Focus On: Greater Phoenix

The home of desert golf

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Whirlwind Golf Club (left) in Chandler boasts two Gary Panks-designed courses, while Gold Canyon Golf Resort (right) is home to two courses as well. The Dinosaur Mountain Course is shown.
With more than 100 golf courses, the Phoenix-Scottsdale area has enough variety to satisfy golfers of all skill levels and budgets.

That’s one of the reasons why it’s arguably the country’s most golf-mad city. (The 325 days of sunshine doesn’t hurt either.)

However, be warned, the region is vast (from downtown Phoenix to north Scottsdale is over 25 miles), so if you plan to visit either Phoenix or Scottsdale without prior planning, you may find yourself spending more time in your rental car than your golf cart.

So what’s the best way to plan your trip?

We suggest you first pick the golf courses you want to play and then select a corresponding accommodation option. Or, better yet, opt for a “stay and play” package at one of the area’s many golf resorts.

For ease of use, we’ve broken down our roundup of the valley’s best courses by region. Choose one, settle down for a few days and enjoy the great weather and even better golf.

Where To Stay

Savvy Internet users should navigate, a website devoted to providing users with the best accommodation options during their stay in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. Three strategically placed resorts cover a large swath of the region and make it possible to stay and play at the same place. Consider the Westin Kierland Resort in north Scottsdale, with 27 holes on the premises and a 38-acre “commons” that features dining, retail and entertainment. Plus there’s a lazy river at the Adventure Water Park—perfect for the kids.  A little over ten miles from Sky Harbor International Airport, the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort features two 18-hole championship golf courses in the Sonoran Desert. Plus, there’s a full-service spa, swimming pool, jogging trails and a casino nearby. On the west side, 20 miles from Phoenix, the Wigwam Resort and Golf Club boasts 331 casita-style rooms and 54 holes of golf (two courses were designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr.), not to mention a tennis center. Oenophiles can indulge at the Wigwam Wine Society, a social wine-and-food club geared toward wine lovers.


Other Reasons To Visit

The PGA Tour The Tour swings through the area twice a year with stops at TPC Scottsdale with the always-exciting FBR Open in late January and the more subdued Open at Grayhawk in mid-October.

The Cactus League We’re talking baseball, and in 2009, three more teams (the White Sox, Indians and Dodgers) will call the Phoenix-Scottsdale area their spring-training home. In all, twelve teams—including the Cubs, Rangers and Mariners—spend their spring in the Valley of the Sun.

The Weather We’ll keep this short and sweet: 325 days of sun, average high temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit in November.


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