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|Scottsdale's Kierland Golf Club offers 27 great holes and air-conditioned carts. (Chris Baldwin/GolfPublisher.com)|
Comfort is the currency here. Resorts in Phoenix and Scottsdale will pamper visitors off the course and treat them to name-brand golf on it. Here's a taste of what awaits you in the golf-resort capital of the world.
The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale aims to give guests "the essence of Arizona." This is the Grand Canyon State experience jacked up on steroids, and you get the royal treatment to boot.
At Agave, the Westin Kierland's full spa, you're plunged into a world of traditional native treatments designed to invigorate and refresh the mind, body and soul. The indigenous agave plant is a source of many treatments.
The local flora is also a theme for 27 holes of Scott Miller-designed golf, encompassing the Acacia, Ironwood and Mesquite nines (each named for its predominant plant life). Air-conditioned carts and an on-course bagpiper set the tone for a unique golf experience.
"Kierland's attracted a reputation as something of a different thinker in Phoenix-Scottsdale golf," Chris Baldwin wrote in his GolfArizona.com review. "Maybe that explains why the crowd seems to be a little more diverse here."
Step into the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix and you'll quickly see why they call this the "Jewel of the Desert." At the foot of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, the Biltmore offers 738 rooms and villas along with eight swimming pools and a full-service European spa and salon.
Convenient to numerous area courses, the Biltmore also offers two championship tracks of its own. The Adobe, the fourth-oldest run in Arizona, offers a luxurious and pleasant round, while the Links presents a more modern feel and an extra challenge.
Scottsdale's The Phoenician cranks up the luxury level to 11. That's the number of restaurants and lounges here, offering some of the region's most captivating cuisine. The Centre for Well-Being, the full-service on-site spa, offers personalized programs along with a variety of treatments and services.
Regarded as one of the most scenic courses in the area, the Phoenician's 27-hole USGA championship facility is made up of three nines named for the surrounding landscape - Canyon, Desert and Oasis. The latter has a more tropical feel and offers the toughest challenge; the Desert and Canyon are primers in the spectacular intricacies of desert golf.
The names "Troon" and "Four Seasons" are synonymous with great service in the golf and resort worlds, respectively, so no look at Phoenix-Scottsdale golf resorts would be complete without Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.
"If a stay here doesn't result in one of the best golf experiences of your lifetime, you're a very spoiled duffer indeed."
May 23, 2007
William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.
Finding a golf course to play in the Sarasota/Bradenton area 45 miles south of Tampa is easy. World-ranked beaches, European-style boutique shopping and al fresco dining, and a fantastic circus museum are just a few of the choices available for off-course entertainment.
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