I grew up in the Pacific Northwest with tall trees, lush grass, snow-peaked mountains, and the ocean within view. I moved to Phoenix which has, no trees, brown sand, cactus covered hills, and a 6 hour drive the Pacific Ocean. Don’t get me wrong, I love Arizona and all the desert has to offer, it is just quite different than what I grew up with and it took a little getting used to, “Desert Golf” that is.
One of the premier Hilton Golf facilities just happens to reside in Phoenix; Lookout Mountain Golf Club. If you have not been able to make the trip to Phoenix to experience this gem, schedule some time to experience the desert. If you do here are a few things to remember as you navigate the cactus and the snakes!
1. The desert is in bounds, but played as a hazard: This means that you can go into the desert and play your ball out, but if you can’t find it, then drop where it entered and add a stroke.
2. The desert has an uncanny way of eating up your irons: If you decide to play a shot from the desert, remember that the ground is all sand and rocks. This means that a good whack on the desert floor means you will probably leave some metal behind.
3. You can always roll your ball through the desert: Before you throw your arms up in disgust over losing a ball in the desert, give it a look and see if your ball might have rolled through to the other side. You will be surprised at how far a ball will roll and bounce through the desert and where it sometimes comes to rest.
4. It’s a dry heat, drink a lot of water: You have undoubtedly heard the phrase: “it’s a dry heat.” My reply is always the same, “yes, so is your oven.” The truth remains however, it is dry and hot and your body isn’t used to it. While here in the desert your body will require a lot of water to stay functional. No matter if you are thirsty or not, drink a lot of water to avoid your body shutting down.
Desert golf is different and a lot of fun. You will see colors and animals in the desert you can’t see anywhere else in the world. Enjoy the course, enjoy the desert, and drink lots of water along the way!