Golfers are genetically disposed to shop for deals when they travel to warm-weather golf destinations, so this may sound counter-intuitive: Stop shopping and remember three words: TPC, Scottsdale and Fairmont – the single best golf value you’ll find this winter.
Hold on, you say. “He’s talking about a golf course that charges $299 for 18 holes like it’s a bargain. Is he on crack?” Allow me to explain ….
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, a sprawling AAA 5-diamond property, has standard hotel and private condo options, all of which qualify as “luxury” by any definition of the term.
For non-golfers, the resort has proximity to shopping and a luxury spa. For golfers, its golf concierge has a special relationship with the TPC (translation: clout to get a tee time) plus a free shuttle to and from the course.
For folks who like an added measure of exclusivity (and you know who you are) there’s the resort’s Fairmont Gold section, a group of 69 separate condos with private lounge, honor bar, hot continental breakfast, secure parking and what seems like a battalion of staff ready to do guests’ bidding.
The TPC golf experience is rock solid, unlike anything you’ll find in Arizona or in Florida. The forecaddies who run ahead and spot your ball are so good reading their greens that when they say two balls out, they mean two balls out, no more, no less.
And there’s the 16th hole on the Stadium Course, where you can get a sense of the Roman Coliseum drama during the Phoenix Waste Management Open of playing a tee shot inside a stadium bigger than most minor-league baseball parks.
The TPC’s practice facilities are as superb as the course conditions. If you’re on the range and hitting out of a divot, it’s because you just made that divot. And the clubhouse and on-course service is attentive but not intrusive.
Now, let’s talk about that $299 greens fee.
That’s the daily-fee rack rate. Only a cigar-chomping fat cat who just rolled up in a limo without a tee time pays that.
Instead, sign on for a TPC stay-play package that gets you two nights at the Princess, a round at the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course, another round at the TPC Champions Course (no slouch of a course, by the way), forecaddie and range balls – all for $450, through April 30.
If you want to go “all-in” on the Fairmont/TPC experience, cough up $785 and get three nights at the Fairmont and one round each at the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course, Troon North and Grayhawk – the Trifecta of modern-day Scottsdale golf – at a smokin’ price.
If you do the math, you’ll see that sometimes the ala carte discount option isn’t always the right play when the goal is scoring real golf value.
— Dan Vukelich