Favorite Public Courses
The Raven at Verrado. I'm biased because I help design it, but it's a fun course. The Raptor Course at Grayhawk is tough, and I like challenging courses. I won Tiger Woods' first tournament on that course--it had a $1 million purse. the TPC of Scottsdale (Stadium Course) is one of the best of the TPC courses. The 15th hole is great, a par 5 with an island green. Classic risk-reward.
The 17th at TPC of Scottsdale (Stadium Course), a short par 4. It's reachable off the tee and looks so benign that it makes you step up and hit driver. It's tricky because the fairway gets narrow but the only way to play the hole is aggressively because the fairway is narrower for the lay-up shot than for the drive. There's a bunker 50 yards short of the green--aim right over it with a draw. Get it up there where you can chip or pitch and take your chances.
Z-Tejas. It's an upscale place with Southwestern and Mexican food. I get the Voodoo Tuna, which is spicy ahi tuna, or the Diablo Chicken, which is like a fettuccini Alfredo only kicked up a notch and with red sauce instead of whine. I go to Flo's Hong Kong Market probably four times a week when I'm home, and they know to bring me the usual: the Spicy General Flo's. It's a chicken thing that'll make you sweat. There's a place called Fleming's in D.C. Ranch where my wife and I split a steak and have a beer and watch the sunset. And Frank & Lupe's is a little hole in the wall in the middle od Scottsdale that has great Mexican food.
Royal palms Resort and Spa is awesome if you want to go way upscale. The hermosa Inn is not quite as expensive. Both are more intimate, casita-type hotels with personalized service. Farther north is the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, which is a nice place--a bit bigger but in the middle of all the golf.
Take the family to
Rawhide. It's an Old West-themed place in North Scottsdale with donkey and horse rides, train and stagecoach rides, and a six-gun theater with Wild West plays and shootouts.
Make sure you pack
Sunscreen and your credit card, because Scottsdale's not cheap. Shorts, a T-shirt and some sandals and you don't need much else, except for going out to dinner.
Best rental car
Anything with air conditioning.