When arriving at the Kierland Golf Club, all of the Golf Road Warriors knew that this was going to be a very different, very special round of golf for a couple of reasons. First, all of us were going to be playing golf wearing kilts…..yes, different colored plaid kilts! Thank goodness I remembered to bring some talcum powder. The other surprise was that we were going to be using Segways, which are electric 2-wheel riding carts (the proper name is “transporter”) that has your golf bag hooked on to the side. A very different, unique way to navigate around a golf course. That’s one of the many things I like about the Westin Kierland is that they seem to “think outside the box” to help offer their guests different-type experiences. Very cool.
After some mandatory training on the Segways, we were headed out to the golf course which offers 3 contrasting nines, the Acacia, the Mesquite and the Ironwood. All are fantastic. All 27-holes were designed by Scott Miller, who was a senior designer for Jack Nicklaus before setting out on his own. Depending on which combination of holes you play, you will find an array of hazards, such as lakes, dry desert washes, desert trees and more then 300 bunkers. Yipes! My playing partner, Tom Harack, was riding a Segway during the beginning of his round. He did have a few close calls going up and down some of the hills in the fairway but managed to stay on like a good bull rider does. I, on the other hand, opted to ride in an air-conditioned golf cart which is standard at Kierland. Even the practice tee has a cover which is very handy for those warm summer days.
The greens complex on the Acacia and Mesquite nines were challenging. The greens were in awesome shape and gave you a chance to make a lot of putts. The fairways were also in great shape that afforded you almost perfect lies every time. All of the trouble and hazards were very apparent so there was no guess work as to where to hit your shot. I found every hole challenging but fair and that’s what you want as a player on every golf course you play. I played fairly well thanks in part to one of the staff that rode along with me. David Fisher is not only a good guy, but a very good player.
The Westin Kierland Resort offers some great golf packages which can be found at www.kierlandresort.com. We found all of the hotel staff as well as the golf staff very knowledgeable and friendly. If going to Scottsdale, serious consideration should be made to make this one of your stays. After all, where else around can you see a gentleman wearing kilts and playing the bagpipes while walking around the 18th green everyday at dusk. A great way to end a great experience on the golf course. It’s very cool…laddie!