Playing a round of golf in Arizona is a little like taking a short, relaxing staycation; the bright manicured greens are little oases when seen in contrast to the mostly dry desert terrain. At TPC Scottsdale, it's wise to play a round early in the cool morning air before the sun starts blazing. As you play, you'll have a clear view of the sand-colored McDowell Mountains. The course is also essentially the backyard of Scottsdale Links Resort, located a short walk away from the course.
Giant palms shade the resort's three-story stucco buildings, and the property has more of the feel of a chic condo complex than a hotel. In each of the spacious one- or two-bedroom suites, you'll find a balcony or patio. After preparing a meal in the room's full kitchen, you can eat in the patio area, which is decked out with tables and chairs.
The resort also has two big pools—one of which is adults-only—lined with deck chairs and umbrellas. Guests can relax there after rounds at TPC Scottsdale, which is made up of two championship courses and 36 professional holes. This golf course is the site for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a PGA tournament that consistently breaks attendance records.
Scottsdale, Arizona: Affluent Community amid Rocky Desert Landscape
Located a bit northwest of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale has come a long way since its early days. It once served as ranch land where farmers grew oranges and lemon farms, and cowboys kicked up dust in the fierce dry heat. Today, Scottsdale is an affluent city, landscaped with lush green grass and lined with stucco mansions. If you still want to get a glimpse of its Old West roots, head to Old Town Scottsdale, which features wooden sidewalks, hitching posts, and an old-time ice-cream parlor sidled up next to rustic shops.
There are sprinkler systems all over the public streets, but Scottsdale mostly embraces its dry desert setting. You'll see cacti and tumbleweeds throughout the landscape, and the mountains in the distance are covered with dry shrubs and gnarled trees. You can check out Scottsdale's southwestern flora at the Desert Botanical Garden. It has themed trails that wind past huge Sonoran cacti and other plants that hoard moisture. The gardens are best seen in the early morning or cool twilight hours; the same goes for most outdoor activities you do in Arizona.