Displaying items by tag: Golf

Yes, it’s the best time to go. Plus, the golf and stars and flowers, oh my!  

Ranch at Death ValleyIn winter, this well known hot spot miraculously morphs into a desert paradise. And when you visit the Oasis at Death Valley —with its AAAFour Diamond Inn at Death Valley and family-friendly Ranch at Death Valley — you’ll discover a place transformed. If people know one thing about Death Valley, they know that it’s hot. Fry an-egg-on-the-pavement hot (although don’t try that, because it makes a mess).

Death Valley is officially the toastiest place on the entire planet, thanks to a scorching day back in 1913 when temperatures reached 134 degrees, the highest ever recorded anywhere on the globe. And with 21 days over 120, this past July in Death Valley was the hottest month all-time at a single location. The second hottest month? The previous July in Death Valley.

So Death Valley comes by its sizzling reputation honestly. But that’s only during summer. In winter, Death Valley miraculously morphs into a desert paradise. And when you visit the Oasis at Death Valley — with its AAA Four Diamond Inn at Death Valley and family-friendly Ranch at Death Valley — you’ll discover a place transformed.

During winter, average temperatures range from the mid-60s to the low 70s with overnight lows frequently dropping into the upper 30s. Those cooler conditions combine with clear, sunny days to make winter the perfect season to get explore Death Valley National Park. When the most of the country is shivering, you can be basking in warm, dry days with endless sun.

Here are a few special ways you can enjoy winter and spring in Death Valley.

Mountain in Death Valley

Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park 

Hit the Trail

With even the day’s lowest temperatures hovering around 100 or more, you shouldn’t even think about hiking at lower elevations in Death Valley National Park during summer. But winter weather provides the perfect conditions to follow trails into the park’s canyons and see its incomparable geology.

You’ll find easy-to-reach trailheads near the resort along Badwater Road, including the classic hike into Golden Canyon, just five minutes away. But many visitors miss the much less crowded trek that explores nearby Desolation Canyon. It’s an easy-to-follow cross-country route (just look for the footprints) that leads into a canyon, which gradually narrows and reaches colorful formations similar to the brilliantly hued Artist’s Palette (farther south off Badwater Road along Artist’s Drive).


See stars like you never have before at Death Valley, a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park

Gaze at the Sky

Except at higher elevations, you won’t see any trees at Death Valley. But what you will see is sky — and lots of it.

If you love photography, winter offers optimal shooting conditions. Storms from the Pacific Coast send billowing clouds out over the desert that create an impressive backdrop for pictures of Death Valley’s expanses. The low-angle winter light also helps reveal details in the landscape that harsher sun conditions wash out, and things get especially dramatic when the clouds leave 11,049-foot-high Telescope Peak, the highest point in the park, covered in snow.

After dark, Death Valley boasts some of the best stargazing anywhere in the world. The dry desert air and distance from sources that spew light pollution helped Death Valley earn prestigious designation as a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park from the International Dark-Sky Association.

Even if you don’t have high-end optics of your own (although basic binoculars enhance viewing), during events with park rangers and local astronomy associations you can gaze into the universe through high-powered telescopes. For example, the Las Vegas Astronomical Society holds complimentary star parties at the Ranch at Death Valley.


Golf the lowest elevation golf course in the world at the Furnace Creek Golf Course at Death Valley

Shoot Your Lowest Round Ever (That’s a Guarantee!)

In most of the country, frigid winter weather forces golfers to take a hiatus. After all, a green certainly isn’t green when it’s covered by snow.

But for golfers, winter is prime time in Death Valley.

Many visitors are surprised to discover that Death Valley, the driest spot in North America, actually has a golf course. But thanks to a highly efficient irrigation system, water sourced from nearby natural springs, and tough Bermuda grass that can withstand the area’s weather extremes and salty soil, the Furnace Creek Golf Course at Death Valleyis a duffer’s delight.

Add to your bragging rights at the world’s lowest elevation golf course, a par-70, 18-hole circuit that’s 214 feet below sea level. As unique as the experience may be, Furnace Creek Golf Course is no mere novelty. A beautifully designed and challenging layout, Furnace Creek earned honors as one of America’s toughest courses from Golf Digest. And don’t expect your drives to carry as far: The heavier, low elevation air means that you’ll surrender distance on your shots.

Inn Pool Sunset

The pools at The Inn and The Ranch are both naturally spring-fed, and consistently 87 degrees year-round

Swim in a Real Oasis

If temperatures in the 30s or 40s hardly sound appealing for a swim, the cool winter nights create ideal conditions for one of the most sublime experiences awaiting guests at both the Inn at Death Valley and the Ranch at Death Valley. Both of these lodging choices have pools filled by natural springs that deliver water that stays in the 80s, even on the chilliest nights. The contrast between the balmy pool and the cold air is positively heavenly. The inn’s historic pool has been beautifully restored, and if you need a little warm-up after a dip, get toasty in front of one of two wood-burning fireplaces along the deck.

A rare “super bloom” event covering large expanse of the desert valley floor with wild flowers, dominated by the golden yellow of desert gold flowers (also known as desert sunflowers or Geraea canescens) in Death Valley National Park in California. The Amargosa mountains rise over the valley in the background.

Ooh and Ahh at Wildflowers

From mid-February to mid-April, when the conditions are right, Death Valley is painted with an explosion of color from a carpet of wildflowers. Golden evening primrose, notch-leaf phacelia, sand verbena, purple mat, gravel ghost, and brown-eyed evening primrose brush the arid landscape in Easter egg colors — especially the expansive fields of desert gold for which Death Valley is famous. To appreciate the diversity of blooms, get out of your car and walk. You’ll be rewarded with a spread of color blanketing the desert floor — perfect for Instagram moments.

