Kierland, Scottsdale’s Northern Gem
More than 200 golf courses are sprinkled throughout the Valley of the Sun, and the Kierland area of Scottsdale has some of the best. You can start with the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course, where the PGA Tour plays the Phoenix Open every year. Or you can head a couple miles north to the Four Seasons Resort at Troon North, which Golf Magazine ranks in the Top 100 Courses You Can Play.
However, there is a much more fun course for good golfers who aren’t looking for that level of challenge. Kierland Golf Club offers 27 holes that are friendly to resort golfers. You even get a golf cart that is air-conditioned (it blows cold air on the back of golfers’ necks), which makes golf in Arizona much more enjoyable.
You can also ride around the course on a Segway Golf Scooter, and a one-hour Segway driving class is included.
“One of the great things about Kierland Golf Club is that every afternoon, an Irish bagpiper comes out and plays,” says Dr. Andrew Hall, a Colorado Springs dentist. “You can hear it around the course.”
Dr. Hall is a regular visitor to the Scottsdale Center for Dentistry, where he serves as a mentor in the CEREC technology courses. “I like that the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa is so close to the Kierland Commons, which offers great outdoor shopping and eating just one block from the hotel.”
The Scottsdale Quarter is also within walking distance, giving visitors another opportunity to find great shops, restaurants, and bars. “I really enjoy the iPic movie theater,” says Dr Hall. “You can dine and have a glass of wine or your favorite draft beer while taking in the latest movies.”
The dining in Scottsdale runs the range from extremely upscale to classic hole in the walls. There are lots of Southwestern and Mexican restaurants, including the upscale Z-Tejas on the high-end and Frank & Lupe’s Mexican, which is a little hole in the wall in Old Scottsdale.
Tommy Bahama’s restaurant is an unexpected excellent choice. “The restaurant has a great menu and the bar upstairs is always busy,” says Dr. Hall. “The other place I frequent is Mastro’s Ocean Club. It’s rather pricey, but well worth it. I’ve never had a bad time or a bad meal while visiting either of these restaurants.”
If you bring the family, make time for Rawhide, an Old West-themed town in North Scottsdale that features an old-fashioned shootout on the main street. You can also enjoy donkey, horse, stagecoach, and train rides.
The best times to visit the area are from October through March, though you can expect frost delays if you try to hit the links in December and January. “I feel the best time to visit is during the winter or early spring months,” reports Dr. Hall. “It’s the perfect time to escape the cold weather in Colorado. Plus we can’t play golf in Colorado during the winter, but there are plenty of courses in Scottsdale that are open.”
Whether you come for the golf, baseball spring training, or shopping, the Kierland area of Scottsdale has something for just about everybody.
Bob Weber, is regular travel writer and travel blogger from Colorado who can regularly be found plating golf at Kierland.