Golf, Super Bowl closely intertwined in Arizona

PGA Tour fan favorite Rickie Fowler and Alex Morgan make an appearance in Michelob Ultra's Super Bowl commercial.
PGA Tour fan favorite Rickie Fowler and Alex Morgan make an appearance in Michelob Ultra's Super Bowl commercial.

Commercials and neighboring WM Phoenix Open give golf a big spotlight at the 2023 Super Bowl

If there’s one theme to take away from Super Bowl LVII this year, it’s co-branding. Collaborating ran rampant in almost every commercial, pairing celebrities with companies in memorable and nostalgic ways. It also brought light to another fortuitous combination: Super Bowl Sunday and the WM Phoenix Open.

Four times the Super Bowl and WM Phoenix Open have shared the same weekend in the Arizona desert. In 1996, the tournament finished on Saturday to accommodate Sunday’s game. 

Before Sunday’s game even began, Fox Sports commentators gave a shout-out to the neighboring event. They compared Patrick Mahomes’ on-course strategy to his approach as quarterback when he appeared in “The Match” in 2022: sometimes you need a 3-wood off the tee to be a little more accurate, sometimes you need to lob a wedge-like throw into the end zone.

Having the Super Bowl take place 40 minutes away from TPC Scottsdale has had a positive impact on attendance at the PGA Tour stop. This year, for the first time in the tournament’s 91-year history, tickets to the second and third round were sold out. With an already crowded 16th hole that grows in popularity and rowdiness every year, having a Super Bowl the same weekend creates the ultimate fan trip.

Golf spilled into Michelob Ultra’s Super Bowl commercials as well this year, both being nods to the classic movie, “Caddyshack.” Each had quite a celebrity roster, including Tony Romo (who reprised Bill Murray's famous role as course superintendent Carl Spackler), Serena Williams, Alex Morgan and Brian Cox. Also, PGA Tour fan favorite Rickie Fowler and actor Michael O'Keefe, who played Danny Noonan in the movie, made cameos. 

While one Super Bowl commercial tipped its hat to the recent resurgence of golf with new players joining the game and having a blast with Michelob Ultra, the other heavily promoted “Full Swing,” the new Netflix docuseries on the PGA Tour that debuts Feb. 15. In fact, you can watch the first episode early if you caught the QR code at the end of the commercial.

Though the Kansas City Chiefs were victorious at the Super Bowl, the PGA Tour was also a clear winner this weekend.