Inside Golf

2022 The American Express

By: Chris Lewis

Co-hosted by The Mickelson Foundation, January’s tournament will offer something for everyone.

            There is no doubt about it. Phil Mickelson loves Coachella Valley and the desert. After all, he won the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in 2002 and 2004, a tournament he has competed in consistently for 30 years.

            His love for charity is even greater though, as he and his wife Amy have a longstanding affinity for supporting charitable organizations.

            With this in mind, Phil (and The Mickelson Foundation, which supports various family and youth initiatives) was an ideal host for the tournament (now known as The American Express and held annually in La Quinta, Calif.)—a partnership that began in September 2019.

            Mickelson’s, along with the American Express’s, first year of involvement was very successful, as they oversaw a highly attended event that concluded with Andrew Landry’s two-stroke victory over Abraham Ancer, leading him to join the likes of past winners that include Fred Couples, Johnny Miller, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. 

            However, his second year of involvement was completely different, as there weren’t any spectators or a three-day pro-am for the 2021 edition of the tournament.

            “I’m grateful for The Mickelson Foundation’s and American Express’s support, as we were still able to host a professional golf tournament,” said Pat McCabe, executive director, The American Express, which is operated by SportFive, a full-service sports and entertainment agency. “The show went on anyways.” 

Improving Fans’ Experiences

            Beginning on January 19, 2022, the 63rd annual tournament will be held at the 7,060-yard-long La Quinta Country Club, as well as PGA West’s 7,204-yard-long Nicklaus Tournament Course and 7,300-yard-long Stadium Course. Attendees will be welcomed back once again, as a three-day pro-am, which has already been sold out, will be contested again too.

            The pro-am is unique, as it is the only one on the PGA TOUR that enables participants to play with six PGA TOUR players during three days at three separate courses—two at PGA West, along with La Quinta Country Club.

            “We’re not just welcoming back fans. We’re also improving their experiences, while bringing back what made the tournament so fan-friendly to begin with too,” McCabe stressed.

            For starters, fans will be able to enjoy two nights of live music after the second and third rounds have been completed on Friday and Saturday. In addition, all ticket holders will have access to Casamigos Club 18’s open-air venue, which will be located on the 18th green; while there, they can enjoy lunch and Casamigos cocktails as they witness the action of the tournament. 

            At the same time, every ticket holder will also have access to the Michelob Ultra Beers Fore Birdies venue, which has been moved closer to the 17th green for the 2022 edition of the tournament. Meanwhile, if patrons have tickets for the Champions Club, they will have preferred parking and access to climate-controlled seating on the 18thgreen, along with a full bar, a hosted breakfast and lunch, snacks, an upgraded concert section, updated restrooms (reserved for them), and all three of the tournament’s golf courses.

            “Along with providing them more areas to watch golf, fans will also enjoy a great food and beverage experience,” McCabe stated. “And there will be more venues, as well as revamped venues, along with opportunities for local companies to entertain clients at VIP areas near the 17th green.”

            The 17th hole, known as the “Rock at Alcatraz”, will also be the site of various open-air executive suites, featuring food service, a flat screen television and tiered seating.

            “Aside from these viewing opportunities, we’re also improving traffic flow and cell phone coverage, which will be especially important for guests as they take breaks from watching the tournament,” McCabe added.

Volunteer Opportunities, Charitable Endeavors

            As in the past, The American Express will also have a wide array of volunteer opportunities, ranging from admissions to gallery management. Every volunteer will receive an Adidas golf shirt, an Adidas jacket, headgear, a bag featuring the tournament’s logo and a gift certificate. Registration is still fully opened on The American Express’s website.

            “We aren’t able to do this without American Express—that’s the bottom line,” McCabe emphasized.

            Along with The Mickelson Foundation, American Express will provide funding to organizations that support education, families, health and wellness, homelessness and youth sports. Last year, The Mickelson Foundation raised over $1 million for Coachella Valley-based charities, despite the pandemic.

            To help support American Express’s and The Mickelson Foundation’s charitable endeavors, fans can purchase tickets on The American Express’s website. American Express Card Members will receive a 20 percent discount for each ticket they purchase.

            “As we prepare to celebrate the 63rd edition of this historical event, we’ll truly have something for everyone—the best players in the world, musical entertainment, perfect weather and great venues,” McCabe said. “We can’t wait for January!”

For more information, please visit www.theamexgolf.com.