the five then selected 10 additional members to make up a committee of 55. The Thunderbird name was chosen because the emblem of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was, and still is, a Thunderbird derived from American Indian symbols.

Since its creation, the Thunderbirds have raised more than $79 million for charity.  Last year alone they raised an impressive $5.5 million, which was given to charities like The Boys and Girls Club, Valley of the Sun United Way and, most notably, the amazing athletes of the Special Olympics Arizona.

An official spokesperson for the Thunderbirds commented on their love for the Special Olympics, saying, “As the premier sponsor of the Special Olympics Summer Games, the Thunderbirds are providing an outlet of athletic expression for these challenged competitors. Nowhere will you witness the absolute joy and enthusiasm of a runner as he or she crosses the finish line — not in first place, but in the arms of his or her greeter. This unbridled passion for competition speaks volumes of the Thunderbirds’ commitment to these determined individuals.”

As if being the premiere sponsor for the Special Olympics isn’t fantastic to begin with, the Thunderbirds have a dedicated day to honor the Olympians at the Waste Management Phoenix Open itself. On Tuesday, January 29 at 11 a.m., they will host the CBS Outdoor Special Olympics Open. This is a chance for celebrities, sports stars and prominent business leaders to participate in a putting contest with children.

“The event offers a really unique and special opportunity for all involved,” says Altieri.

And for our military service members, a new element has been added this year. A free ticket and a private tent for military service members and a guest.  The Patriots’ Outpost is located on the 18th fairway and offers anyone with a military ID the VIP treatment with food and beverage. Just walk up to the ticket booth, show your military ID, and you are in for free! This is just another way the Thunderbirds are giving back.

What it takes to be a Thunderbird

When I asked Tom why he wanted to be a Thunderbird, his response was, “To help promote the community grow and assist Arizona-based charities. We don’t get paid, we all volunteer. We are out here giving up our lives during tournament week and for most of the year. It’s time consuming, but a labor of love. And we all have the same goal and objective: helping those in need.”

Even though the position is strictly volunteering, you still must be chosen to be a Thunderbird. Those who are selected and asked to join have demonstrated a sincere interest in sports and a dedication to community affairs. All Thunderbird activities and events are the prime responsibility of these Active Thunderbirds and are under the watchful eye of the Big Chief and Thunderbird Council. When a Thunderbird reaches the age of 45, his status changes from Active to that of Life Member. Each year, they receive hundreds of requests from charities who can use assistance. Tom assured me each and every single request that comes through is looked at, evaluated and carefully considered to receive funds. And although the charity component is the main focus of these great community leaders, they have one big job we can’t forget about: running and organizing the details for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

How you can help

“Although there are 55 Thunderbirds who run the Open, we can’t run it alone,” Altieri explains. “The entire success of the event is based upon volunteers. We have thousands of volunteers who come out, from all over the Valley from places like Tucson, Sun City and Flagstaff to contribute. Whether it’s working a concession tent or standing by a rope or working a tee at the tournament, or working the Birds Nest, each person counts and helps make this event the success it is.”

Altieri encourages anyone to get involved and to call the Waste Management Phoenix Open’s office.

“We will make sure to find a way for you to get involved,” he says.

If you are unable to volunteer, Altieri mentioned another way you can help contribute to the Valley’s local charities — and it’s pretty simple, and even fun.

“Just attend the Open,” Altieri says. “Our primary source of fundraising is derived from the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Everything from buying a general admission ticket to a Greenskeeper pass to the purchase of any food and beverage at the event helps Arizona-based charities.”

Be sure to grab your ticket and a friend and head out to this year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, January 28 to February 3. You can purchase tickets online and stay up to date with event info and schedules by visiting wmphoenixopen.com.

And, if you see a gentleman walking around the Open wearing one of the iconic Thunderbird necklaces, take a second to say “thank you” for their hard work and dedication to our Arizona-based charities.

2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open

All About The 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open

It’s back — the Greatest Show on Grass. One of the PDA Tour’s most popular tournaments, the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open consists of an entire week of golf, drinks and live entertainment, taking place from Monday, January 28 through Monday, February 4.

