It’s been rumored that Scottsdale is a pricy place to stay and play. It can be. But we’ve found a way for you to tee up in this golf Mecca without having to take up a collection around the water cooler.
In Scottsdale, winter is the most expensive season while spring and fall have great mid-season rates and summer rolls out green fees discounted up to 75 percent. Sure, July and August can be sizzling enough to fry eggs on your cart hood, but nights cool down dramatically, so play early in the morning and later you can take in the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum or get custom-fitted for clubs like the pros do at Hot Stix in air-conditioned comfort. Or find new energy under the waterfalls in the canyon oasis of Willow Stream Spa in the Fairmont Scottsdale. A 60-minute off-peak massage starts at $135.
With annual temperatures averaging 72.6 degrees, more than 330 days of sunshine each year and close to 200 area courses, Scottsdale is a golfer’s slam dunk with top-notch desert courses such as Legend Trail, Eagle Mountain, The Raven at South Mountain, Grayhawk and TPC’s Stadium and Champions courses. Shots over vast desert washes, massive rock outcroppings, huge bunkers and undulating greens mixed with vistas of mountains, the vast Sonoran desert, cacti and sky all add up to one great golf high.
New finds just outside Scottsdale such as Vista Verde with stunning desert views, Trilogy at Vistancia (a Gary Panks design rating five stars from Golf Digest) and Southern Dunes Golf Club (a splendid Troon-managed track designed by Fred Couples and Schmidt-Curley), are well worth playing and a good value.
Check into Xona Resorts Suites in North Scottsdale, where newly renovated rooms and public areas like the lobby and restaurants have really ratcheted up the travel experience. The difference between the old and the new is kind of like walking into a movie with your mother-in-law and leaving with Megan Fox. Rooms and suites have been rendered in rich desert colors, plus you get a large kitchen, sitting room and one bedroom or more. Cool off in four pools, heat up in three jacuzzis, work out in the Fitness Center and be sure to try the knock-your-socks-off beverages in the Asada Desert Grille or the indoor-outdoor Orange Iguana where a blazing fireplace warms cool desert nights. In-house golf specialists can arrange tee times from a seemingly endless list of superb courses such as Troon North, We-Ko-Pa, ASU Karsten, Trilogy and Grayhawk.
For romance and luxury along with a first-rate spa, try the Camelback Inn, The Phoenician or the Fairmont Scottsdale. Just down the road, in Carefree, The Boulders is one of our all-time favorite places to play and stay with two courses, great spa, mind-bending spiritual walks and private casitas with views of the desert punctuated by behemoth sequoia cacti and an occasional coyote tripping by in the distance.