Waste Management Phoenix Open draws hundreds of thousands of people, raises millions for charities

The greatest show on grass, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, is back as the most unique stop on the PGA tour from January 29 to February 4 in Scottsdale.

The golf tournament attracted 655,000 people over the whole week last year, and raised $10.1 million to donate to local charities. Thousands don’t flock to only watch golf but also to celebrate a culture.

Carlos Sugich, the chairman for the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, describes the variety of things to do during the week. There will be chances to meet celebrities and watch athletes like Larry Fitzgerald work with a club rather than a football. There will be activities for kids to learn and practice the sport, while adults can attend motivational speeches. At night, fans turn from the course to the stage to watch musical guests. There will be a craft beer house at the 17th hole for the first time. Most importantly, the 16th hole will continue to be the most famous spot during the whole week.

“The 16th hole has become a bucket list for people from all over the world,” Sugich says. “Every day during tournament week it hosts 16,000 people… It’s the loudest golfing hole, and most of the players actually appreciate that. They don’t want that in every tournament they play, but they appreciate it because they get to feel what it feels like to play in a real stadium.”

The 16th hole can get pretty rowdy, so the event introduced the Respect Program last year, and Sugich says it seemed like it did the job. It encourages fans to respect each other, the players and the game.

A main attraction of the event is what it does for the community. Every year the tournament donates millions of dollars to hundreds of local charities. Since the tournament began, Sugich says more than $122 million has been donated.

For more information on the Waste Management Phoenix Open, go here.

Sponsor message:

In this segment:

Carlos Sugich: Chairman, 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open

Sponsor message:

Sign up to receive the Arizona PBS Insider

Get up-to-the-minute information about your favorite programs and learn more about Arizona PBS news and events.

'Looking for Fred Astaire' explores a complicated Hollywood legend

"Looking for Fred Astaire" explores the life of the dancing legend and Hollywood star, whose work with Hollywood's biggest starlets sometimes left him frustrated and depressed.

Sheryl Crow celebrates 'Christmas at Belmont' with Belmont music school, Nashville children's choir

Christmas at Belmont 2017

Join Grammy-winning host Sheryl Crow and nearly 700 student musicians as they celebrate the Christmas season on Friday, Dec. 21, at 9 p.m.

'Little Women' returns with Sunday night encores in December

Little Women on Masterpiece

Encore presentations of "Little Women," an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s coming-of-age classic, are coming to Arizona PBS Sundays at 7 p.m. beginning Dec. 16.