Backspin: Scottsdale, Arizona
10 reasons to play in Scottsdale during the shoulder season
1. Deals galore. Seriously, once the temperatures start to rise and the snowbirds head back home, you can play Scottsdale's best courses for a fraction of what they cost just a few weeks before. Shoulder season rates are 75 percent of what they were in February and March. Summer rates are half as much or less.
2. Affordable luxury. Not only is golf less expensive, but so are accommodations at the resorts. Yet the pools, spas, dining and accommodations are all still world-class.
3. Ticket to ride. Airfares reflect demand. With the crush of tourist season over, good deals on flights are easy to find.
4. Warm days and hot nights. From award-winning restaurants to the late-night party scene, Scottsdale has one of the liveliest downtowns anywhere.
5. Take a hike. During the late spring and early summer, things are a bit more relaxed. Many of the courses are a joy to walk. Just start early, drink plenty of water and enjoy the views.
6. Made in the shade. Despite what you may think, it's not all desert golf in Scottsdale. The city also offers some great classic courses with abundant shade tree and plenty of grass.
7. Off-course fun. Take a tip from the locals. Play early and spend the rest of the day exploring Scottsdale's numerous off-course attractions, from shopping, galleries and museums to desert excursions, biking trails and more. Scottsdale has something for everyone.
8. Fix yourself. From the Fore-Max Golf Training System at Westin Kierland to the Cool Clubs custom clubfitting program at Grayhawk, Scottsdale has some of the world's best programs available to help you play better.
9. Road trippin'. Scottsdale is in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, but drive an hour or two north and you're in the mountains. Day trips to Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott yield outstanding golf opportunities, breathtaking scenery and refreshing temperatures.
10. Because you can. Regardless of how much you plan to spend, there are times in the high season when you simply cannot get the tee time or dinner reservation you want in Scottsdale. It's that popular. But in May and June, this is never a problem. Interested? Check out ILoveScottsdaleGolf.com for the skinny on all things golf in the Sonoran Desert. You'll be really, really glad you did.