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|For golfers, there are few places in Arizona as convenient or as spectacular as Hilton Sedona Golf Resort & Spa. (Courtesy of Hilton)|
SEDONA, Ariz. -- Visitors at the Hilton Sedona Golf Resort & Spa have a dilemma: Stay inside the resort and enjoy the spacious rooms, great food and full-service spa or go across the street, play a little golf and take in Sedona's famous red rocks.
Why not do both? For golfers, there are few places in Arizona as convenient or as spectacular as the resort/golf combo package Sedona offers.
Let's start with the course itself, Sedona Golf Resort. The 6,646-yard, par-71 Gary Panks design is a tale of two nines. The front features three par 5s (including the 623-yard fifth hole) and plays to 3,585 yards. The back has three par 3s and is only 3,061 yards.
Thanks to wide fairways and no desert to swallow up wayward drives, the course is accommodating for weekend duffers yet challenging enough for low-handicappers. This may be one of the few courses, however, where the vital statistics -- and the numbers on the scorecard -- are completely irrelevant. That's because Sedona Golf Resort is one of the most picturesque courses in the state.
Sedona's famous red rocks frame the course, and it's not unusual to be standing on the tee waiting to hit a drive only to be stopped by somebody who's taking in the sights and wants their photo taken with the red rocks behind them.
The scenery comes to a head at the 210-yard, par-3 10th hole. It is one of the most photographed holes in the western United States thanks to a spectacular view of the red rocks behind the green. Posters of No. 10 are sold in the clubhouse.
The Hilton Sedona Golf Resort & Spa isn't connected with the golf course in a business sense, but it may as well be. Located just across the street, it offers several stay-and-play packages that are kind to the wallet.
The resort itself is relaxing. Every one of the 219 guest rooms or suites offers a gas fireplace (the nights get cold at Sedona in the winter), a private patio or balcony, a microwave and a wet bar.
But it's the luxuries that set the Hilton apart. For example, to cater to the growing number of couples who want to get married to the backdrop of the red rocks, the resort has its own wedding coordinator.
The 2,500-foot fitness center includes two pools, three lighted tennis courts and men's and women's locker rooms with spas, saunas and steam rooms. The resort also offers swimming lessons, personal fitness training and tennis and racquetball instruction. The spa's amenities include nine treatment rooms, a variety of fitness classes, private sun decks and a full-service hair and nail salon.
The Hilton also allows pets. When guests check in they'll receive a doggy bag including treats, waste bags and a travel tote. A nonrefundable service fee of up to $50 is required.
When the day is done make sure to check out The Grille at ShadowRock, which features a Southwestern menu. You can sit outside and enjoy views of the red rocks and pine-topped mountain ridges while having a cold beer or glass of wine to complement your meal. There are worse ways to spend an evening.
Even if you've never swung a golf club, the Hilton and the surrounding area have plenty to offer. Take a two-to-three-hour Pink Jeep Tour ride or spend some time on the dozens of available hiking and biking trails.
Indoor enthusiasts will enjoy the 40-plus art galleries. Also, make sure to check out Tlaquepaque, an artist's colony that was fashioned after an authentic Mexican village with its cobble-stoned walkways.
Sedona is also a haven for new-age enthusiasts.
Simply put, Sedona, the Hilton and the Sedona Golf Resort are a vacationer's dream.
Just remember to bring a camera. The red rocks await.
March 20, 2012
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
Like many other private country clubs, the International Golf Club & Resort 45 minutes west of Boston is in the midst of a transition. Once only a private club, the International has gotten creative in attracting new members and new business. While the Pines Course remains exclusively private, the club recently began offering public tee times after 9 a.m. on the Oaks Course, its newer, more forgiving Tom Fazio golf course.
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