Spotlight

Cactus League baseball

Hope springs eternal: Spring training baseball and golf around the Cactus League

Each spring some 15 Major League Baseball teams come to Arizona for a month of Cactus League action. If you're going to be in Arizona checking out your favorite MLB team, make sure to have your golf clubs handy. There are numerous golf courses worth hitting that are close to the spring training homes of your favorite baseball team. Mike Bailey has more.
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Rolling Hills Golf Course

In Tempe, Rolling Hills and Ken McDonald golf courses offer casual, playable rounds

If you're looking for a good time and hoping for a good score out on the golf course, head to Tempe and play either Rolling Hills Golf Course or Ken McDonald Golf Course. Both are ideal for golfers who prefer tennis shoes to soft spikes, card more double bogeys than birdies, and would never spend $200 on a round of golf. Neither will ever show up on any top-10 lists, but if you want to get some exercise and leave with some money in the wallet, they're a great bargain.
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The Legacy Golf Resort

Solid play: Fun Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix boasts immaculate conditioning, affordable green fees

The Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix doesn't overwhelm golfers with its beauty; nor is it one of the most challenging courses golfers will find in the Valley. But what it does it does very well: It's an enjoyable 18 holes that's always in immaculate condition and doesn't cost a fortune. In other words, it's the perfect place to play if the local muni is too easy and courses such as Troon North are too difficult or expensive.
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Arizona Golf Destinations

  • Scottsdale

    There's no other way to say it: Scottsdale -- and in particular north Scottsdale -- is a golfing Mecca. Nearly 200 public golf courses have been built in the Valley, and it seems like 198 of them are in six-mile square radius in north Scottsdale.

    Desert Canyon Golf Club in Fountain Hills offers some of the best scenery of any of the courses in the area. The mountain setting provides the layout with elevated tee and green complexes with stunning mountain backdrops.
    The JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club offers two 18-hole courses, the Padre and the Ambiente. Nestled in Paradise Valley, the Ambiente Course enjoys stunning mountain backdrops.
    Starfire Golf Club in north central Scottsdale boasts three nine-hole courses. Arnold Palmer designed the Hawk nine and redesigned the existing King and Squire Courses as well. To the Squire/King Course, Palmer added bunkers and water hazards that come into play on 13 holes.
  • Phoenix

    In Phoenix, golfers can play fantastic golf courses and without having to shell out nearly as much money as they would to play one of north Scottsdale's finest. In fact, rates at some of Phoenix's best courses can be had for as low as $50 in the winter and $20 in the hot summer months. Top plays include Raven Golf Club, The Phoenician, the Adobe Course at the Arizona Biltmore, and the Arizona Grand.

    Built in 1989, Arizona Grand Golf Course has garnered a reputation as an outstanding Arizona course. Neatly tucked close to South Mountain Park, the blend of traditional links play and desert target golf found at Arizona Grand Resort makes for a challenging and exciting round.
    Designer Brian Whitcomb took full advantage of the foothills and promontories of the lower slopes of South Mountain. Only a few holes on each nine can be characterized as level. From the first tee to the 18th green, the elevation varies by as much as 100 feet.
    Legacy Golf Club’s championship course features lush, green fairways, forgiving rough and strategically-placed hazards. Dramatic elevation changes provide extensive views of nearby Camelback Mountain, Squaw Peak and the Phoenix skyline. The resort itself features 328 suites with kitchens, a practice facility, pool, fitness center and tennis court. The facility also includes a fully stocked pro shop and a golf academy.
  • Prescott

    Outside of Arizona, Prescott largely remains a mystery, its charming old-time downtown streets and its ancient Victorian homes almost as undiscovered by tourists now as Arizona was in general back before the gold rush boom of the mid 19th century. Not surprisingly, it's a few club-toting, birdie-seekers who are starting to change that. Prescott is emerging as a golf destination, a quality, lower-priced alternative to the crowded meccas of Phoenix and Scottsdale.

