AROUND TOWN ACTIVITIES
SR RATED ACTIVITIES
Lookout Mountain Golf Club:
Lookout Mountain Golf Club is a wonderful, and challenging course. The course is well maintained, and features some of the most challenging greens we've experienced yet. It's located in N.W. Phoenix (the area of the 51 and N. 7th Street). As we mentioned, this course is a bit challenging, featuring a few narrow fairways and very challenging greens (depending on the pin placement of course). Lookout Mountain is an award-winning course including one of Arizona's Top 10 Courses by Arizona Business Magazine, and a 4.5 out of 5 stars from Golf Advisor.
The Lookout Mountain greens varied in speed and were in very nice shape when we played. Did we mention that the greens were quite challenging - the really were! The fairways were in wonderful shape on nearly all holes. The staff was friendly and our play was kept at a good pace with little or no waiting. Lookout Mountain is a "player friendly" course while being both fun, and challenging!
The summers in the valley are very hot, but mid-October through mid-May are absolutely beautiful. The course was in excellent condition, and gets a very good rating for fun, desert beauty, and difficulty. We give the course a solid 7.5, on a rating scale of one to ten!
Lookout Mountain falls within our top 20 courses for the valley! It's just a short 20 minute drive from just about anywhere in the valley. Located in N.W. Phoenix, we recommend Lookout Mountain Golf Club - It's Hot!
Don't forget, Lookout Mountain offers full resort accommodations via the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. . .
Rancho Manana Golf Club:
Rancho Manana is a fantastic golf course, well maintained, fun-to-play, and features some of the most breathtaking and scenic views in N. Phoenix (Cave Creek to be exact). This course may be just a little off the beaten path but well worth the drive. It just happens to be one of our favorites in the area. This course is quite challenging with its elevated tee boxes and narrow fairways. Rancho Manana features a par 70 championship course nestled in unspoiled desert terrain. There are several elevated par-threes that are absolutely delightful while still quite challenging.
The Rancho Manana greens were slow and just a little rough, and slow, but challenging nonetheless. The fairways were in perfect shape with lush green grass awaiting our second shot, approachs up to the greens on the par-fours. The staff was friendly and helpful while play kept a good pace with no waiting on the tee boxes. All in all, Rancho Manana is a "player friendly" course and extremely fun to play!
We all know the summers in the valley are quite hot, but mid-October through May are absolutely beautiful. The course was in excellent condition, and gets our highest rating for fun, beauty, and skill. We give the course layout a solid 9, on a rating scale of one to ten!
No doubt we'll definitely play Rancho Manana again and again as it easily lands in our top 5 for the valley! It's a great course, and just a short 20 minute drive from Scottsdale. Located in N. Phoenix (Cave Creek), we highly recommend Rancho Manana Golf Club! Rancho Manana Golf Club - It's Hot!
Don't forget, Rancho Manana offers full resort accommodations, spa, and a wonderful bar and grill for your after golf pleasure. . .
McDowell Mountain Golf Club:
McDowell Mountain is a well maintained, fun-to-play course located in N. Scottsdale. If you're anywhere in the Scottsdale area, it is easily accessible, and if you're anywhere else in the Phoenix area it is worth the drive at least once. This course is somewhat challenging for most levels of golfers, from beginner to pro. One of the claims to fame of this particular course is that it's operated by Phil Mickelson and coach Steve Loy. The course features widened and reshaped fairways to allow you to keep it in play. The par-five 9th offers ample opportunity for birdie. If you're a big hitter, you may have a shot at driving the green on the par-four 16th. McDowell Mountain is a "player friendly" course and quite fun to play!
The staff at McDowel Mountain Golf Club was mostly friendly and accommodating. However, our pace of play was quite slow, with a completion time of just under 5:15. There were several groups both ahead and behind us and the marshal was no where to be found. The summers in the valley are very hot so get out early and stay hydrated. The course was in pretty good condition, with some of the greens being quite challenging. We give the course layout a solid 7, on a rating scale of one to ten. Be sure to ask about their 2021 Summer Pass - it's really a great deal!
We'll definitely play McDowell Mountain again, but it probably won't be our first choice. It's a great course, and conveniently located in N. Scottsdale. We recommend McDowell Mountain Golf Club, if for no other reason than to support the local Scottsdale economy.
Eagle Mountain Golf Club:
Wow, what a beautiful course, nestled in the mountains at Fountain Hills! Eagle Mountain is a wonderful course with breathtaking views of the mountains and surrounding areas. It's close to the Heart of Scottsdale and is absolutely fun to play! This course is challenging for all level of golfers, but be certain to keep in in the fairway. Once you're off the fairway you never know what you might encounter. When we played we had an chance encounter with a pack of Javelina while looking for a wayward tee shot! The course is perfect for all levels of golfers whether your hitting from the tips, the whites or golds, this place if FUN!
The staff at Eagle Mountain Golf Club was friendly from and helpful. Our pace of play was about average (4:20 minutes start to finish) as there were several groups both ahead and behind us. The temperature began to heat up pretty good around 10:45AM so get out there early and drink lots of liquids. Because the course was in such good condition, it made for an absolutely delightful round! The course layout was about a 7.5 on a rating scale of one to ten, with some challenging par 4s and some longer par 5s. The greens were very quick on the day we played with challenging pin placements.