2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open

Who: Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and several other prestigious golfers (view the entire list of committed players here)
What: Events include R.S. Hoyt Jr. Family Foundation Dream Day Activities, CBS Outdoor Special Olympics, the Phoenix Suns Charities Shot at Glory, Coors Light Birds Nest entertainment, Waste Management Phoenix Open and more (view the calendar of events here)
When: January 28 – February 3, 2013
Where: Tournament Players Club (TPC) of Scottsdale, 17020 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale

Places to eat, play & stay around the Open:


True Food Kitchen
Bourbon Steak
Cantina Laredo


Bobby’s Restaurant & Jazz Lounge
Scottsdale Fashion Square
A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale Food Tour


Zona Hotel & Suites Scottsdale
Fairmont Scottsdale
Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains

The Birds Nest at the Phoenix Open

If golf isn’t really your thing, that doesn’t necessarily mean the 2013 Phoenix Open isn’t for you. The Coors Light Birds Nest party features several talented musical acts. Purchase tickets to the Bird’s Nest here.

  • Wednesday, January 30: The Bird’s Nest party begins with video DJ Roonie G, Kelley James and local band Smasht.
  • Thursday, January 31: Dierks Bentley will be headlining the Bird’s Nest. Concertgoers can expect to be treated with his popular country hits like “Am I The Only One” and “What Was I Thinking.”
  • Friday, February 1: O.A.R. will be making a return to Bird’s Nest after taking a year off from preforming at the Phoenix Open.
  • Saturday, February 2: Bird’s Nest will conclude on February 2 with DJ Roonie G once again and Metalhead, another band indigenous to Arizona.

Before and After Party: El Santo Cantina

El Santo Cantina will serve as the ultimate hangout before and after an exciting day at the Phoenix Open. This 25,000-square-foot venue will even pick you up and drop you off with its complimentary El Santo Party Bus shuttle scheduled to run every 30 minutes Thursday through Sunday.

  • El Santo Cantina
    Where: 7301 E. Butherus Dr., Scottsdale
    Contact: 480-584-3801
    Online: elsantocantina.com


Ticket prices range from $25 to nearly $6,000 and can be purchased at the gate during WMPhoenix Open or online. Purchase tickets here.

General Admission | $25

  • Ages 17 & under are free when accompanied by an adult.

Sponsor Packages | $300

  • 4 transferable badges good for all week
  • 4 daily general admission tickets on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
  • 1 reserved parking pass for the week
  • Waste Management Phoenix Open souvenir program

Members Club | $1,800

  • 4 Members Club badges per day each of the 7 days
  • 4 general admission tickets per day for each of the 7 days
  • Complimentary beverages and light snacks in the on-course Members Club locations on 9, 12, 17 & 18
  • 1 reserved parking pass (good all week)

Greenskeeper | $3,300

  • 4 Greenskeeper badges per day each of the 7 days
  • 4 general admission tickets per day for each of the 7 days
  • Complimentary food & beverages
  • 1 valet parking pass (good all week)

Clubhouse | $5,900

  • 6 Clubhouse badges each day (Wed. – Sun.)
  • Complimentary buffet lunch and open bar
  • 6 Greenskeeper badges per day (Mon. – Tues.)
  • 10 general admission tickets each day for all 7 days
  • 3 valet parking passes (good all week)

Chairman’s Club | $5,000

Access to six venues, all week long:

  • Greenskeeper
  • Members Club
  • Clubhouse
  • Skyboxes
  • Corporate Village
  • Birds Nest VIP
  • Valet parking

Birds Nest General Admission

  • $35 (Wed. – Sat.)

Birds Nest VIP Admission | $150

  • Hosted bar and catered buffet each night of the Birds Nest (Wed. – Sat.)



Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson set for Phoenix Open

Two-time champion Phil Mickelson and Masters winner Bubba Watson have committed to play in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The news of the popular PGA players’ participation should be an economic boost for business. The 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open pumped $222 million into Arizona’s economy — with direct sales tax revenue estimated to be $8.2 million — and non-local attendees spent an average of $300 per day.

Defending champion Kyle Stanley, 2011 winner Mark Wilson and 2010 champion Hunter Mahan also are entered in the Jan. 31-Feb. 3 event along with Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney, Carl Pettersson, Nicolas Colsaerts and Lucas Glover.

Mickelson won at TPC Scottsdale in 1996 and 2005. The former Arizona State star will open his season Jan. 17-20 in the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif.


First Tee of Phoenix adds 5 affiliates

The First Tee of Phoenix Executive Director, Hugh Smith, announced that the organization will open new programming sites at all five City of Phoenix golf courses in 2013 including Cave Creek Golf Club, Encanto Golf Course, Palo Verde Golf Course, Maryvale Golf Course and Aguila Golf Course. Expansion will begin at Cave Creek Golf Club in January of 2013 and will continue with the remaining four courses throughout the year. These five new City of Phoenix courses will join the existing facilities located at Lone Tree, South Mountain, Desert Mirage, Papago, Longbow and Falcon Dunes.

