NCGA Golf

FALL 2017

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overlooking a lake with Pinnacle Peak in the distance. When you have music or an acoustic guitar player there at sunset, it reminds people why they love it here." JW Marriott also has a large daily fee footprint in Scottsdale, with the high-end Marriott Golf properties at Desert Ridge Resort & Spa and Camelback Golf Club at the JW Marriott Scottsdale. Desert Ridge features Wildfire Golf Club, includ- ing 18-hole routings by Arnold Palmer and Nick Faldo, while Camelback boasts Jason Straka's Ambiente Course and Arthur Hills' Padre Course. Both resorts are part of Marriott's Golf Rewards program—and offer special programs and discounts for families and military members. There are also numerous more afford- able options for daily fee golf in and around Scottsdale. For example, Papago Golf Course, set on a former national park at the base of the Papago Buttes, has a long history as one of the top public courses in the area. The course is now part of a part- nership with Arizona State University, which will bring big-time talent to the course when the Sun Devil golf teams start using the facility for practice. A complete range renovation will be undertaken and a new clubhouse built. Higher education and golf also intersect at Grand Canyon University Golf Course, a new John Fought 18-hole design on the site of the old Maryville municipal track. GCU spent $10 million on the renovation, creating a modern, walking-friendly course that's open to the public—and less than $50 for visitors in season. "You don't have to spend a $1,000 on four rounds of golf in Scottsdale and Phoenix anymore. You can spend half that or less," said Bill Huffman, author of "Arizona's Greatest Golf Courses" and editor of AZ Golf Insider. Another public institution on the Scottsdale golf scene is McCormick Ranch Golf Club, designed by Desmond Muir- head on the site of a former cattle ranch. The family-owned property has a pair of courses—the Palm and the Pine—that have been open to the public for more than 50 years. The signature 9th hole on the Palm Course is one of the city's most distinctive, featuring an island fairway and peninsula green that call for accuracy and nerve on every shot. Those of us who are 36-hole warriors will be pleased that so many of Scottsdale's finest have multiple courses where you'll be hard-pressed to choose playing just one. "There's often a disagreement over which course is better," Huffman said. Whether you're planning a bucket list high-end trip or a getaway that won't bust the bank, Scottsdale and its surrounding areas can help you check all the boxes and have a memorable time on and off the golf course. O f course, there's more to Arizona golf than Scottsdale. To the east toward Tempe, check out the Dinosaur Mountain and Sidewinder courses at Gold Canyon Golf Resort & Spa . The Dinosaur Mountain layout is a true hidden gem, with mountain views and some of the most dramatic elevation changes you'll find. To the south, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes in Maricopa is a former all-men's private club that is now open to the public and managed by Troon Golf. As testament to its reputation as Southern Arizona's truest championship layout, Southern Dunes hosts a U.S. Open qualifier each summer. To the north, a day trip to the mystical city of Sedona could include rounds at Oak Creek, Sedona Golf Resort or Seven Canyons at Enchant- ment Resort . The majestic views at Sedona Golf Resort can be enjoyed while riding a GolfBoard for your round, while Seven Canyons' Tom Weiskopf layout helped the resort score a spot on Golf Digest's "50 Greatest Golf Retreats." Both facilities offer remarkable vistas of red rock formations and tall Ponderosa pines at an affordable price point. In Tucson, don't miss Tubac Golf Resort , where golf scenes for the movie "Tin Cup" was filmed. Its home to 27 holes, 18 designed by Red Lawrence, affectionately called "The Desert Fox" for his prolific work in the state. La Paloma CC and the Golf Club at Dove Moun- tain , a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus design, should be high on every golfer's to-do list, too. Dan Hicks, NBC's golf anchor, grew up in Tucson and attended the University of Arizona there. For a taste of the desert in the Tucson foothills, he recommends Catalina Course at Omni Tucson National . For those staying on the city's east side, the Mountain and Canyon courses at the Lodge at Ventana Canyon , not far from his childhood home, rank among his favorites. "The Catalina Mountains make for a gorgeous backdrop," Hicks said. Swinging Beyond Scottsdale NCGA.ORG | FALL 2017 49 Gold Canyon (Dinosaur Mtn.) S cottsdale Stadium Ak-Chin Southern Dunes ALLAN HENRY

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