Book and Buy in Advance
Buy as far in advance as you can if you don't have a ticket plug! People will scalp and hike up prices, especially for Friday and Saturday. Closer to the week, Albertsons and Fry's offer a discount code on their receipts you can buy here.
If you can swing it, buy a Bay Club, Greenskeeper, 1937, 16th Hole, etc. wristband. The free food and drinks are worth it, and it's nice to have a shaded spot and avoid the GA bathrooms. I personally love the Bay Club as it's spacious and right next to hole 17, the short par 4, which provides a lot of drama.
Don't ever pay for tickets if you're in the golf business… I will never pay for a ticket in my life. You can always take a chance, show up later in the day, and hope to run into someone coming out that will give you their wristband.
The same goes for Coors Light Bird's Nest Concert tickets - buy as far in advance as possible.
Best Days to Attend?
You will have fun any day at the WMPO - however, Fridays and Saturdays are usually PACKED. The environment is fun, but around 250,000 people come per day. Crowds and traffic are unavoidable.
Monday thru Wednesday practice round days are usually way more laid back, with players fine-tuning before the official start. Wednesday has a celebrity-packed pro-am as part of the practice rounds. Many athletes and stars come to play a fun round with the pros.
Thursday is definitely the more “chill” day…while Friday and Saturday are packed with crowds and are INSANELY rowdy. You must do a Saturday at the Waste Management at least once in your life just to experience it.
The masses are still large on Sunday but die down a little as most are hungover and trying to make it to their Super Bowl parties.
Where to Watch
on the Course
The 16th Stadium hole is obviously the main attraction - with 3 levels filled with exclusive boxes, bars, and golf fanatics screaming during every tee shot. Want to be in the GA front row with all the crazies? Be prepared to wake up early (the ones first in line for 2023 were there at 2:45 AM).
Again, wristbands are like gold with elevated views, and TV's inside, so you don't miss any of the action on the course.
If you're a real golf fan, 16 can be overrated - suck it up and walk to any other hole than 16, and you can watch great golf up close! Hole 12 and Holes 5/6/7 are far out from the clubhouse and have plenty of beer stands. Or even better, park it on one of the luscious green hills lining the fairways and sit it there for the day (great place for a midday nap).
Don't worry if you don't give a shit about the golf, there are plenty of bars, food stands, and people-watching to do.
Parking vs. Rideshare
Public parking is just north of the course off of Hayden or at Westworld - both have a designated field lot where they shuttle you in on buses. I always park at the lot north of Hayden because it's easy to skip the shuttle bus and just walk in.
I might get in trouble for this, but I've parked at a major grocery/superstore or another shopping lot, ubered from a bar and restaurant nearby. Do with this what you will.
Uber/Lyft rides are going to be pricey, and there's no way around it. There is a designated rideshare, be mindful that this will be hella crowded, and Ubers/Lyfts will take a minute to snag, but it's worth it if you're drinking.
Try taking a ride or walking to a restaurant/bar nearby first (Twin Peaks, OHSO, Cold Beers, and Cheeseburgers) to refuel/take a breather/chug some water before heading to where you need to go.
Lots of bars and restaurants offer shuttles!!! Google online closer to tournament week.
For the 2023 Open…
How not to be on a viral video / Tips
Drink water in-between beers, wear sunscreen and eat a hot dog. It's not that hard. The dry air and black hole of the WMPO will get you wasted in no time. And if you screw up and make a fool of yourself – don't worry, everyone has seen it all at this tournament.
OMG, IF YOU ARE A GIRL, DO NOT WEAR HEELS AND A SUNDRESS!!! I mean, you can if you want, but it is outdoors, a lot of walking and just a nightmare. If you can pull off this outfit, you're my hero.
Most of the golfers embrace the craziness, but it is so annoying to see people clawing and screaming at them for a picture…remember that this is their day job, and they are playing for millions of dollars, so don't beg them for a picture on the driving range while they're trying to practice and don't yell in their backswing (unless everyone else is doing it on 16).