When a buddy of mine suggested I come for a working vacation, I thought he was exaggerating as he described that “Phoenix has a golf course every block or two!" As it turns out, he wasn’t lying, and only exaggerating a little. A Phoenix Golf Vacation has an incredible number of golf courses sprawled across its sprawling boundaries. After a week’s winter visit, I can understand why he chooses to live in Phoenix. With so many people having to travel through Phoenix on business, it only makes sense to pause and enjoy a few holes along the way.
Raven Golf Course had a Phoenix Golf Package Special and was on my To Play list. A Gary Panks design, this course got an honorable mention back in 2000. Something about the place has drawn my curiosity since, but I’d never bothered to take the time during any of my runs down I-10 to stop in and play there before. The first of 5 good days out was well spent there.
One of the other surprises was the quality of instruction available. It seems Phoenix is working hard towards making itself the golf capital of the world, both in terms of public-access regulation courses, and by making as many great golfers as possible. Driving ranges everywhere, of course, and the views aren’t too hard on the eye either. The humidity may be a bit bolstered by all of the terraforming, but seeing that lush green everywhere makes it more than worth it.
Phoenix seems to have sprung up entirely from its geography; it’s the place where I-10 takes its turn back west when heading towards the California coast. When I’m driving west, I see it as that home-stretch marker on my way towards Los Angeles. As a hub city, it serves a tremendous number of people, so having all these courses ends up making good sense. The wait on a reservation might be intolerable without them. Instead, one finds a pleasant fraternity and warm welcome. Each place seems comfortable with their piece of the pie. I like that I felt relaxed, at ease, able to take my time and enjoy the day without worrying about holding anyone up or having them play on through.
No trip to Phoenix would be near complete without a run up to neighboring Scottsdale. That’s where the area really shines. There the resorts, spas and pampering kick in, and I get that big grin on my face at the end of the day. Those make the place a great destination for a couple or family. I get my golf in on top-notch PGA host courses, the Missus and clan get what they want too. They can play tennis, or take a tour of the desert in a Hummer, check out the arts scene… Scottsdale makes it a win-win golf destination most seasons.
A word of fair warning: Phoenix is not the place to go during July and August. But with 10 other glorious months of the year that are all blue skies, mild temps and sunshine, I’d hardly say that’s a problem. The sheer volume of clubs, resorts and public courses more than makes up for it. World-class resorts waiting to pamper you hand and foot after a pleasant day spent doing what you love the most – what’s not to like? Phoenix may very well be the golf capital of the world.
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Phoenix Golf Package Special
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