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Doobie Brothers at The Phoenix Open – A Hole In One!

By Dave Cooper

The Doobie Brothers (left to right) Patrick Simmons, Tom Johnston, Michael Hossack, John McFee

One of America’s most popular, well-attended annual sports and entertainment events is fast approaching. No, it's not the Super Bowl. It's the Greatest Show On Grass, the Waste Management Phoenix Open Professional Golf Tournament. From January 31 to February 6, the Sonoran Desert, in full, spectacular springtime bloom, will become the spotlight to millions of television viewers and myriad others attending this first rate event. Attracting a half million people over just a few days, the Phoenix Open is much more than a golf event. This annual Valley of the Sun celebration is a regular springtime happening and offers a variety of high-spirited entertainment choices.

You might be surprised to learn that music is a big part of the Phoenix Open. For thousands of Valley residents, many who would gladly exchange a golf ball for a highball, cocktail, that is, it’s party time at their favorite place on site to be and to be seen – the legendary Bird’s Nest.

Phoenix OpenA traditional part of the Greatest Show on Grass is live music. The highly popular Phoenix Open nightly concert series is hosted at the Bird’s Nest, a 21 and over venue located directly across from the WM Phoenix Open tournament entrance at 82nd Street and Bell Road. The Bird’s Nest, a massive tent with beverage stations, general and VIP seating and dancing, is a primo setting for concerts. This year's headliner is The DOOBIE BROTHERS.

Currently touring the globe in support of their new album, World Gone Crazy, the DOOBIE BROTHERS will glide through Arizona to make an encore appearance at the Phoenix Open, having first played this event in 2007. Their lineup includes original members Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston along with John McFee and Michael Hossack, Doobie band mates for 30-plus years. The DOOBIE BROTHERS appear Wednesday February 2 at 8:00pm.

The 2011 Bird's Nest Concert Series features other Classic Rock veterans. Slated to perform throughout the week are Billboard-charting band O.A.R. of Maryland in their third Phoenix Open show and the popular San Diego band SLIGHTLY STOOPID, geared up to gratify their legion of “stoopidhead” fans. Local rockers the CHADWICKS and eighties Glam Rock cover band, METALHEAD are also on the bill. Rounding out the lineup is DUCK SOUP, “The Unofficial Band of the PGA Tour” known for doing many appearances at professional golf events.

Since 1932, the Phoenix Open has become a favorite yearly celebration combining golf, celebrity appearances, community participation, strong philanthropic endeavors and eye-catching people watching. It is recognized as one of the premier destinations on the Professional Golfer’s Association’s annual calendar. Of course the primary activity for this weeklong happening hosted at TPC is based on the PGA Tour rolling through the Valley of the Sun, bringing with it the world’s greatest golfers. Golf-related activities scheduled for the week include practice rounds (1/31 and 2/1) for professional golf participants. In the spirit of community and altruism, several fun side events are also planned on those days benefiting the Junior Golf Association, Special Olympics and locally sponsored R. S. Hoyt Jr. Family Foundation Dream Day.

The always-popular Pro-Am event (2/2) will feature teams comprised of professional golfers and athletes, Hollywood icons and local residents all playing together to enjoy a light-hearted, mildly competitive round of golf. This special day at the Phoenix Open is particularly entertaining for spectators close enough to the action to be sometimes pulled, literally, into the mix of good, clean fun and revelry.

Over the next four days, the TPC of Scottsdale’s fairways and greens will be lined with enthusiastic, spirited fans and occupied by professional golfers, in fact, the famed 16th Hole, with its wrap-around, coliseum-like bleacher and skybox seating, is noted for its truly raucous, fervent rock concert type energy. Up to 20,000 golf fanatics will absorb this single space on the course for a truly unique golf experience, competing until a champion is crowned on Sunday, February 6.

Then you can watch the Super Bowl.

A complete list of scheduled activities, spectator and ticket info and much more is available at wastemanagementphoenixopen.com.