Scottsdale is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading golf destinations. Few, if any, golf destinations can match the city’s combination of ideal weather, top-tier resorts, championship golf courses and 19th hole attractions. With so much going for it, Scottsdale remains extremely popular among golf travelers and prices – especially during peak travel times January through April – reflect this demand. But the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau offers a few insider tips to help stretch your dollars:
Book Directly Online
Despite the proliferation of third-party tee-time providers, you can often find the best availability and rates if you book your tee times online directly with the golf courses. For example, OB Sports, which manages several golf courses in the Valley of the Sun, including We-Ko-Pa, Eagle Mountain, McDowell Mountain, and Longbow golf clubs, offer the “Best Rate Guaranteed.” This guarantee ensures that when you book directly online with the golf clubs, you receive the following:
· Best available price
· Best access
· 48-hour cancellation with no penalty
· No prepayment required
Other Scottsdale-area golf courses offer similar guarantees and some, such as Grayhawk Golf Club, do not make tee times available through third-party providers at all.
Several of the most popular golf clubs in Scottsdale offer significant savings to guests who choose to play more than one round of golf. TPC Scottsdale features two outstanding 18-hole golf courses – the acclaimed Stadium Course, home of the PGA TOUR’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, and the recently remodeled Champions Course. Play both courses (36 holes) with lunch included on the same day for roughly the same price as playing just the Stadium Course.
Other multi-course properties, such as We-Ko-Pa, Grayhawk, Troon North, and Talking Stick golf clubs offer similar savings.
Email and Text Lists
Don’t forget to “like” Scottsdale golf courses on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and join their email and text lists. Though far from a “sure thing,” golf courses often provide insider specials through these channels that are not available to the general public.
Among the most aggressive users of this technology is Grayhawk Golf Club. The club’s social media friends and text and email subscribers are routinely treated to rate specials for golf, food and drinks, and retail as well as other unique opportunities. The best part? It costs nothing to participate; sign up now!
An emerging trend in the Scottsdale golf scene is the advent of “short course.” The idea behind the short-course is to have an exceptional playing experience at a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time it would take to play a full-sized 18-hole round – thus leaving you with more time to enjoy the destination’s other amenities. They also are a great option for introducing the game to a non-golfer, beginning golfer or junior player.
Among the first to offer the “short-course” solution is Troon North, perhaps the most highly decorated daily-fee golf club in Scottsdale. Dubbed the Monument Express, this nine-hole executive layout measures just 1,500 yards yet it provides a golf experience worthy of the Troon North name. Because of its length, the course can be played quickly and very affordably. Current rates are $20 per adult and children under 15 years of age are free with a paying adult.
Beginning Nov. 1, you can experience abbreviated versions of the acclaimed North and South golf courses at The Boulders Resort, playing nine holes ranging from 100 to 200 yards. Though diminutive, the holes still incorporate the stunning beauty, thrilling challenge and ideal playing conditions of the full layouts.
Perhaps the most tried-and-true method of stretching your travel dollars is to schedule your golf rounds or visit during off-peak times for Scottsdale’s tourism season. If you‘re not deterred by warm weather or if you don’t mind a round at sunrise, take advantage of the summer savings (typically June through September) when tee times are plentiful and rates are exceptionally low. In fact, some top-tier courses can be played during the summer months for less than 25 percent of the price it would be during the high season (January through April).
Shoulder season visits – September through December and May – can yield impressive savings while holding the promise of good – if not ideal – weather and playing conditions. And, even during the prime months, deals can be found if you are able to play golf during less busy periods on weekdays or even weekend afternoons. Of course if you opt for a twilight rate during the short daylight hours of winter, you will struggle to finish all 18 holes at most clubs but the savings can be worth it.
Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, www.GolfInScottsdale.com