    Oakcreek Country Club is situated amongst Sedona's red rock mountains, providing unique scenery throughout. Opened over 40 years ago, it is Sedona's first golf course. The course was a collaboration between Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and his son. It is a classic, player-friendly layout that offers plenty of room for error.
    Nestled in a valley between the Mingus and Bradshaw mountain ranges, Prescott Golf & Country Club offers panoramic views, tree lined fairways and fast bentgrass greens. Opened in 1971 and designed by Milt Coggins, the golf course is a par 72 that stretches to 6,800 yards.
    Elevation changes are the name of the game here with swings from the tees that could make the most even-keeled soul feel Vertigo. The drop from tee to the fairways is as steep as 350 feet.
  • Northern Arizona

    Northern Arizona will never be mistaken for the Valley of the Sun when it comes to golf, and therein lies the beauty. At elevations ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 feet above sea level, the northern part of the state presents golfers with a completely different set of challenges, landscapes, and (for the budget minded) price points.

    Palms Golf Club is situated just east of Mesquite in Littlefield. Built in 1989, it was the Mesquite area's first golf course. The layout balances the old and the new, creating a course with a lot of variety.
    Oakcreek Country Club is situated amongst Sedona's red rock mountains, providing unique scenery throughout. Opened over 40 years ago, it is Sedona's first golf course. The course was a collaboration between Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and his son. It is a classic, player-friendly layout that offers plenty of room for error.
    In the sizzling summer heat of Phoenix and Tucson, Sedona can be up to 15 degrees cooler. Sedona is also at the perfect elevation to keep the snow away except for a few days a year, meaning almost year-round golf. The course's elevation ranges from 4,000-4,350 feet.
  • Tucson

    Savvy Arizona golfers are quick to remind anyone who asks that the Valley of the Sun is like the Old Pueblo on steroids when it comes to fairways available for public consumption. But since the early 1990s, Tucson has made a respectable run in the realm of high-end resort and daily-fee golf. What's more, Tucson is not nearly as inundated with players as Phoenix or Scottsdale, and the Old Pueblo's lack of serious traffic issues will enable you to get from one course to another in a much more expedient fashion than in grid-locked Phoenix.

    Forty Niner Country Club is an upscale, semi-private facility designed by William Francis Bell and known for its lush, mature landscaping and excellent course conditioning. It is lined with mesquite, giant cottonwood, eucalyptus and weeping willow trees.
    Located in the North Tucson area, SaddleBrook Ranch Golf Club borders the Santa Catalina Mountains. The course meanders through the high Sonoran desert, incorporating natural washes into the design and providing stunning mountain views from almost every hole. Abundant desert flora and fauna further enhance the rugged, gently rolling terrain.
    Crooked Tree Golf Course in Tucson has a traditional layout in a secluded, peaceful location with no homes around the course for miles. The golf course features player-friendly, generous fairways and small greens that are surrounded by ample chipping areas.
  • Southern Arizona

    Make the trip out to Arizona and the Phoenix area will attract you like a magnet with its legion of golf courses and resorts, all fighting over your golfing dollar. But if you are overwhelmed by the choices the "Valley of the Sun" has to offer, head south into spacious, affordable Southern Arizona. The small towns here have a certain charm that Phoenix, Tucson and Scottsdale lack, not to mention a handful of challenging, affordable golf courses.

    The Cattail Course opened in the fall of 2002. It complements the Devil's Claw but lends a whole new flavor to championship golf at Whirlwind. While the Devil's Claw features high mounding and significant elevation changes on fairways, the Cattail's challenge is in its deep canyons and pristine lakes.
    A little different from many desert courses, del Lago Golf Club plays like more of a combination of links and desert golf, featuring wide sweeping fairways that drift off into the surrounding valleys and arroyos, and lead you to oversized greens that often require a traditional bump and run shot.
    Created by Nicklaus Design, Bear Golf Course was designed as a championship length inland "links-style" course, featuring rolling fairways, strategic bunkering and well-conditioned greens.