“I want a hamburger... no, a cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake...oh, and put a five spot on Rickie Fowler making a birdie on 16 today”.
That’s right, legalized sports gambling is coming directly to TPC Scottsdale and the Waste Management Open.
The details are like Robert Allenby’s details of his night in Hawaii...murky:
- partnering with Draftkings as the sportsbook operator
- a permanent retail/mobile sportsbook operation to be constructed onsite
- a 19th hole vibe with “great food and a great sports atmosphere”
- operational in 2023 to coincide with Super Bowl and the WMPO
- no word yet on a $4.99 prime rib dinner special
Initially this sounded like an excuse to take advantage of gambling opportunities only for the PGA Tour’s WMPO. Not so. This is going to be a permanent sportsbook operating year-round for any sports betting.
The choice of TPC Scottsdale seems apt here. Take the Gladiator-like entrance to hole 16’s tee box. You walk through the entrance and on the other side you lose all track of time and all sense of normal human behaviour, just like a casino.
This is a way to attract more casual golf fans as well as enriching the experience for more hard-core golf fans. Imaging some of the bets from those drunken hooligans:
- hitting the green in regulation
- KP for the group (or KP for the entire day)
- betting on three putts, long putts, chip-ins
- How many beers Brad from Tempe can crush while Jon Rahm walks to the green
Maybe this will be an impetus to bring back the caddie races; they can be handicapped and promoted daily just like the annual races at Churchill Downs.
Not lost here is the huge potential for the PGA Tour’s desire to show every shot at an event.
Having this level of visibility to Tour player’s hole-by-hole (or shot-by-shot) performance is just the kind of access that gamblers crave, especially as the daily sports betting moves to a more mobile environment.
There is no word on whether they will be televising Three Card Monte in the tunnel walking to the 16th tee.