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What to pack for your Scottsdale golf vacation

boulders resort arizona
Courtesy Boulders Resort

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – If you're thinking of taking a golf vacation, it's hard to beat a trip to Scottsdale. With more than 200 golf courses in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, the choices are endless, and the weather – especially in spring, fall and winter – is ideal.

As proof that golf is king in Scottsdale, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is year in and year out the PGA Tour event with the highest attendance. People love their golf in Scottsdale, and it shows.

So if you've decided to follow the Tour – and the sun – to Scottsdale for your next golf vacation, here are a few pointers:

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Check the forecast

Most of the time, even in the spring or fall, temperatures can get quite hot in the desert, so you want plenty of light clothing. Light colors, microfibers and a good hat will serve you well. If it's not windy, Scottsdale is the ideal location for a Panama hat for sun protection.

Speaking of the sun, there's plenty of it when you play golf in Arizona. A good pair of sunglasses is a must, and you might as well pack your own sunscreen instead of buying it at the course. Several companies now sell it in small packages that will easily fit in your golf bag.

Remember, though, if you play in the winter, Scottsdale can get very cold at night, and even the days can be a bit chilly. A sweater or windbreaker is a good bet, as well as at least one pair of medium-weight slacks.

Bring a camera

Preferably a small digital one that you can point and shoot quickly. There is lots of beautiful scenery at courses like Troon North and The Boulders, not to mention the other attractions in the area.

Off-the-course attire

Scottsdale has lots of great restaurants and pubs, spanning the range of cost and formality. For the most part, casual clothing is fine, but if you're looking to go someplace upscale, a dinner jacket might be in order. Bring a nice pair of smart casual shoes, too, just in case.

Do the flight thing

With airlines charging more and more these days for checked bags, you might want to try this strategy: Stuff some jackets and outerwear and maybe even your golf shoes into your golf bag. That might enable you to take just a carry-on and check your golf bag, which can make for significant savings. Most airlines now are charging upwards of $30-50 each way for checked bags. Checking just one can mean a $100 savings, which can be better spent on a steak and a few cold drafts.