Although there have officially been two PGA tournaments so far to kick off the 2017 season, in my opinion the real start of the year has always been the Phoenix Open currently sponsored by Waste Management. Don’t get me wrong, watching the Hawaii golf tournaments in January stunning and a great distraction from winter, but it never feels like the crowds are there nor is the TV audience. And I’m sure some of you are thinking nothing could ever replace the grandeur and tradition of Augusta in April and to compare the raucous Phoenix Open to the Masters as the “start” of the season is sacrilege! I’ve had the pleasure of painting Amen corner at Augusta so trust me the tradition of the Masters is not lost upon me.
But the Phoenix open is like my old high school pep rally to start the season. Lots of excited fans in golf’s only stadium hole, the 16th expressing over the top adulation coupled with even boos! Maybe its cabin fever, or maybe it’s because it’s on Super Bowl weekend, but it feels more like watching a football game. You know I will be glued to my TV that weekend for golf followed by football.