There are more than 200 courses cut out of the rocky terrain of the Sonoran Desert in the area. And there are dozens of must-play golf courses, from the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale, home to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, to the Monument and Pinnacle Courses at Troon North, and the Talon and Raptor Courses at Grayhawk Golf Club, a venue associated with Phil Mickelson, who played college golf at nearby Arizona State University.
Getting to Scottsdale is easy, too. It's just a half hour from Phoenix Sky Harbour Airport, and is only a few hours from Los Angeles.
Scottsdale is hardwired toward keeping tourists happy. This affluent city ranks third, after New York City and Las Vegas, respectively, for having the most AAA Five-Diamond hotels and resorts in the United States. The Phoenician, Camelback Inn, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, the Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa in nearby Carefree, and the Fairmont Princess Resort and Spa have all been so honored in recent years. All these resorts add up to more spas per capita than anywhere in the country. If you can't relax here, then you're out of luck.
The culturally rich Scottsdale includes more than 125 professional art galleries and studios, rivaling trendy Santa Fe, N.M., and even New York City. There's something always cooking in town: an annual auto show in January, a culinary festival in April, a film festival in September-October, and a fashion week in November.
Scottsdale gives off a party vibe without being over the top. Bars and restaurants are aplenty, all supported by the region's avid sports scene. The NBA's Phoenix Suns, the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes, the NFL's Phoenix Cardinals and MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks (and don't overlook the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury) keep fans cheering in every season.
For those looking to get away from the crush of these sprawling metropolises, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing are all nearby at the Camelback Mountain or the McDowell Mountains in the McDowell-Sonoran Preserve. Lakes tucked inside desert canyons are great for boating and fishing.
It's easy to find the best places to play golf in Scottsdale. But there are also courses in Scottsdale that fly under the radar, courses that might not make every top 10 list but still are fun and challenging to play and not as hard on the wallet. Here are four Scottsdale gems you might have missed.
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