Don't let the temperature scare you: Summer deals can be had on top Phoenix/Scottsdale golf courses
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- News flash: It's hot in Arizona in the summer. Real hot. Valley residents put on their sweaters when the temperature doesn't hit 110 degrees.
Golf, then, might seem like one of the crazier things to do in the summer. Spend five hours boiling in 100 degree temperatures? Why not just stick your head in the oven?
But here's the thing: The summer months can be the best time to play golf in Arizona. For one thing, the courses are relatively empty, so you can get around in three and a half hours, and, most importantly, green fees are significantly reduced from peak season.
Here are just a few examples ...
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes -- an Australian links-style course in Maricopa, about 30 miles south of Phoenix -- is among the more unique tracks in the Valley. The par-72, 7,517-yard course features 129 bunkers, an average of seven per hole.
To get golfers to their course, Southern Dunes offers low rates, particularly in the hot summer months. Weekend tee times can be had for as low as $20. The Troon-managed property also offers a $108 package that includes a round of golf with a cart, one dozen Titleist Pro V1 golf balls, lunch, two drinks and a $10 voucher at the nearby Harrah's casino.
Almost makes all that sand -- and heat -- worth it.
Troon North Golf Club
Arguably the Valley's most acclaimed public course,Troon North Golf Club doesn't quite match Southern Dunes' price tag.
The bargains are still there, though. In the winter, a tee time at Troon North can fetch more than $200. But from May 31 to Sept. 18, golfers can play the courses for as low as $75 before 10 a.m. and $55 after 10 a.m.
The adventurous can also take the twilight rate of $45, but there's no guarantee of finishing 18 holes.
Ocotillo Golf Resort
There are two good reasons to play Ocotillo Golf Resort in the summer:
1. Of the 27 holes on the property, 23 have water. Even if that doesn't cool off the temperature a few degrees, it sure seems that way.
2. The rates: Golfers can play Ocotillo for as low as $29 in the summer months, and the highest greens' fee is only $45.
Just one thing: If your ball does land in the water, you're not allowed to jump in after it and cool off.
Talking Stick Golf Club
The North Course and South Course at Talking Stick Golf Club, designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, aren't among the most challenging in the Valley and that's by design. They cater to the resort golfer who's staying at the Talking Stick Casino that looms over both courses and might want to enjoy a few holes after losing some money at the blackjack table.
If you can take the heat, Talking Stick has one of the best summer bargains. From May 23 to Sept. 15, golfers who tee off before 11 a.m. can enjoy unlimited golf for $60.
Eighteen holes will cost $40 on weekdays, $45 on weekends.
Kierland Golf Club
Kierland Golf Club, located in north Scottsdale, is one of the more unique golf properties in the Valley.
For example, golfers can tool around the course in Segways. Or, after the round, they can relax and hear the bagpiper serenade them from behind the ninth green of Kierland's Acacia Course.
The summer rates are pretty crazy too for such an upscale facility. From May 22 to Sept. 17, golfers can play 18 holes for as low as $69 and $49 if they want the twilight rate. Tee times at Kierland run as high as $209 during the peak months.
Arizona Grand Golf Course
This isn't your usual 18 holes. For one thing, Arizona Grand Golf Course measures only 6,336 yards from the tips, its property constrained by the resort.
For another, the course has three par 5s and five par 3s. And while the front nine features water and rolling hills, the back nine is a true desert course.
What's not so unusual are the bargains golfers can get in the summer. Tee times go for as low as $29, and the top price is only $59.
The Phoenician Golf Resort
Three separate nines sit on the Phoenician Golf Resort, each one different than the other.
None of the three are overly long -- they run around 3,000 yards -- or exceedingly difficult. The idea is to cater to the resort golfer staying at the Phoenician, not overwhelm him.
The Phoneician's summer rates also will put a smile on travelers' faces. Whereas peak season tee times go for $189, golfers can play 18 holes for May 23 to Sept. 30. Also, the Phoenician offers a nine-hole twilight rate for $35.