I've been on about 75 press or FAM (short for familiarity) trips in the past 10-12 years, but none that were as large and lavish as the recently-concluded Xona Golf Media Classic, in gorgeous Scottsdale, Arizona. More than 100 media members from all corners of the nation and beyond gathered at the Xona Resort Suites in the heart of Scottsdale to network, play golf by day and party by night at a series of sumptuous events.
The golf menu was as impressive as the cuisine, if not quite as extensive. We began at very private, minimalist Desert Forest Golf Club, dating from 1962, one of the original desert golf courses in the region. The driving corridors are tight and unforgiving, and with no fairways bunkering to harness errant tee balls, offline shots will bound into the desert. We moved onto the more forgiving Prospector golf course at Superstition Mountain, featuring a pair of Jack Nicklaus signature designs, with much more grass abounding, easing the mind, and loosening the grip concurrently. Then it was gorgeous, rolling, ultra-scenic We-Ko-Pa's Cholla golf course, and finally Southern Dunes Golf Club, well south in Maricopa, but well worth the drive, with its wide-open spaces and shimmering native grasslands.
This was the eighth Golf Media Classic, and though invitations have come regularly over the years, I never before made the trek. However if the invite arrives again next year, I won't make the same mistake again.
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