You likely won't be playing 36 holes a day during a couples golf trip, so having other off-course activities to choose from is key to a successful journey. While the area's course roster is among the country's best, the greater Phoenix/Scottsdale area is also well-stocked in the shopping, dining and spa categories.
Recommended Restaurants: Resorts
Talavera – Four Seasons Resort Troon North, fourseasons.com
T. Cooks – Royal Palms, royalpalmshotel.com
Elements – Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, sanctuaryoncamelback.com
Lon's – Hermosa Inn, hermosainn.com
Recommended Restaurants: Non-Resorts
The House (thehousebrasserie.com)
Quiessence – Farm at South Mountain (quiessencerestaurant.com)
Petite Maison – Old Town Scottsdale (petitemaisonaz.com)
The largest mall in the southwest — Scottsdale Fashion Square (fashionsquare.com) — is right in the middle of town, while Biltmore Fashion Park (shopbiltmore.com), Scottsdale Quarter (scottsdalequarter.com) and Kierland Commons (kierlandcommons.com) are the other options. The latter pair is located directly across from each other on Scottsdale Road.
The Phoenician (thephoenician.com/golf): Perhaps the most colorful 27 holes in the area thanks to exquisite landscaping. The Desert nine offers the best views from some elevated tees.
Westin Kierland Golf Club (kierlandgolf.com): Located behind the Westin Kierland resort, this facility offers three 9-hole layouts to choose from, plus a large practice area and the LaBauve Golf School, featuring Sandy LaBauve, one of the country's top female instructors.
In addition to each having a pair of highly-regarded,18-hole layouts, The Boulders (theboulders.com) and Troon North (troonnorthgolf.com) both offer 9-hole short courses measuring approximately 1,500 yards that can be played in the afternoon.
Whether you choose a treatment using ingredients indigenous to the southwest or one focused on sore golf muscles, the list of options is almost as long as the course roster. The best part? You don't need to be a resort guest to enjoy these spas.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (fairmont.com/scottsdale/willow-stream): The resorts's Willow Stream Spa just launched Well & Being's medically-guided and fully-customized wellness experience, combining health, wellness, nutrition, integrative medicine, fitness and advanced skincare.
Montelucia Resort (montelucia.com/joya-spa): The aptly-named Joya Spa offers a Moroccan-themed treatment along with all-inclusive treatments.
Camelback Inn (camelbackspa.com): The Desert Nectar Honey or Adobe Clay Purification Wrap should ease away the pain of too many bogeys.
The Boulders (theboulders.com/Golden-Door-Spa): In addition to the usual treatments, go all Zen walking an outdoor labyrinth or get an Astrological Soul Reading at the resort's Golden Door Spa.