The Desert West

If there's one thing you should know about golf in the magnificent desert West, heed the following statement: In the desert West, you don't play golf, you experience it.

What To Bring
Unlike other destinations in the country, packing the right gear for a trip to the desert West is as easy as 1-2-3. Odds are, you can leave the rain suit at home.

First, the sun shines almost every day here; therefore sun protection is an absolute must. Look for sunblock that’s both sweat-proof and has an SPF rating of at least 30. Also, it helps to find a sunblock that’s rub-free like Banana Boat’s Sport Spray, which is sprayed directly on to the skin, thus avoiding any greasy hands prior to teeing off. In addition, don’t forget the benefits of a hat. Whether you opt for a baseball-style cap, wide-brim straw hat or even a pith helmet, make sure you keep your noggin covered.

Second, unless your name is Fred Funk, you’re going to miss a fairwayor two, and at many desert-style courses, that means you’ll need to be ready to hit a few shots from the desert sand or rocks (see page 87 for tips on handling this type of lie). Pack an old mid- to short-iron that you don’t mind scratching or scuffing when it comes time to chip or pitch the ball back into the fairway. We’d hate to see you damage your newly chromed wedge.

Last, hitting the fairway and green is critical on just about every hole, so don’t be eager to use a driver on short par-4s or even the longer ones. One alternative is to use a hybrid club for high, soft-landing shots that are easier to control. Also, hybrids are a solid option for hitting low, rolling chip shots from tight or uneven lies around the green. In either situation, the right club will pay huge dividends.

More Information
Now, we know the courses, hotels and resorts listed in this guide represent the creme de la creme in the desert West, but each destination also has literally thousands of options for a variety of travelers, budgets or special needs. Look for ideas by visiting the following convention and visitor’s bureau Websites.

Scottsdale CVB

Phoenix CVB

Mesa CVB

Palm Springs CVA

Las Vegas CVA

Las Vegas Travel Site


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