FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN
Continuing its long-standing tradition of honoring the courageous men and women of our U.S. Armed Forces and their families – as well as the selfless first responders who risk their lives to keep us safe, the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open went above and beyond to show these American heroes how much their efforts are appreciated.
Throughout the week, the tournament hosted special activities, access and programs, including offering complimentary or discounted tickets for military members, veterans, and first responders.
Special activities for first responders included exclusive access to the Farmers Cares Club private hospitality venue overlooking the 14th green of Torrey Pines South; the opportunity for two foursomes of San Diego police officers and firefighters to play in the Monday Pro-Am, with PGA TOUR player Rickie Fowler joining each group for nine holes; and the chance for local uniformed first responders to serve as pin flag attendants on the 14th green of the South Course.
Military appreciation activities included providing an opportunity for four active duty military members to play in the Monday Pro-Am, thanks to support from The George & Betty Harbaugh Foundation; enabling uniformed active duty U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard members to serve as American flag pin flag attendants on the 13th green from Thursday through Sunday; and inviting military guests to enjoy complimentary food and beverages in the Patriots’ Outpost Presented by The George & Betty Harbaugh Foundation military-exclusive hospitality venue, in partnership with the Century Club of San Diego.
Also during tournament week, while PGA TOUR players Bubba Watson, Harold Varner III and Maverick McNealy proved why they are top guns on the golf course, U.S. Marines stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego showed off their top gun skills in the air – offering the players some time in a flight simulator and a behind-the-scenes tour of the fighter jets at the base, where the new Top Gun motion picture starring Tom Cruise was filmed. In the upcoming movie, scheduled to be released in June, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell pushes the envelope as a Navy test pilot. To see photos from the experience, click here.
WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN
Played at TPC Scottsdale January 27 to February 2, the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open also showed its outstanding commitment to military guests. Among the enormous crowds that lined the fairways and packed the greens throughout the week were thousands of military members, veterans, military family members and first responders, all of whom were invited to attend the tournament free of charge. Once at the tournament, military guests had the opportunity to enjoy complimentary food and beverages and a relaxing place for viewing all of the tournament action in the Birdies for the Brave Patriots’ Outpost presented by PRO EM, which was located in a prime spot near the 18th tee.
Other activities that were conducted during tournament week included the opportunity for active duty military members to caddie for PGA TOUR players on one hole; a military helicopter flyover on hole No. 16 with a para-jump team to kick off the Shot at Glory, where one fan was selected from the stands to try and hit the green; the chance for uniformed active duty military members to tend the American flag pin flag on Saturday; and an Operation Shower group baby shower for 33 military moms-to-be whose spouses are deployed, or in some cases, who are active duty themselves.
The tournament – recently named the Tournament of the Year by the PGA TOUR for 2019 – marked the 85th playing of the event and the 11th as the Waste Management Phoenix Open. It is also one of the five oldest tournaments on the PGA TOUR, as well as one of the TOUR’s most charitable, with millions of dollars raised each year for hundreds of local charities thanks to support from the Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds was founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds raised a record $13.2 million for charity from proceeds from the 2019 WM Phoenix Open and have eclipsed $147 million in charitable giving since its inception in 1932.
For more information on Birdies for the Brave, visit www.birdiesforthebrave.org or follow them on Facebook.