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  • Michael Cypher

Escape to the sun

Christmas 2020 passed and as the 2021 Seattle January rain started settling in for the month. I knew it was time to find some sun and warmth. So with some Alaska Airlines miles burning a hole in my pocket I booked a flight to Phoenix for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend and started looking for golf courses and tee times. After talking with some friends and people who live in the area, I picked my courses:

Estrella Golf Club

Bright and early Saturday morning saw me at Estrella Golf Club in Goodyear Arizona. I had signed up for their VIP package. This included unlimited golf, a dozen Callaway golf balls and lunch. This is a Troon Managed course, and it shows. The course was in excellent condition and the staff amazing. I was joined up with a group from Wisconsin down in search of sun and warmth like me and it was a great time. Even though I had been to the driving range and had a couple of lessons I hadn’t been on a course since September and the rust showed. I finished the day playing 27 holes plus the warm balls at the driving range before the first hole. Lots of golf swings for the day and it was time to go find dinner.

Lookout Mountain Golf Club

My second day of golf had me at Lookout Mountain Golf Club which is at Pointe Hilton Tapaito Cliffs Resort in Phoenix. Another Troon managed course which means that as I walked up to the club house the staff grabbed my clubs and had the cart setup and ready by the time I was checked in. It was a surprise when the starter announced our group and names over the loudspeaker as we stepped up to the first tee. I seemed like we were getting ready to play a professional tournament. This day I played with a group down from Minnesota and it was fun to hear their banter back and forth as we moved around the course. Since the course is on the side of a mountain and spread out you are charged extra if you want to walk and not use a cart. The views of the Phoenix area are amazing and I wish I could have kept playing.

TPC Scottsdale - Champions Course

My final day of golf in Arizona for this trip was TPC Scottsdale – Champions course. Across the street at the Stadium Course, they were already getting ready PGA Waste Management event in two weeks. This is a course I really enjoyed and would have tried to play again that day if they had an open slot. I had the pleasure of playing with a couple from Colorado Springs that drove down for some warm weather and a young man who was down for the winter to play every day and try to make one of the PGA mini tours. As with the other courses I played the fairways were green and the ruff was brown as you can see in the picture. What was amazing is the straight sharp lines between the fairway and ruff. I will be back to play TPC Scottsdale again.

Final thoughts

Getting away to play golf in the winter is a great way to keep that spark of excitement alive and get your ready for spring and that first round at home. It does not take months of playing to take a golf trip. You don’t have to get three other people to fill out a foursome either. You can go by yourself or a group of people. Working with your travel agent you can be on the course in no time even with the restrictions of this Covid pandemic. Don’t wait, get out and enjoy the sun and a chance to swing the clubs.

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