Perhaps one of the toughest tickets in sports is getting a seat around the par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale during the PGA Tour's Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Though there's enough seating around the 16th hole for some 20,000 people -- which is insane unto itself -- but an overwhelming portion of the seating is reserved for the 298 suites that surround the hole on three sides. The suites go up three levels, with seating to watch the players coming through on the short hole but also to fraternize, socialize and drink.
However, there are several thousand seats on the hole that are still reserved for regular ticket holders, grounds pass holders. For these patrons, how they get a seat at the 16th hole is a whole different story.
General admission fans, or at least those who do not have tickets with access to one of the 298 suites, can get into the 16th hole grandstands on a first-come, first-served basis. When the tournament gates open each day at 7 a.m. local time, thousands of fans run and rush toward the 16th hole to pile in for a long day of watching golf, drinking, cheering and booing.
Once those seats are occupied, however, general admission fans have to wait in line until seating matching their party size becomes available. Perhaps getting one seat as a solo fan isn't bad, but trying to get a whole group of buddies together into the grandstands is very difficult. The wait times to get into the available seats on the 16th hole can be up to three hours long, particularly on Saturday, which is the best-attended day of the tournament.
For fans who want to guarantee themselves a spot on the 16th hole at the Phoenix Open, their best bet is to spend the money to gain access to a suite. Or they can spend the $24,000 per seat to get seats that are less than 50 feet from the tee shots the players are hitting. Both of these options are quite expensive. Otherwise, a fan can only do their best by getting to the tournament hours before the gates open at 7 a.m., sprint like the wind and then have the day of their lives at the tournament.