Golf, But Wasted

2024 WM Phoenix Open - TPC Scottsdale
2024 WM Phoenix Open - TPC Scottsdale / Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY

The PGA Tour and the Waste Management Phoenix Open hit the redline this week. We now know the limit of how much fun you can have at a golf tournament and the results were not pretty.

In what can only be described as the Fyre Festival of golf, the WMP Open set new records in both consumption and regurgitation at a professional sporting event.

There were streakers flipping into sand traps, fights, staggering drunks, verbal attacks on players, and people treating the course like an open-air toilet all before the entire place got cut off at the bar.

There was also a hell of a finish. But that story got lost in the storm.

Since the inception of the LIV/PGA Tour battles, LIV has positioned itself as “Golf, But Louder.” Over the past weekend we got to see that, regardless of which Tour it happens on, it might not be the best idea.

So this is what the democratization of golf looks like? This is “broadening the audience” and “growing the game to new fans”?


It’s trendy to talk about golf needing to loosen its tie and let its hair down. Play in jeans, they say. Hoodies are cool, they insist. I’m actually surprised we haven’t had TED Talks on “Golfer Privilege” and how a collared shirt is an ostentatious flaunting of colonialism. 

We’ve dumbed-down and casualized every aspect of our society. Now we work in our sweats and ride airplanes in our pajamas. It may feel good, but it’s not a great look. It’s not making things “better.”

The Waste Management Phoenix Open proved there are limits to the theory of “loosening up is just more fun.”

The WMP Open used to be fun. It has enjoyed and embraced its reputation as the biggest party on Tour. This week, it certainly didn’t lose that reputation. It also earned a new one.

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It just turns out there is a thin line between an out-of-control party and an unruly mob.