THE DESTINATION: GRAYHAWK GOLF CLUB, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.
The eighth hole at the Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club.
More PGA Tour pros may hang out at ultra-private Whisper Rock, but Grayhawk remains the coolest option for visiting amateurs in Scottsdale, both for the golf and atmosphere. Rock music still drifts out onto the driving range from speakers inside fake boulders, and multiple on-site food venues will fill you up quickly. Grayhawk’s Talon course, ranked seventh in Golf Magazine’s Best Public Courses in Arizona, is the older (by a year) layout and has the more unique par 3s, while the Raptor course, designed by Tom Fazio, hosted a PGA Tour event from 2007-09. Which one to play? Both. Especially since booking 36 holes at a time can save you up to $130 from now until the end of March. grayhawkgolf.com, 480-502-1800
WHERE TO STAY
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: This sprawling resort next door to TPC Scottsdale has a full range of first-class amenities, from dining (La Hacienda or Bourbon Steak) and nightlife (the Plaza Bar) to relaxation (Willow Stream Spa). Between Feb. 1 and April 30, you can book the “25th Anniversary Summer Early Special” and receive a $125 discount room rate and $25 food/beverage credit for stays between Memorial Day Monday through Labor Day Monday (special rate code is 2U8EBR). $169-$499, scottsdaleprincess.com, 480-585-4848
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa: A short walk outside the back door of this 12-story resort are 27 holes; air-cooling misters in the carts and on the range; and an expansive practice facility, featuring the academy of Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Mike LaBauve. The resort’s Unlimited Golf package for two (including accommodations) costs $449 per night through March 31; $349 April 1 - May 23; and $179 May 24 – Sept. 9. kierlandresort.com, 480-624-1000.
WHERE TO EAT
Isabella’s: With views of the 10th and 18th holes on Grayhawk’s Talon Course (and the adjacent practice area), this casual dining spot opened last fall. Perfect spot for post-round drink, plus an Italian-themed menu. 480-502-3100, grayhawkgolf.com
Brat Haus: Located on the southern edge of Old Town Scottsdale, this newcomer is for meat lovers who like to wash down tasty brats, burgers and Belgian fries with craft beers in an outdoor setting. 480-947-4006, brathausaz.com