Scottsdale drawing golfers from across the globe to the American Southwest

By Shane Sharp, Contributor

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - PGA Tour player turned golf course architect Tom Weiskopf once said that Scottsdale has no rival in the world rival in the world when it comes to golf. Gazing out at the lush Sonoran Desert from an elevated tee box at Troon North's Monument Course, it is hard to argue with the man.

Over the past 20 years, Scottsdale has given birth to such world class golf facilities as the Boulders, the aforementioned Troon North, Grayhawk, and Wildfire. More recently, the area has seen the rise of such award-winning courses as We-Ko-Pa and Talking Stick. When it comes to top notch golf resorts, amenity and destination spas, and world class shopping, Scottsdale shows no signs of slowing down.

Swing into Spas

Recognized the world over as a premier spa and golf destination, many Scottsdale spa treatments are tailored to the golfer. Designed to enhance performance by getting the entire body and mind involved in the game, golf-oriented massages and treatments combine spa and sport to make any golf vacation complete. The Phoenician's Centre for Well Being "Golf Power" equips golfers of all abilities with the advanced tools to improve physical and mental power on the course through an exciting combination of golf and spa. The two-part program includes the Automated Sports Training And Research (ASTAR) digital golf analysis to examine the golfer's technical form, and a training session with an exercise therapist to target postural misalignment and imbalances affecting stance and swing.

The Sonoran Spa at The Boulders offers a massage treatment aimed at improving and refining golf games. The Golfer's Massage is designed to enhance performance on the course by targeting specific muscle groups, concentrating on the neck, shoulders, lower back and hamstrings. This massage is ideal for both pre-game conditioning and post-game soreness. Stretch and Strengthen for your Swing. Statistics show that more and more people are taking up golf. Trends show that yoga has entered the mainstream fitness realm. "Yoga for Golfers" focuses on the similarities between the two to help golfers improve flexibility, range of motion and concentration. Check out the program at The Boulders or book the program as a corporate meeting twist.

Phoenix Rising

Not only loved by the players of the game, golf is also the No. 1 spectator sport in Scottsdale. Home to the Phoenix Open held at the Tournament Players Club of Scottsdale, Scottsdale boasts an abundance of year round golf events. Rounding out the bill of great golf events is the Senior PGA tournament and the Arizona Open at Troon Golf & Country Club.

Women Break Through the Grass Ceiling

More women are taking up the game of golf and Scottsdale properties are meeting the demand with programs tailored to the woman golfer. The Boulders' "Women to the Fore" program is designed for all woman golfers offering a comprehensive approach to the game designed to help new women golfers learn the game and help advanced golfers perfect the sport. The Phoenician's "Ladies Links" marries golf and spa to a tee. Real "Humdingers."

Whether your mission is to patrol the links or perform a little neighborhood "recon," Scottsdale's acclaimed In Celebration of Golf mega golf specialty store now offers a new breed of personal electric vehicles modeled after the muscular Hummer SUV. When not on the course, off-road Hummer tours are a wonderful way to enjoy the Sonoran Desert's history and beautiful flora and fauna. Colorful guides provide entertaining stories of the Old West (including a tall tale or two!) as well as interesting facts about cacti, plants, and wildlife.

Romance on the Golf Course

Both The Boulders and The Phoenician resorts offer Tee Box dinners, a romantic sunset dinner set out on the green of one of the holes of the resort golf course. At The Boulders, each couple can select the location from three holes, arrange for their favorite music, flowers and wine. Almost any request can be fulfilled, from arranging for a violinist or a horse-drawn carriage to creating a special dessert. Right before sunset, the couple is picked up at their casita in a golf cart and escorted out to the tee box.

At The Phoenician, couples can select a menu from any of the resort's dining venues, as well as choose wine from the resort's expansive wine cellars. The Phoenician's finest linens, crystal and china, candles, and a personal tuxedo-dressed waiter enhance this dreamy dining experience. Music can also be arranged, as well as lounge chairs to enjoy after-dinner cordials.

Golf Instruction

Nicklaus/Flick Game Improvement: A Nicklaus/Flick Game Improvement golf school is located at the Tournament Players Club of Scottsdale. The Nicklaus/Flick experience was created in 1991 and is based on the Anti-Tension teaching and playing philosophy developed by Jack Nicklaus and Jim Flick. Winter programs are available from February through May for individuals or corporate groups. For more information, call 800-642-5528 or visit

Golf Digest Schools: As a Golf Digest Schools student, you will be taught by an award-winning staff of professionals comprised of PGA and LPGA Teachers of the Year. Golf Digest Schools in Scottsdale are located at Kierland Golf Club, Talking Stick, and Troon North Golf Club. Programs are designed with individual goals in mind. Golf Digest Schools also offer ball-flight analysis and hi-tech video to help you understand the tips and techniques that produce the best results for you. For more information, call 800-767-3574 or visit

Golf Schools of Scottsdale: The learning center is located at the renowned Orange Tree Golf Resort in Scottsdale. Golf Schools of Scottsdale's package caters to individuals or couples wishing to improve their golfing skills while relaxing at the Orange Tree Golf Resort. For more information, call 800-356-6678 or visit

John Jacobs' Golf Schools: With 30 years of experience and global recognition as a leader in golf instruction, John Jacobs' Golf School is committed to teaching the sport of golf. With award-winning golf instructors, The John Jacobs teaching program specializes in personal attention, while teaching the fundamentals of golf and how they relate to the golf swing. For more information, call 800-472-5007 or visit

Resort Golf Schools: At Resort Golf Schools, located in Scottsdale at The Golf Club at Eagle Mountain, Legend Trail Golf Club, McCormick Ranch Golf Club and Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club, you can improve your game, take a much needed weekend getaway, or impress your favorite customers at a corporate outing. For more information, call 800-767-3574.

Kostis/McCord Learning Center:Located at one of Scottsdale's prime golfing locations, the challenging Grayhawk Golf Course, the Kostis/McCord Learning Center offers a professional staff and customized golf instruction. The program caters to the individual golfing student with half-day workshops that tone up golfing skills to five-day Scoring School aimed to help lower golf scores. Also included is the complimentary club fitting and professional video analysis. For more information, call 888-506-7786 or visit

Scottsdale Golf Garners Awards

Golf Digest recently ranked Scottsdale No. 8 on its list of "50 Top Golf Destinations" in the world. Six Scottsdale golf courses were named in GOLF Magazine's "Top 100 Courses You Can Play" in the United States. Readers of Conde Nast Traveler ranked three Scottsdale resorts among the "Top 50 Golf Resorts." Meetings & Conventions magazine honored five Scottsdale resorts with the Gold Tee Award for 2001. Golf Schools. Five of the "Top 25 Golf Schools" named by GOLF MAGAZINE for 2000-2001 are located in Scottsdale. GOLF MAGAZINE also named 11 Scottsdale golf instructors among the "Top 100 Teachers in America 2001-2002." These golf teaching professionals include: Craig Bunker, Donald Crawley and Shelby Futch of John Jacobs' Golf Schools; Peter Kostis and Paul Trittler of Kostis McCord Learning Center; Mike LaBauve, Sandy LaBauve and Timothy P. Mahoney of Golf Digest Schools; Scott Sackett of Resort Golf Schools; and Jim Flick of Nicklaus/Flick Game Improvement.

Shane SharpShane Sharp, Contributor

Shane Sharp is vice president of Buffalo Communications, a golf and lifestyle media agency. He was a writer, senior writer and managing editor of from 1997 to 2003.

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