“This is an amazing time for us,” said Smith. “The number of Valley youth interested in golf is constantly growing and in order to accommodate that demand we need to expand. By this time next year, The First Tee of Phoenix will have 11 affiliate locations here in the Valley.”

A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, January 5th at Cave Creek Golf Club from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and will include: special guest appearances; a trick shot show from Peter Longo the “King of Clubs”; a junior clinic; free lunch and giveaways for all who attend.  Multi-level programming will begin shortly thereafter and will be available year-round, both during the week and on weekends with registration beginning on December 4th. The First Tee of Phoenix—created and supported by The Thunderbirds—is open to all youth ages 7-17 at a modest cost of $60 per year.

“This is a great opportunity for youth in our city to learn valuable life skills as well as golf, especially for those who might not have the opportunity otherwise,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “The future of our city depends on our youth and we need to do everything we can to make sure they have positive experiences and become civic leaders of the next generation.”

The programming sites at each of the City of Phoenix courses are community driven with volunteer assistance coming from the Men’s and Women’s Clubs at each course as well as the surrounding community. Those interested in volunteering can attend one of The First Tee of Phoenix Volunteer Training Session scheduled throughout the year. The training is free of charge and includes details of The First Tee program and The First Tee coaching philosophy. For more details about volunteer opportunities or to RSVP for one of the training sessions, call 602.305.7655.

“As a junior golfer, I was fortunate to play many rounds at Cave Creek Golf Course,” Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates said.  “Not only did my game improve as a result of playing golf on City of Phoenix courses, but I also learned many life lessons that I carry with me today. Thanks to this partnership between The First Tee and the City of Phoenix, many more young people in our community will have the opportunity to play golf and experience the countless benefits that the game delivers.”

The First Tee of Phoenix is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created and funded by The Thunderbirds for the purpose of providing affordable access to golf and golf learning facilities for young people in Maricopa County from all walks of life, particularly those who otherwise might not have an opportunity to play.  The organization offers classes, special monthly family events and tournaments throughout the year.  With 11 locations in the Valley – South Mountain, Desert Mirage, Papago, Longbow, Falcon Dunes, Lone Tree and now all City of Phoenix courses – The First Tee of Phoenix programming sites serve as a place for participants to learn valuable life skills and character lessons through creative activities and instructional programs that incorporate the fundamental teachings of golf.  For more information on The First Tee of Phoenix, call (602) 305-7655, or log on to their website at www.thefirstteephoenix.org.

The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports.  Consisting of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members, The Thunderbirds host the Waste Management Phoenix Open; the best-attended golf tournament in the world, which to date has raised nearly $80 million for Valley charities, including the First Tee of Phoenix. With its unmatched fan participation and rich history dating back more than 78 years, The Waste Management Phoenix Open has gained legendary status for being a unique stop on the PGA TOUR. For more information on The Thunderbirds or the Waste Management Phoenix Open, call 602.870.0163 or visit www.WasteManagementPhoenixOpen.com.

Waste Management Phoenix Open

Waste Management Phoenix Open 2012 [PHOTOS]

Sunshine, well-groomed grass, cold drinks and plenty of interesting people — all found at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

I had been hearing about the Phoenix Open for as long as I can remember, but I never had a chance to see it for myself. This was my chance to finally dive in and enjoy the festivities.

As soon as I walked into the gate, I was greeted by a number of friendly vendors, all happy to give me a free sample of their product. There was everything from cheap pens to alcoholic ice cream. People were testing their skills on simulation golf games and others were looking through designer clothes.

As soon as I got enough swag to last me through the day, I continued on in search of some golf!

It was a beautiful day, and I enjoyed taking in the scenery, the smell of food and all of the interesting people that had come to enjoy the weekend.

After a number of hours without shade, I was happy to see the sun begin to set, and I made my way over to the Birds Nest. Here the theme went from “leisure” to “let’s party!”

After a couple excellent cover bands, DJ Ronnie G took the stage to get everyone moving with his combination of dance music and a custom visual production.

After a full day and night of sightseeing and energetic dancing, I was very tired and very pleased with my stay at the Phoenix Open, as I’m sure the rest of my fellow attendees were as well.

Photos from the Waste Management Phoenix Open:

Phoenix Open

View the entire album on Flickr.