WALKING through the main entrance at the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open, punters are greeted by a sign that gives you a clue of what’s to come.
Plastered in giant green writing across the front of a white tent, bang in front of you, are the letters B-A-R.
Simply put, this is the mother of all sporting booze-ups.
But it’s the spectators, who often come in fancy dress, that are having the time of their lives.
Dotted around the 18-hole course are plenty of concession stands to get liquored up from.
However, it’s on the 16th hole where player participation is invited. Well, if you can count getting sprayed by dozens of 24-ounce cans of Miller Lite tossed onto the green by overzealous supporters as getting involved.
If Spring Break did golf events, the party would start here.
The beer will be flowing
It is impossible to move past the fact you can’t score a bevvie at the Waste Management Open.
At the Fan Zone you will find more alcohol stored here than in a prohibition bootlegger’s cellar.
From specialist cocktails to wine and variety of beers, including craft ales, there is something for every raver to get buzzed.
Between the 6th and 7th holes there’s the Craft Beer Oasis, a small patch of desert that houses a plethora of vendors.
In 2023, this area featured a Blue Moon bar, a Hop Valley Brewing Company, a Coors Light seating area and deck, an Arnold Palmer Spiked air stream trailer, and a Saint Archer Brewing Co. bar.
It’s a bit of walk from the action at the far-end of the golf course, but once there you’ve earned a refresher.
Lining your stomach
Also by the Fan Zone, a patch of grass devoted to tables, lawn games, and food tents is filled by customers.
Last year, a burger chain called Zinburger perfectly lined the stomachs for a heavy day of drinking.
While at Garcia’s, tasty burrito’s were served on tap for hungry fans.
More spirits were served up at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row – a whiskey bar chain with locations in Nashville and Arizona.
Needless to say, this part of the course is packed – maybe because the spirit is delivered by their ‘Whisky Girls’ who make the Hooters hotties seem tame.
Not everyone wants to watch the action, when a Jack and Coke and a Red Bull Tangerine Margarita hits the spot instead.
In typical American fashion, jumbo-sized hot dogs – ‘The Thunderdogs’ – can be bought at the Lifebird Grill near the 10th tee box.
Smothered in mustard, peppers and onions they are a real treat.
If aerial views of the 6th, 11th, 12, and 15th holes are what you after, with a drink in hand, then The Ridge is just the ticket.
It’s high up on a hill, features bar stools with a wrap-around bar that overlooks the greens.
More comfortable lounge seating is also available, if you’re tuning out from the day’s play.
On the 18th, there’s the shaded Bottled Blonde – a pizzeria/bar/nightclub found in Old Town, Scottsdale. That has become a more permanent fixture in recent times at the WM Phoenix Open.
Fill your boots with a cold 16 or 12-ounce can of beer here to cool down from the usually humid temperature.
But it’s all kicking off on the 16th
The wildest revellers will find themselves in the stands at the 16th, nicknamed the ‘party hole’. which is engulfed by thirsty spectators.
Around 20,000 are crammed in, ready to saviour a magic moment.
In 2023, they got just that when Sam Ryder sunk a hole in one – as rapture around him ensued.
Beer, beer bottles, drinks, and drink cups were launched into the air, with thousands thrown into the bunkers on the green, on the fairway, tee box and rough along the hole.
“Oh my god!” said CBS pundit Colt Knost.
“There’s liquid coming down. There’s beer going everywhere.”
“We are covered in beer and other liquids, I believe,” host Amanda Balionis confirmed.
“Everyone is going insane. We might have a slight rain delay here on the 16th because it’s going to take a little bit of cleanup.”
Knost added as a replay played on screen: “Bam! Cocktails.”
LIV Golf are aiming to go head-to-head with the WM Phoenix Open, having launched their own ‘party hole’ for its tournament in Las Vegas.
It will have to go some, though, to beat the real deal.
The action and debauchery begins Thursday and runs through to Sunday.
Expect the patrons living it up to be nursing sore heads on Monday morning.