Scottsdale golf by season

By Brandon TuckerFebruary 23, 2010, 2:13 am
tpc scottsdale No. 16
No. 16 at TPC Scottsdale is a tourist attraction in and of itself

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Most of us already have a positive opinion of Scottsdale as a golf destination. After all, what’s not to like about dry, sunny weather with mountains as the backdrop? The PGA Tour loves it, evidenced by the Waste Management Phoenix Open being one of the longest-running events on Tour.

When you think about it, what’s not to like about golf in Scottsdale?

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Well, for starters not every budget can afford the best golf courses in Scottsdale during the winter/spring peak season. But with every season comes different prices for accommodations and golf.

Besides the price you'll also encounter different weather, course grasses and conditions. A golf course in peak-season February is quite different from how it looks, plays and costs in May-November.

We've broken down exactly what to expect at the golf courses in each of the four seasons, to give you an idea of the seasonal rate structure. Each golf club has its own unique rate and conditioning schedule, so be sure to check with each course for specific details about your round.

Generally speaking, morning rounds and weekend rounds are premium, while afternoon and twilight tee times can be had for less than the rack rate.
January-April: Scottsdale's peak golf season

The peak season is where Scottsdale solidifies its reputation as a golfing paradise. Golf courses are in immaculate shape because the rye grass has had a few months to grow in since fall over-seeding. The bent grass greens, which many of the higher-end clubs have, shine in the cooler temperatures, so expect perfect. January and February can still be cold and yield some frost delays, but March and April can't be beat.

Since the courses and weather are at their best, it also means tee time deals are tougher to find and hotel rooms usually charge their highest. You can save a little cash by booking p.m. rounds at most clubs and golf packages through select resorts.

Sample morning green fees in March:

Talking Stick Golf Club: $175
Camelback Golf Club (Padre): $189
Kierland Golf Club: $205
TPC Scottsdale (Stadium): $272

May-June:  Scottsdale's spring shoulder season

The lush and green rye grass begins to fade away and the southern Bermuda grass starts to perk back up come May. But for golfers who simply must be in balmy shorts weather, this is an ideal time of year, with highs generally in the 80s and low 90s. Green speeds may start to slow a little as the temps rise, but they'll still be a good speed at most clubs.

Green fees come down in late April or May at most clubs but won't hit bottom until mid June or July.

Sample morning green fees in May:

Talking Stick: $110
Camelback (Padre): $109
Kierland: $140
TPC Scottsdale (Stadium): $157

July-September:  Scottsdale's summer off-season

This is hardly the 'off-season' for locals who salivate at the chance to play the area's top courses for pennies on the dollar. Of course, they do it with a tolerance for the desert's scorching summer heat. If you're visiting from a northern climate and aren’t used to four hours in 110-degree heat, you can try to book early tee times so you can be off the course by 10 or 11 a.m. Otherwise, load up on water, towels and sunscreen.

Courses with bent grass greens have to grow them out to a pretty furry speed, otherwise they don't stand a chance. The fairways and rough are Bermuda, and while not lush green like in the spring, they're quite playable and on the firm side. Also in the summertime, monsoon season means the most frequent storms passing through, usually in the late afternoon and evening. It can be a welcoming sight, because cooler air follows.

The courses can still be busy from the crack of dawn through the first couple hours of morning daylight. If you don't like slow play, make a 2 p.m. tee time, which often costs little more than cart fees, and zip around wide-open courses.

Sample A.M. green fees in August:

Talking Stick: $60
Camelback (Padre): $69
Kierland: $90
TPC Scottsdale (Stadium): $73

October-December: Scottsdale's fall shoulder season

Most golf courses close in September or early October for a couple weeks for over-seeding, which transition their Bermuda turf to a lush, cool-weather rye grass.

Rye grass plays and looks like northern grasses, but to get it up and growing, a great deal of water is required. This means that while the weather is usually ideal in the 70s, the courses, while green, can be wet in the few weeks after the course re-opens after over-seeding, so you can encounter plenty of mud balls.

The greens are back in fast conditions, and the rough is usually not grown out too thick yet, which makes for perfect scoring conditions. The weather this time of year is as good as peak season, with highs in the 70s, but there's the threat of frost delays once you head into December.

Because the golf courses aren't quite in peak shape, you'll save a little bit on green fees compared to peak season, but many hotels begin to reach their peak holiday rates.

Sample a.m. green fees in November:

Talking Stick: $130
Camelback (Padre): $149
Kierland: $165
TPC Scottsdale Stadium: $197
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Watch: Tiger throws dart, pours in birdie at 8

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 7:31 pm

Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which we walked in.

A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

Her confidence is high.

“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.