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Scottsdale Golf

10 Things You Should Know – Right Now

1. Golf is big business. Golf is a big economic engine for Scottsdale and the state, pumping $3.4 billion into Arizona’s economy annually. The Arizona golf industry employs nearly 20,000 people, and golf generates nearly $80 million a year in taxes (Arizona Golf Industry Economic & Environmental Report). The largest golf event in terms of attendance, the PGA TOUR’s Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, accounts for approximately $174 million of the annual business and raised nearly $4.3 million for Arizona charities in 2010.

2. Scottsdale has a lot of golf courses. Made up of more than 230,000 people, Scottsdale has 51 golf courses within the city limits and over 200 in the surrounding area. In fact, 11 of the top 25 golf courses in the state (according to Golf Digest’s Best in State, 2010) are located in Scottsdale, a larger percentage of the state’s top-ranked courses than any other municipality in the nation.

3. Golf in Arizona is a better steward of the land than you might think. According to the Arizona Golf Industry Economic & Environmental Report, Arizona’s 338 golf courses account for just two percent of the state’s water consumption. The golf industry invests hundreds of millions of dollars on water-saving measures, devices and products. Plus, Audubon International has recognized several Scottsdale courses for their efforts to protect the environment by enhancing precious natural areas and wildlife habitats.

4. Scottsdale annually hosts the “Greatest Show on Grass.” In 2011, The Waste Management Phoenix Open will be held Jan. 31 – Feb. 6 at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course, the tournament’s host since 1989. The golf course’s innovative stadium-style seating provides ample unobstructed views of the action that, in part, enabled the tournament to grow into the largest attended event on the PGA TOUR – each year hosting an estimated 500,000 golf fans. As the galleries swelled, the fun-filled lifestyle aspect followed suit with entertainment like the Birds Nest where thousands of fans rock out to national headline music acts and local bands. But don’t forget about 132 of the world’s best professional golfers who are there slugging it out for the million dollar first-place check.

5. Scottsdale is a great place to fine tune your golf equipment. Scottsdale’s experts in the equipment side of performance enhancement – Cool Clubs and Hot Stix Golf– provide the same custom club fitting services enjoyed by professional golfers to amateur golfers. Through skillful use of cutting-edge technology, independent research and development, real-world experience, proprietary software and Doppler radar technology (among other James Bond-style gadgets), they are able to identify, recommend and custom-build the right equipment for any given golf swing or putting stroke. This all leads to better performance and confidence on the course as well as buying the right clubs the first time around.

6. Home to “Top 100 Courses You Can Play.” Scottsdale is home to three of the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” according to Golf Magazine in 2010. Grayhawk Golf Club’s Talon Course was ranked at No. 99 and due to the renovations by Tom Weiskopf, both Troon North courses made the list. The Monument Course came in at No. 44, and the Pinnacle Course was ranked No. 21.

7. Scottsdale is a great place to learn golf. You can find an incredible array of golf instruction programs in Scottsdale for every type of player. The city is home to three of “America’s 50 Greatest Teachers,” according to Golf Digest. They include No. 6 Stan Utley at Grayhawk Golf Club, No. 22 Peter Kostis at Grayhawk Golf Club and No. 30 Mike LaBauve at Kierland Golf Club.

8. There’s plenty of action off the course. Once you’ve hit your final shot of the day, Scottsdale provides the perfect sun-filled playground for kicking back at a luxury resort, unwinding at a relaxing spa, hiking and biking in the Sonoran Desert or checking out at one of the city’s hip bars and nightclubs. Described as “a desert version of Miami’s South Beach” by The New York Times, downtown Scottsdale is urban chic and THE place locals go. Here, you can experience chef-driven restaurants, sizzling nightlife, fine art galleries and unparalleled shopping.

9. Golf in Scottsdale isn’t your father’s game. Scottsdale courses are putting a hip, young spin on the traditional game of golf with cool offerings like the Scottish Golf Experience at Kierland Golf Club where players don rented kilts and sip Johnnie Walker beverages on the greens. In lieu of a golf cart, test your driving skills on a Segway Golf Transporter to play your rounds. You also can get down at the edgy Grayhawk Golf Club and swing to rock music on the practice tee. If clothing is your thing, check out the pro shop offering the latest golf threads from PUMA and Oakley.

10. Golfers can save a buck or two in the shoulder seasons. Every vacation market on the planet has a peak season when demand and rates are at their highest. For Scottsdale, it’s January through April, however, those wishing to experience the city’s golf on a budget can discover excellent values in the shoulder seasons. Mid-October through December marks the fall shoulder season when a lush green blanket of new ryegrass covers the golf course, cool fall temps have replaced the heat of summer and lodging rates have yet to climb to their peak-season levels. Late April through mid-June marks the summer shoulder season when the winter ryegrass begins to wither while the summer Bermuda grass begins to take hold. This can result in some browning, but the overall surface is still very good and the lack of humidity results in moderate weather.