You can’t go wrong at either the Arizona Biltmore or the Phoenician
PHOENIX and SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (Feb. 3, 2018) – There is nothing quite like staying at a traditional, opulent and classy resort, especially when there’s a chance to play golf at a fabulous classic-style course while enjoying your stay.
Two of the oldest resorts in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun – the Arizona Biltmore and the Phoenician – fit that template to a T.
Although larger and more expansive resorts have blossomed in Phoenix, Scottsdale and the surrounding area over the years, these two properties continue to set the pace for elegance and chic for the discerning traveler.
The golf at the two resorts is just as varied and refined.
Roaring Twenties golf at the Arizona Biltmore
The Arizona Biltmore was opened in 1928 by the Wrigley family – whose historic mansion still stares down at the resort and its two courses from a rocky perch – and was built to be the home-away-from-home for presidents, celebrities and dignitaries and the very well-heeled.
Its art-deco style and Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced architecture has stood the test of time and the visits of literally millions in its nearly 90 years of existence.
The Arizona Biltmore Golf Club (which is not owned by the resort) features two classic courses, one – called the Adobe – opened with the resort, while a second – the Links – was built in 1978.
Both courses are short in yardage by today’s standards (Adobe is carded at 6,430 yards while the Links weighs in at 6,300) but they are both challenging and memorable for their demands, their conditioning, their location and their wondrous sightlines.
William Wrigley, Jr, the chewing gum magnate, persuaded Riviera and Bel-Air Country Club architect William Bell to design the Adobe, a parkland course that’s nothing like the desert that surrounded it when it was built.
Wall to wall green, in the form of sprawling fairways, and small putting surfaces characterize Adobe (pictured above), which is lined by stately homes and some of the most impressive real estate in the entire Valley. Adobe is the second-oldest course in greater Phoenix.
The Adobe’s personality shines through as the golfer makes his way around Bell’s routing. Bunkers, lakes, mounding and towering trees all provide a bit of a test while still making for a very playable track. A $4 million renovation led by restoration architect Forrest Richardson in 2004 assured that today’s golfers would enjoy the course’s character in the manner past generations have.
And if your game does go sideways, there are always the views of nearby Piewtewa Peak to enjoy.
The Links course has grown up nicely over the years and matured into another must-play golf experience. A combination of challenging desert golf mixed with cool pines and tranquil lakes.
Designed by Bill Johnston, the Links course is a bit rambunctious, providing both delights and demands for even the most seasoned player. Golfers will appreciate the variance in terrain, with the front-nine quite level and the back featuring sloping fairways and some significant elevation changes – especially on the gorgeous par -3 15th, the signature hole at the club.
The Links features more challenges than the Adobe, such as tighter fairways and doglegs that need to be taken into account, but it’s still a course you can score well on.
The gently raised green complexes on both nines provide some interesting pin placements which can change the strategy of how to play each hole from day to day. While well bunkered, the fronts are generally open so that good shots are rewarded with good scoring opportunities. Miss on the approach and up and down recoveries can be tricky.
Both courses are the antithesis of many of the new, modern monster tracks that are geared to bring most golfers to their knees. Instead, the courses at the Arizona Biltmore allow one to enjoy a leisurely round while still testing their skills and patience.
Known throughout the world as the “Jewel of the Desert,” the Arizona Biltmore provides a restful oasis of 39 acres covered with lush gardens, glistening swimming pools and sumptuous and historically significant architecture – all in the very heart of Phoenix.
Every American president since 1932 has stayed at the Arizona Biltmore. Lining the interior walls of the resort are past president’s photographs, such as John F. Kennedy, and celebrities like Clark Gable, all of whom have frequented this historic property.
For an experience of the world as it was nine decades ago (but with all of today’s modern amenities) and golf that’s high on old-school design, the Arizona Biltmore can’t be beat.
New golf experience brings a little of everything at The Phoenician
The Phoenician takes the elegance of the Arizona Biltmore and cranks it up a notch, making for a “can’t miss” experience both in the lavish hotel and on the golf course.
Named “North America’s Leading Golf Resort” by the World Travel Awards, The Phoenician has also been ranked among the “Top 75 Golf Resorts in America” by Golf Digest. Managed by Troon Golf, the leader in luxury golf course management, The Phoenician offers a spectacular desert golf course experience on the edge of Scottsdale.
Opened in 1988 with the intention of being the Valley’s premier destination, The Phoenician offers two exquisite experiences – a 583-room AAA Five Diamond luxury resort hotel and Arizona’s only Five-Star/Five Diamond boutique hotel, The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician – at one magnificent destination.
The Phoenician’s golf club, which winds through and surrounds portions of the resort and its neighborhoods, was fashioned out of the Sonoran Desert by Homer Flint and Ted Robinson.
The golf course is now under the blade for a complete redesign and rerouting that began in Jan. 2018. The project, which is expected to take 10 months to complete, will transform the club from a 27-hole facility to an 18-hole golf course and is being executed in conjunction with the third phase of a major enhancement at The Phoenician. Troon, which manages the golf operations, is working closely with golf course architect Phil Smith ton the project. The Phoenician’s new course is expected to open for resort guests and daily-fee play in late fall 2018.
Located at the base of Camelback Mountain, the 250-acre The Phoenician Resort property features elegant, residential-style accommodations. In addition, the 60-room Canyon Suites provides more intimate surroundings and enhanced services, creating an atmosphere of uncompromising splendor.
Guests of the resort can enjoy a variety of dining opportunities, eight swimming pools, a full-service spa and state-of-the-art fitness center, world-class tennis on four different playing surfaces, boutique shopping and a $25 million art collection, a cactus garden as well as comprehensive business and event venues across 160,000-square feet of interior/exterior function space.
You might go for the golf and fall in love with everything else The Phoenician offers, or vice versa. Regardless, a stay and play here will make you smile and that’s worth more than its weight in gold, right?