2017 Golf Tournaments You Won’t Want to Miss
Watching golf tournaments on television is one thing, but seeing the best golfers in person is something quite different. Getting an up close view of just how good they really are — and how far they hit the ball — is an eye-opening experience. Fortunately there are many chances to see the best male and female golfers in the world — at both the professional and amateur level — play in and around Scottsdale in a number of tournaments during 2017.
Feb. 2 - 5
DID YOU KNOW: Branded as “The Greatest Show on Grass,” this tournament is known as much for its party atmosphere as it is for the golf that is played. The TPC Scottsdale’s par-3 16th hole and its famously raucous crowd of almost 20,000 spectators attracts most of the attention, but the 14th hole, an uphill par 4, played the hardest in 2016 with a stroke average of 4.190. The easiest hole? That turned out to be the par-5 13th with an average score of 4.635. The fun continues each night with live music at the nearby Bird’s Nest.
DID YOU KNOW: Seven-time major winner Juli Inkster captured this season-opening event for the Legends Tour by three shots in 2016, adding to her impressive playing resume of 31 professional wins. She is expected to return this year as part of a field of 50 veteran LPGA players age 45 and over who will be competing for a purse of $250,000 at the Grandview Golf Course in Sun City West.
DID YOU KNOW: Bank of Hope, one of the largest Korean-American banks in the U.S., is the new title sponsor of this tournament, which started in 2011 and honors the founders of the LPGA. Defending champion Sei Young Kim of South Korea shot an astounding 27-under par last year, including an opening round 63 and a final round 62. She'll look to defend her title this year at Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.
DID YOU KNOW: After a successful four-year run at Desert Mountain in North Scottsdale, the season-ending tournament on the Champions Tour moves to the Phoenix Country Club this year. Located close to downtown, the club was founded in 1899 and moved to its current location in 1921. It served as the original venue for the Phoenix Open (now the Waste Management Phoenix Open) from 1932 through 1986. Paul Goydos was the wire-to-wire champion in 2016, but with his second place finish, Bernhard Langer won his third consecutive Schwab Cup season championship.
DID YOU KNOW: Each of the 84 collegiate golfers in the field receives a special golf bag at the event’s opening ceremony with the name and branch of service of a fallen or injured military member whom they shall represent. Participants also receive a card with the soldier’s story, so they can be familiar with who that person was, what they represented and how they were killed or wounded in action. After the tournament, bags are shipped to players’ schools and auctioned with all proceeds benefitting the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while in active service. The tournament will take place at the Wigwam Resort.