A pretty cool golf event this weekend in the Valley of the Sun
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – So the forecast for the weekend is low 50s. That’s usually not the kind of weather that fires me up to play golf, but considering that the other variables are pretty good and the quality of this weekend’s venues means I’ve got plenty to be excited about this weekend.
Today, I checked into the new and improved Zona Hotel & Suites in Scottsdale and will play a couple of local courses before a weekend golf tournament that will include play at Troon North’s Monument Course, Grayhawk Raptor and the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course.
While today it was in the 70s in the Valley of the Sun, it’s supposed to cool down quite a bit this weekend, but with very little wind and plenty of sunshine. All three of those courses are heavily and beautifully overseeded this time of year, so there’s very little room to complain. We’ll just have to dress in layers.
The tournament I’m referring to is the Scottsdale Open Presented by Waste Management. Yeah, I know, it sounds like a PGA Tour event with a similar name that’s also not too far in the future. And for guys like us, it will feel like a tour event. After all, we’re playing PGA Tour-quality venues, and the competition, especially in the gross division, promises to be pretty stiff.
One difference is that this isn’t individual stroke play; it’s two-person team competition – better ball the first two days and combined score the last day. That final round promises to be memorable because it’s on the Stadium Course at the TPC Scottsdale, the same course that will host the tour in just a couple of weeks.
That means, the grandstands and skyboxes are up – including the the crazy par-3 16th – and so is the rough. We’re “roughly” going get the same conditions as the pros do during the Waste Management Phoenix Open, aptly dubbed “The Greatest Show on Turf,” which will be played Jan. 31-Feb. 3.
This weekend’s amateur event, by the way, is open to anyone. There are gross and net divisions, so you don’t have be scratch or low handicap to play in it.
My goal, lofty by my standards, is not to finish near the bottom. Most of all, though I expect the next few days – which also include spa treatments and dinners at places like the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North and the Fairmont Princess – to be fun. A few good scores would just simply be gravy.
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