Whether you are star crazy or stir crazy, Scottsdale, Arizona is bound to dazzle you. Some stars visit while some call it home and one child actor, Malcom in the Middle’s Frankie Muniz with fiancé Paige Price opened the new Outrageous Olive Oils shop.
It is always a treat to visit Downtown Old Scottsdale’s traditional bars and restaurants like Pink Pony or tour the art galleries but there is always something new in the city to stir up fun, especially in the golf world. Here are a few examples:
At the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the new El Rancho skybox offers an elevated view spanning several holes for public fans without the corporate badges. If you have never attended the number one PGA tournament, put it on your list. The Patriots Outpost over the 18th fairway is free to veterans. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess hosts special guests behind the green on number 4, right next to the resort which has revamped its top ranked Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda with an expanded bar and lounge area and a larger Mezcal cellar.
Patrons of the Waste Management Phoenix Open now have a new boutique resort for lodging consideration. Unique architecture at the Mountain Shadows replaced the former Marriott, shuttered for years. It is a fun place to stay. Just hop in the elevator and a collage of history jumps out from the wall like Lucille Ball donning her shades in a golf cart on the old course. Nostalgia is complemented by modern art displays in the halls. Forrest Richardson redesigned the golf landscape creating The Short Course. Long on fun and just as challenging, he adds a bonus hole for betting – a par 2 long putting green. Director Tom McCahan, formerly at the Boulders transports his passion to this golf operation. Good food and drinks at Rusty’s at The Short Course or the lobby bar with live music, pools and balconies with views from the hotel rooms, make for memorable stay. The Camelback Mountain looms above beckoning hikers. Use care there with footing and hydration. Helicopters hovering above are a sign that tourists or local yokels have not heeded safety advice.
Just on the other side of Camelback Mountain, The Phoenician’s multiyear renovation is heralded by the luxury hotel industry. Celebrating its 30th anniversary last year, nearly every aspect of the resort has been revitalized. The new Phoenician Spa relocated with a rooftop pool providing dramatic mountain views. Course Architect Phil Smith converted the original 27 holes into a full and fun 18-hole resort golf course, managed by Troon.
Troon North has reopened both the Monument and Pinnacle Courses after green restorations. Known for its magnificent desert mountain views, the Troon experience here is incomparable. On VIP day, Troon Golf CEO Dana Garmany casually announced his travel plans after he retires in March. His departure was surprise news. By day at Troon North you might spot a bobcat or javelinas with roadrunners on the course and at night, you might enjoy star gazing, the sky kind.
The partnering City of Phoenix, Arizona State University and the Arizona Golf Community Foundation stepped in to step up the game at Papago Golf Course. The layout routing and conditioning have improved and the new ASU team practice facilities, by Phil Mickelson Design are amazing, sure to produce more PGA and LPGA winners. Daryl Crawford, director of golf ensures great service under the OB Sports Management umbrella. Amateurs and even non-golfers are loving the scene at Lou’s Bar and Grill, connected with the beautiful clubhouse. Outdoor patio seating matches any fine resort and live music entertains on Thursdays.
Scottsdale is ready with spring training in session right now, wicked hot deals in the summer time and it’s never too early to plan next winter’s escape.