In Phoenix on business? Top golf courses for entertaining clients and colleagues

By Travel ArticlesDecember 3, 2012, 6:31 pm

PHOENIX -- From October through March, the greater Phoenix area is paradise for the business traveler -- and his or her clientele.

There's no snow, plenty of amenities -- and did we mention there's no snow?

It's not a bad idea to pack your golf clubs, either. The Valley is awash in great golf courses, from the pricey and challenging layouts in north Scottsdale to resort courses that are meant to be enjoyed rather than suffered.

So if you're in Phoenix on business and want to host colleagues or clients, here are just a few of the courses that would make for an ideal business/golf outing:

Raven Golf Club Phoenix

Located on Baseline Road in south Phoenix, Raven Golf Club Phoenix is just a couple of minutes off the I-10 -- thus easy access from anywhere in the Valley -- and a popular stop for both locals and tourists.

The Raven, a Gary Panks design, was built as a parkland course in the middle of the desert. More than 7,000 pine trees were imported to give the course a Midwest feel. It's not as difficult as some of the Valley's notorious desert courses, but it will test the low handicapper because its diversity of holes require golfers to use every club in their bag.

Wigwam Resort

Since Wigwam Resort has been upgraded by a group led by former Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo, it has become a popular destination for business travelers or conventions on the west side of town.

The Wigwam features three courses, two of which were designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. All three tracks are old-fashioned, straightforward courses, with few blind shots or forced carries. Plus, many of the resort's casitas are right on the grounds, so it's as convenient as possible.

Adobe Course, Arizona Biltmore

It's no secret that the Arizona Biltmore is one of Phoenix's finest resorts. What's not so well known is the welcoming simplicity of the Adobe Course.

Designed in 1928, the Adobe has wide fairways -- some as spacious as 50 yards -- accessible greens and plenty of room to spray a few shots and survive.

It's the ideal course for the business traveler who wants to play a few holes but doesn't have the game to challenge some of the Valley's tougher layouts.

Golf Club of Estrella

Another west-side gem, the Golf Club of Estrella is located in Goodyear, just a few miles south of University of Phoenix Stadium and Arena, the homes of the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Coyotes, respectively.

The Golf Club of Estrella is one of the most underrated desert courses in the Valley, but beware: It has some of the deepest sand traps this side of the Sahara. It may not be the ideal diversion for business travelers who struggle with a sand wedge in their hand.

TPC Scottsdale

Staying in north Scottsdale? Then make sure to book a round on TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course, site of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The course is always in spectacular shape and it's a kick to play the same holes Phil Mickelson walked on.

And, of course, there's nothing like standing on the tee of the par-3 16th hole and imagining 20,000 rowdy fans ready to jeer if your tee shot misses the green.

Vistal Golf Club

The revitalization of downtown Phoenix over the last 20 years has been accompanied by a boon in hotel construction and, thus, an increase in business travelers who stay downtown and rarely get beyond the Phoenix Convention Center.

Unfortunately, there aren't any great courses in downtown Phoenix, but one option just a few miles west is Vistal Golf Club. Vistal, a 7,013-yard par 71, was re-designed in 2000 with consultation from local PGA Tour players Tom Lehman, Billy Mayfair and Howard Twitty.

The emphasis at Vistal is on having a good time. Classic rock music is played throughout the facility and practice area.

Lookout Mountain Golf Club

Part of the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in northeast Phoenix, Lookout Mountain Golf Club weaves its way through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.

Fortunately, the desert isn't as lush or as prevalent as other desert courses in the Valley, so it's possible to hit your ball a few yards off line and still find it.

The resort features the Falls Water Village, which includes a 138-foot enclosed water slide, private cabanas and whirlpools.

Troon North

The low-handicapper staying in north Scottsdale will have no problem paying the $200 -- or more -- to play the Monument Course or Pinnacle Course at Troon North.

The Monument is a links-style course. The Pinnacle features greens that are tiered and incredibly fast. And from December through April, forecaddies are available for $30 per player.

The Valley has more than its fair share of quality golf clubs, but Troon North stands alone.

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Watch: Highlights from Tiger's first round at East Lake

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 20, 2018, 8:30 pm

Tiger Woods is back at the season-ending Tour Championship for the first time since 2013, and he provided the fans in Atlanta with some highlights on the first day of competition.

Still looking for his first win of the year after coming close on numerous occasions, Woods started the day off by splitting the fairway on the first hole with the driver, not even bothering to watch his ball land.

Despite the picture-perfect opening tee shot, Woods would go on to bogey the first hole, but he rebounded with back-to-back birdies on 5 and 6, making putts from 26 and 15 feet.

Tiger's best shot on the front nine came on the par-4 seventh hole after he found the pine straw behind a tree with his drive. The 14-time major champ punched one under the tree limbs and onto the green, then calmly two-putted for par from about 40 feet en route to a front-side 1-under 34.

Woods added two more birdies on the par-4 12th and 14th holes, rolling in putts of 3 feet and 7 feet after a couple of great looking approach shots.

Woods finished his round with a vintage eagle on the par-5 18th hole, finding the green with a 5-wood from 256 yards out and then sinking the 28-foot putt.

The eagle at the last gave Woods a share of the early first-round lead with Rickie Fowler at 5-under 65.

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 20, 2018, 8:20 pm

Tiger Woods is looking to close his season with a win at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him this week at East Lake Golf Club.

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Garcia (66) peaking for Ryder Cup?

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 20, 2018, 6:17 pm

Sergio Garcia might be finding his form just in time to terrorize the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Garcia made seven birdies during an opening round of 5-under 66 to sit just two shots off the early lead at the European Tour’s Portugal Masters.

It was Garcia’s fifth consecutive round of par or better, a stretch that includes rounds of 66-65-67-70-66. That solid play at the Wyndham Championship wasn’t enough to extend his PGA Tour season – he didn’t qualify for the FedExCup playoffs – but the Spaniard is starting to round into form with the Ryder Cup on deck.

Full-field scores from the Portugal Masters

A few weeks ago he was a controversial selection by European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn. After missing the cut in all four majors, Garcia could have been left at home in favor of such players as Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matt Wallace (a three-time winner this season who, once again, is at the top of the leaderboard in Portugal), Matt Fitzpatrick or Thomas Pieters. But Bjorn tabbed Garcia, noting his Ryder Cup experience, his sterling foursomes record and his influence in the team room. If Phil Mickelson is the U.S. player under the most pressure to perform in Paris, all eyes will be on Garcia next week – especially since it could be one of his final opportunities to wear a European uniform, as he’ll be 40 for the 2020 matches.

Garcia’s 66 matched his lowest opening round of the year and puts him in position to secure just his second top-10 since March.

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Watch: 100mph storm destroys tent at St. Andrews

By Grill Room TeamSeptember 20, 2018, 4:25 pm

The Old Course at St. Andrews has endured all sorts of wacky weather over the years, but things ratcheted up a notch this week with the arrival of Storm Ali.

The first named storm of the season struck Wednesday, bringing 100 mph gusts, killing two people and leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power in parts of Ireland, Scotland and England.

According to the Courier no one was injured in the St. Andrews area, but a video posted from the home of golf shows just how powerful the storm was as wind absolutely destroyed one of the hospitality tents set up in advance of the Dunhill Links Championship:

While plenty of clean-up is sure to be needed, officials say the Dunhill Links, which also be conducted at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, will go on as scheduled October 4-7.