We are very much looking forward to playing the Eagle Mountain Golf Course again soon as it is perfect for our level of play, close to downtown Scottsdale, and is absolutely beautiful. It's a Hot little course, and with summer upon us there are great deals to be found at the local courses, and Eagle Mountain is no exception. We definitely recommend Eagle Mountain Golf Club, and you will be supporting the local Scottsdale economy when you do. Eagle Mountain Golf Club/Course - It's Hot!
Mountain Shadows Golf Club:
Want to dial-up your short game? Mountain Shadows Golf Course is perfect for that. It's one of the most beautiful desert courses you'll play! With beautiful views of the Paradise Valley and surrounding areas, it really can't be beat! While it's a "short course," meaning a Par 3/18 Hole, it's as fun as it gets. It is perfect for the beginner, the intermediate and the experienced golfer.
Mountain Shadows Golf Club is a spectacular little course tucked away in Central Scottsdale. This little course is fun and challenging, with its undulating greens. The staff was friendly from arrival to departure and our pace of play was perfect, with no golfers in sight ahead of us or behind. Carl Spackler (of Caddyshack fame) was definitely NOT the assistant greens keeper at Mountain Shadows as the course was in impeccable shape - absolutely perfect! The course layout was a solid seven on a rating scale of one to ten. After all, it's just a Par 3.
I can't wait to play Mountain Shadows Golf Course again - and soon! It's a Hot little course, and while a little more pricey than I would have expected, a decent value for the fun you'll have. It's a fairly easy course, with the exception of the challenging greens. As for fun after your round, there is plenty to choose from at the Mountain Shadows resort with multiple restaurants and an outdoor patio/bar that is unbelievable relaxing and equally as beautiful with the surrounding mountain backdrop. I recommend giving Mountain Shadows Golf Club a try, I'm think you'll really love it, for what it is! Mountain Shadows Short Course - It's Hot!
OrangeTree Golf Club:
I'll bet you're happy that you either live in the Scottsdale area or visit the Scottsdale area. Either way, you're in the golf mecca of the Southwest and there aren't too many days that the sun doesn't shine so this is for those folks who love the links!
OrangeTree Golf Club is a wonderful little course nestled in Northwest Scottsdale. It's just minutes away from just about everything and is a very forgiving course with wide open fairways and generous greens.
The course was in absolutely fabulous shape when I played it. As great as the course is, the best thing about OrangeTree is the staff. They couldn't have been more friendly and they even cut us a deal on our greens fees since we got a late start (we didn't even have to ask for it)! Note: on a previous golf outing at OrangeTree I forgot my wallet in the cart when I rushed off the course in a pouring rain and utter darkness. Needless to say, not the best weather for golf. That said, the next day I showed up at the pro-shop and the staff greeted me with a smile and my wallet. Nothing missing and they wouldn't even let me give them the cash inside. Something to be said for honesty served up with a simile. I just love these guys!
Would I play OrangeTree Golf Club again - you bet I will! It's a Hot little course, moderately priced, and difficult enough to be challenging but not too difficult to have a great time! Give OrangeTree Golf Club a try, I'm certain you'll love it! It's Hot!
Gateway Loop Hiking Trail:
I can't even begin to tell you how many hiking trails there are in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. If you love to "get your hike on" then you're in the right place for certain!
I recently visited the Gateway Loop Hiking Trail, located in Northeast Scottsdale, in the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy off N. Thompson Peak Road. It's just minutes from the heart of Scottsdale and offers ample parking (if you get there early enough) and a diverse trail offering. You can hike for 30 minutes or several hours, just beware, as it is one of the more rocky trails I've hiked (i.e., loose rocks).
It offers trails for the beginner and the intermediate hiker. The loop is dog-friendly, kid-friendly, is approximately 4.5 miles, and ascends to a moderate elevation of just 685ft. There are restroom facilities at the trail-head and the trails are clearly marked, for the most part.
Overall, the trail is relatively flat with just a few "hilly" areas as you make your way around the loop. It's not so challenging that you can't enjoy your hike, but challenging enough that you can get a great workout. I recommend getting there early as this trail is quite popular with both the locals and those visiting our enchanted city.
I would definitely recommend the Gateway Loop Hiking Trail as it is a great way to discover and enjoy the desert landscape, while spending quality time with friends and family members. Be sure to take plenty of water and STAY HYDRATED, especially on those HOT SUMMER DAYS in the valley. Give the Gateway Loop Hiking Trail a try - It's Hot!
Pinnacle Peak Hiking Trail:
"Get out and hike" is the motto for residents and visitors alike to the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. To answer the call Pinnacle Peak Hiking Trail is available to all.
On my visit to the Pinnacle Peak Trail I was pleasantly surprised at the level of difficulty. This baby is a four mile trail (out & back) and it is conveniently located in N. Scottsdale. It's "officially" rated as a moderate trail, but I would rate it slightly more difficult, due the vertical ascents on this trail (there's always the possibility that I'm a wimp, so you can decide for yourself).
The course trail offers spectacular views of the Scottsdale area, with panoramic views of McDowell Mountain, which is just 2.5 miles away. If you proceed approximately one mile up the trail you can see Camelback Mountain in the distance. Be alert as this trail is quite heavily traveled especially on the weekends so it's best to get started early in the morning.
As always, be sure to take ample water on your hike as it gets hot very quickly on the trails, especially in the summer, and hydration is oh so important.
As is the case with all the local trails, Pinnacle Peak Hiking Trail offers the opportunity to really take in the beauty of the desert and its wildlife. Get out there and HIKE Pinnacle Peak Trail, it's one of my favorites and I highly recommend it!