How to explore

The Oasis at Death Valley in Furnace Creek is situated in a lush oasis surrounded by the vast and arid desert of Death Valley National Park — just 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas and 275 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The resort encompasses two hotels — the historic AAA Four Diamond, 66-room Inn at Death Valley and the family-oriented, 224-room Ranch at Death Valley. The entire resort is undergoing a complete renaissance with an extensive renovation to be completed in the fall of 2018. The resort includes natural spring-fed pools, an 18-hole golf course, horse and carriage rides, world-renowned stargazing, and is surrounded by Death Valley National Park’s main attractions. For information and reservations, visit The Oasis at Death Valley or call 800-236-7916. Oh and kids eat free, yep, they do!

Oh and kids eat free, yep, they do! To discover a world of unfogettable experiences available from Xanterra Travel Collection and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.

Published in Destinations

It was legendary golf course designer, Jay Moorish’s first visit to this stunning Sonoran Desert environment. Visualizing the project that would someday emerge amidst the Santa Catalina and Tortolita Mountains in northwest Tucson, he was in awe of the extraordinary beauty and rich texture of the expansive landscape. Despite an already impressive collection of championship courses lining his portfolio, he was quick to consider himself a mere “custodian” of a near perfect, natural setting.

As it turned out, Moorish’s reverence for the landscape would result in a Sonoran Desert treasure, esteemed by residents, players and most recently, some of the most well respected names in the game of golf.

Stone Canyon Golf

Masters of the Game

The result of this “Master of the Desert’s” meticulous and thoughtful effort is a 7300-yard gem that has since collected numerous top-drawer awards and accolades. Admirers note the conservation-minded use of a mere 78 acres of turf, which ultimately rewards accurate and thoughtful shot making. Undulating greens, various grass heights and slopes paired with vast bunkers, add to the sporting nature of each round.

Yet, perhaps most importantly, the challenging yet playable course, has garnered the deep appreciation of a stalwart membership that relishes the giant saguaros, native trees, flowering plants, and historic petroglyphs that remain interspersed and serve as the backdrop for the impressive track.

“The ownership team of Phil Mickelson and Steve Loy has embraced the timeless beauty of Stone Canyon, and has delivered on their commitments to the membership,” explained Director of Club Operations, Mike Russell. “Their professional approach, deep knowledge of the game and dedication to providing an outstanding private club experience is unparalled.”

Family Resort Living - Stone Canyon

The Gathering Place

To wit, members celebrated the opening of a stunning, 25,000 square foot clubhouse that now serves as the central gathering place for Stone Canyon members, their family and guests.

Crafted through the design leadership of Phx Architecture’s Erik Peterson AIA and Ron Skoog AIA, in partnership with Wespac Construction Inc. and Pati Vester of Vester Studio Design, the clubhouse is a desert gem in its own right.

Indoor and outdoor dining spaces take advantage of the enviable climate and vistas. Lounge areas and fire pit seating offer 270-degree views of craggy rock formations and the sun-drenched cactus and boulder-studded landscape.

The use of reclaimed wood from an old cotton mill, hand-painted Italian tiles, original art and hand-forged chandeliers combine to provide a luxurious yet casual environment in which members enjoy sipping a beverage or relaxed dining after a day on the course.

The two-level clubhouse also includes the golf pro-shop and locker rooms, as well as club service and storage,

Health and fitness is also an important aspect of the Club’s offerings, including a full range of classes and programs designed to enhance the lifestyle of members. From tennis, swimming, yoga and Pilates to professional assistance in developing and attaining personal fitness goals, the standards are set high.

“Our members often comment on the sense of community and welcoming atmosphere that exists within the club,” explained Kelly Mainevielle, Director of Membership. “The new clubhouse allows us to offer themed dinners, wine tastings, cigars under the stars, and other special events in an extraordinary environment. You’ll also find groups of members enjoying lively book club discussions or engrossed in card games. You can tell strong friendships have been forged here.”

Near Perfection

While Jay Moorish was an early “custodian” of the nearly perfect setting, those who have contributed since, share his reverential view.

“The area’s natural beauty, an impeccable golf course, and a stunning new clubhouse, combine for an extraordinary private club experience, “ offered Mike Russell. “But none of us take a single day here for granted. We are fully aware that this may well be as good as it gets."

The Stone Canyon Club Membership

Stone Canyon members are not required to live inside the gates of The Stone Canyon Club. Membership is non-equity.

Golf Membership

Golf members appreciate full access to all club facilities, including the Top 100 Ranked Golf Course and the luxurious health and fitness facility.  Golf members also may utilize the clubhouse, dining facilities, locker rooms, and participate in all club functions and activities.  Golf Members have reciprocal privileges at The Rim Golf Club and Chaparral Pines in Payson, AZ.

Sports Members

As a sports member, you will enjoy all of the same benefits of Club membership with the exception of full golf access. Sports members may play the golf course when accompanied by a golf member and will receive a discounted guest fee.

For more information: 520.219.1500 or www.StoneCanyon.com

Published in Gather

Talk about views! 

They don't get much better than this coastal feast for the senses served up by the Jack Nicklaus-designed Manele course on the southeastern shores of the Hawaiian island of Lanai. Built on lava outcroppigs, you'll be hard-pressed to keep your eye on the ball. Your biggest hazard on at least three holes?

The Pacific Ocean.

Complimentary clubs, including sets for junior players, are available.

Swing away!

PS: During the winter months, be on the lookout for humpback whales spouting in the distance. 


Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Published in Luxury