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Arizona is the Golf Oasis of the Southwest. Tucson, Phoenix and Scottsdale hold hundreds of courses with easy accessibility. The climate is idea – warm and dry all year long, with more days of cloudless skies than any of the east coast destinations can boast.

Tucson alone has at least 19 courses. Favorite examples including breathtaking and luxurious Weston La Paloma Resort, a Jack Nicklaus signature course named one of the top courses country for both men and women. This challenging course encourages precision by extracting severe consequences to those miss their shots. For cooler summer temperatures, there’s the Santa Rita Country Club. Loews Ventana Canyon Golf Club offers both the Mountain Course and Canyon Course, each of which earns the high praise received from Golf Digest. Then there’s the Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed Raven Golf Club at Sabino Springs, which employs the rugged natural landscape to offer a course that flows through a forest of giant Saguaro cactus and desert springs. It’s easy to see why this cozy town, nested within mountains and right on I-10, would become such a popular golfing vacation destination.

Phoenix and its neighboring upscale Scottsdale host scores of world-class courses, and a wealth of comforts, conveniences and activities to provide everyone with an awesome vacation. Phoenix has over a hundred courses by itself! The resorts are top-notch, and leave you wanting for nothing.

While in Scottsdale, be sure to play the Fairmonts two courses. Allow yourself an extra day or so and make a reservation for pampering at their Willow Springs Spa as well! This region of Arizona has its own Raven, of course, and the Greyhawk, Troon North, Boulders and We-Ko-Pa courses are legendary. Less well celebrated courses include Coyote Lakes, Sanctuary and Gold Canyon’s Dinosaur Mountain. With so many golf courses to choose from in Phoenix, the less publicized ones make for excellent second play opportunities that won’t put an outrageous dent in the vacation budget.

With so many excellent championship courses all across Arizona, it’s hard to imagine finding time to get in even a fraction of the vacation’s course list. If you should want a day off to sight-see, there are still plenty of places to visit and things to do besides shopping at the myriad Southwest artist and design studios. Scottsdale’s Heard Museum makes a fine outing. The Desert Museum and Saguaro National Park of Tucson are also fine half-day excursions. A more rough-and-tumble crowd may enjoy a tour by Hummer. Horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, hot air balloon rides, and nightlife galore make it a very full day. Enjoy the pool or Jacuzzi when you return. The desert air will leave you refreshed and feeling good about being up early for the next extraordinary day of golf.

Being blessed with warm weather and blue skies helps, but it’s also clear that Arizona goes out of its way in aspiring to be the golf capital of the world. The warm southwest welcome and laid-back attitudes lull you into a sense of relaxation, as the desert’s open spaces heal your spirit and put your mind at ease. There are few better places for a year-round golf vacation destination than Arizona