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Best Places to Play Golf in Scottsdale for under $50

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A quick study of a map featuring the state of Arizona proves that humans are an incredibly resilient, determined and resourceful species. The land is unforgivably dry, the climate is extremely warm and the water is scarce. Even so, the generations of folks that have called the state home have molded it into one of the best places to visit, live and recreate. A cluster of cities including Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe and Chandler all border one another, creating an incredibly large region of houses and commerce with about a dozen excellent golf courses skillfully woven into the landscape. Naturally, you can quickly find a course that will cost you well over $100 to play on a weekend, but we have combed the greater Scottsdale area to find the three best courses to play for less than $50 on a weekend. Here they are.

Apache Wells Country Club
Mesa, Arizona

An ongoing theme for golf courses in Arizona is lush green holes surrounded by dirt or dry grasses. Few people have front or backs lawns in the state of Arizona, choosing rather to go with rocks or plants that have been thriving in the area for centuries. Apache Wells is located in an exclusive community, but the vibe is upbeat and welcoming and the prices are amazing. The course features 18 holes spread out over several hundred acres, and each hole is surrounded by no less than 20 homes. The layout is really interesting and unique, and many of the trips from green to the next tee involve driving between two large houses. Rocker and avid golfer Alice Cooper recently held his annual 'Blood Bath' tournament, which benefits local charities and draws big names from all over the Southwest.

Apache Wells is one of the most open and spacious golf courses in the area. A sprawling driving range does not separate golfers into tiny slot via cookie-cutter structures, but instead allows then to setup in a small area designated by a stack of balls. Thus, practice shots are hit off of actual fairway-quality grass and without the informal surrounding of small metal partitions. It is truly a relaxing and effective way to prep before a round. The rates at Apache Wells are absolutely unbeatable. You will be able to play an entire round of golf with a cart on a Saturday for less than $20.

The course is a deceptive 6,038-yard par-71. The deceptive element lies in the fact that the numbers on the scorecard give off an impression that the course is tame and easily managed, but the truth is that danger can be found in a number of ways. The par-4 3rd hole is regarded as the toughest on the course, and for good reason. A tee shot that must clear the right edge of a medium-sized pond and a thicket of brown grasses before finding the fairway about 220 yards from the teebox.

Each hole features a number of palm and other warm weather trees, but few if any of them create much trouble, and the vast majority of the rough is flattened grasses that don't penalize wayward shots much at all. The incredibly low green fees probably have a lot to do with the fact that the course is ripe for the picking. People who can consistently reach greens in regulation will be able to go low at Apache Wells, as two of the final three holes are par-5s, and neither breaks the 500-yard barrier. Overall, this course is a great place to play if you are taking your family or friends out for a casual round. The fun-to-money-spent-ratio is absolutely through the roof.

Kierland Golf Club
Scottsdale, Arizona

Kierland Golf Club is a beautiful 27-hole facility that is connected to the Westin Kierland Resort and Span in Scottsdale. A quick glance at the ground causes the typical recreational golfer to assume that the courses are their private or priced out of range, but two of the three nine holes course can be played for only $49 on a weekend. This is music to the ears of golfers that may be staying at the popular and prestigious resort with their loved ones.

The state's overall lack of water will also drift to the back of your mind when you set foot on the lush acreage that forms the sprawling and sloping emerald hued course. Well-manicured and carefully cut fairways reveal striping and patterns that you would normally only see on PGA quality courses. Indeed, Kierland just may be of that caliber. The facade of the resort faces two of the three course's finishing holes, and when the setting sun hits the collection of glass windows, incredible sights are created. Sand traps are sprinkled all over the course like seed on the farm in the springtime. A few of the par-3s have a comical amount of sand traps, and the Ironwood Course's 165-yard 3rd hole has 19 of them, four of which are in play.

Kierland is just about the best possible way to spend an afternoon for golfers of all levels in the Scottsdale area, and tee times do fill up fast once they become available two week prior to each day. The popularity does not clog up the course very often, and a fleet of marshals with an awareness of the flow of the course make sure everyone is having a good time. Large mounds, hills and slopes create a bowl effect on many of the fairways, and golfers and their golf carts can sometimes become entirely hidden by the undulations in the distance, so make sure to take a second look before teeing off on a few of the longer holes.

Each of the three nine hole courses is a par-36, so no matter how you mix and match them, the day will result in a par-72 course. Any score near par is admirable on this course, especially if you choose to play during the hours which you can walk. Shin and calf muscles will certainly be pushed further than they are accustomed to being pushed during the up and down jaunts from tee to green. No matter what score you post at the end of the day, or if you are even keeping track, you will leave the Kierland Golf Club looking forward to your return.

Superstition Springs Golf Course
Superstition Springs, Arizona

The greater Scottsdale area is home to a collection of small towns with really neat names, such as Superstition Springs. A visit to the Superstition Springs Golf Course is certainly in order if you find yourself in or near the small town. This course is also a top-notch facility, having hosted PGA qualifying events in the 1990s and the past decade. From now until the end of September, a round can be played at Superstition Springs for only $49 on a Saturday or Sunday. The par-72 7,005-yard course is full of fluttering ponds and creeks. In total, 11 of the course's 18 holes feature water hazards.

The course begins with two formidable par-4s, both of which require accurate tee and approach shots to have a decent look at birdie on oval-shaped greens. The aquatic theme begins on the 205-yard par-3 3rd hole, which features a peninsula green that is surrounded on the front, right and back by 2-stroke penalties. In truth, only the most accurate players will be able to avoid putting one or two balls into the water, so bring at least two sleeves of balls.

A dress code outlined on course literature and the course website states that you can wear just about whatever you like on this course, especially in the blistering hot summer months, as long as you are respectful to other players, the staff and the game of golf itself. Fairways and greens are flanked by a number of palm and pine trees, but they provide much more beauty and aesthetics than they do trouble. The talented grounds crew and the immaculate theme of the course comes in especially handy when you smack a drive into the trees, only to walk up to your ball and find that you have a totally unobstructed shot at the green from short and soft grass.

The greens are flat, quick and most are sloped toward the nearest body of water. Holes 10 through 16 are probably the best opportunities for birdies and pars. The final two holes feature an abundance of water and wildlife. The par-5 17th bends slightly to the right along the edge of a lake and the boomerang-shaped green is guarded on three sides by a lake. Tee shots must not be left right and approach shots must not be hit to the left. The 18th hole is one of the most beautiful in the entire state of Arizona, as fairway areas shaped like lily pads dot the landscape in between a creek that weaves through the length of the hole. Whatever rituals you need to perform in order to hit your shots flush should be acted out on the final tee at Superstition Springs.

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