As snow hits Colorado, Scottsdale’s warm weather, desert resorts, and world-class golf await
November is a splendid month for Coloradoans. This is when the snow-laden Rockies signal the impending ski and snowboard season, when our beloved Broncos are riding herd on the NFL, and when the Scottsdale tourism office starts sending out those indescribably appealing “It’s 76º and sunny!” emails and postcards.
Sure, Colorado is still basking in some astonishing fall weather—it was 65-degrees in Denver this past Sunday—but we all know Old Man Winter and his nefarious sidekick, El Niño, are making their way here. It’s time to start heeding the falling leaves, the frost-kill in the vegetable garden and the ever shortening days… and start planning a winter golf escape to the Arizona desert.
Scottsdale’s sumptuous winter climate and idyllic outdoors are definitely top of mind for golfers. For those that need a reminding nudge, here is a five-point list of what makes it so:
Troon North Golf Club (Photo (c) Chris Duthie)
1. Scottsdale is home to 51 golf courses—another 200 layouts are within easy reach—and most were crafted by the best names in the business. Must plays include the TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course, newly renovated by Tom Weiskopf and site of the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open (Feb. 1-7); We-Ko-Pa Golf Club’s celebrated 36-hole facility (Coore/Crenshaw and Scott Miller); and the near-perfect Sonoran Desert challenges of 36-hole Troon North Golf Club (Weiskopf/Morrish).
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
2. Adding to this decorated destination are a bevy of hip and sophisticated resort hotels that specifically cater to avid golfers. Our go-to favorites include the Westin Kierland Resort, The Phoenician, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Talking Stick Resort, Boulders Resort & Spa, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa and the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.
3. Take a break from the links and go all in on one of Scottsdale’s most favored pastimes—shopping! Options range from upscale fashion centers to sunny outdoor promenades to one-of-a-kind boutiques, among them Scottsdale Fashion Square, Kierland Commons, the new Scottsdale Quarter, and Old Town Scottsdale, whose legendary galleries include premier Native American art. Bonus tip: Scottsdale ArtWalk (every Thursday from 7-9 p.m.) is a 40-year tradition that introduces aficionados to the Southwest’s finest artists.
Relish Burger Bar at the Phoenician (Photo (c) Chris Duthie)
4. Scottsdale is also revered for its amazing signature restaurants. Satiate your palate at Chef Richard Sandoval’s new signature bistro, Toro Latin Restaurant at the TPC Scottsdale. Other must-savor eateries include Citizen Public House, the Relish Burger Bistro at Phoenician Golf Club, Deseo at Westin Kierland Resort, The House Brasserie and Brian’s Black Mountain Barbecue in nearby Cave Creek.
Goldwater Brewing (Photo (c) Chris Duthie)
5. One of the area’s newer pursuits is the burgeoning Scottsdale Ale Trail. Centered mostly around Old Town, craft brew fans are regaled with small-batch IPAs, ales and lagers at a host of new establishments including Fate Brewing, Sip Coffee & Beer, Goldwater Brewing, Craft 64, Cartel Coffee, Two Brothers Taphouse & Brewery, Papago Brewery and Union Barrel House.
Visit the Scottsdale Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website for more things to see and do.
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.