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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Phoenix 2017: Final 4 And Whole Lots More

Recently our travels took our family to Phoenix Arizona to attend the NCAA Final 4 basketball tournament, golf at TPC Scottsdale and a tour of the Ping Golf Facility. The weather was sunny and warm and we took full advantage of the breezy days.

The Final 4 is a bucket list event for many and well worth attending one time.  For us, it was our second Final 4. We were fortunate to go last year and watch Villanova crowned National Champion for college basketball in Houston, Texas at NRG stadium where the Super Bowl was held this year.  This event is the pinnacle of "pure fun." Unlike professional sporting events, the NCAA does not allow alcohol and as a result makes for a very clean and happy venue with no fighting and drunken behavior.

This year the event took place at the modern 80,000 seat University Of Phoenix Stadium home of the professional football team the Arizona Cardinals.  68 college basketball teams earned the right to play in what is known as "March Madness."  This year the teams that battled to the Final 4 were  Gonzaga, Oregon, South and North Carolina.

In a close contest North Carolina beat Gonzaga to be crowned the 2017 National Champion. It seemed only fitting that they won since they returned to the big dance this year after losing a heart breaking game last year to Villanova on the last shot of the game. UNC's theme this year was "redemption" and the team worked hard to achieve the goal of coming back to the Final 4 and winning it all.

Phoenix this time of year is blessed with perfect weather.  Many people from cold weather states were loving the escape to Phoenix to enjoy the many golf courses, restaurants and warm sunshine.

TPC  Scottsdale is one of those great courses that draws the biggest crowds in golf  for the Waste Management PGA event. It is billed as "The Greatest Show On Grass."  In February, Japanese sensation Hideki Matsuyama won the million dollar prize for back to back victories.  This year nearly 700,000 people enjoyed the warm sunshine and famous number 16 par 3 golf hole lined with over 20,000 fans and golf sky boxes  cheering for the golfers that hit the green and booing the ones that do not. It is unlike any other tournament in golf.

We played this great golf course and even though the grandstands were not there you could imagine the thrill of the high energy crowd shouting your name as you walked to the tee to hit your shot. Both the tournament and golf course should be added to your bucket list of must do's.

Ping Golf is also located in Phoenix. We were invited to go on a VIP factory tour. It is an amazing experience highlighted by their Gold Putter Vault. If a PGA player wins a tournament with a Ping putter they are awarded a replica Gold Putter and another one goes into the vault at the Ping  Phoenix headquarters.

CEO John Solheim awarded my son, MJ, one of these putters a few years ago as he used a B60 Ping putter to win his 48 Golf Gold Medals and multiple State and National Championships from Special Olympics.   As a result, seeing this "golden vault" was extra special for our family.

In addition to the Gold Putter award, Ping strongly supports our military. It has a very generous rebate program for all military personnel when they purchase Ping clubs.

We highly recommend that you visit Ping next time you are in Phoenix.

 For more information and to schedule  a factory tour go to: