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‘Breaking Par’ partnership at Experience Scottsdale catapults golf travel branding

Golfer at Mountain Shadows Golf Resort
A picturesque view of the Mountain Shadows Golf Resort, a beloved local executive course found in the heart of the Town of Paradise Valley. (Photos: Experience Scottsdale/
Experts: Golf travel in the Valley of the Sun is billion-dollar marketplace
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

The Arizona golf travel industry is a billion-dollar machine pumping in out-of-town guests — and their discretionary income — during 10 months of the year throughout all corners of the Valley of the Sun.

In all, market experts opine just over $4.5 billion is the annual economic impact statewide meanwhile here Scottsdale officials say 10% of all overnight stays in local hotels and resorts are the result of golf vacations.

Tourism officials in Scottsdale say there is no other experience akin to the “19th hole” offerings in and around the greater Scottsdale area.

“Scottsdale is an ideal golf destination because it has opportunities for golfers of all budgets and levels, from experienced golfers ready to tackle our championship courses to novices looking to try their swings at TopGolf,” said Stephanie Pressler, director of community affairs at Experience Scottsdale. “Scottsdale also is recognized for our ‘19th hole’ offerings. Once golf travelers pack up their clubs, they have plenty of options to choose from for a post-round drink or meal, from premier clubhouses to award-winning dining found throughout the city.”

“According to the Arizona Alliance for Golf, Arizona’s golf industry generates $4.6 billion in annual economic impact for the state and supports nearly 51,000 jobs,” she pointed out.

“According to the city of Scottsdale’s visitor research, in 2019, 10% of Scottsdale’s domestic overnight leisure visitors golfed during their trips. That does not factor in our Canadian and international visitors who come here to play golf but is already well above the U.S. average of 3%.”

Oftentimes, a golf trip becomes an annual family vacation, according to Experience Scottsdale President and CEO Rachel Sacco.

Experience Scottsdale interacts with visitors daily, and they often tell us that Scottsdale has an inexplicable, revitalizing quality,” she said.

“Our visitors feel energized and rejuvenated each day of their trip, whether they are hiking through the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, perusing our world-class art galleries and museums, sampling our award-winning wine and cuisine, playing our championship golf courses, or attending a special event. They leave Scottsdale feeling better than when they first arrived — and that is part of the magic of Scottsdale, making it such a special place to visit.”

The Tom Fazio-designed Raptor course offers thrilling challenges that commands a player’s respect through a high-stakes game of risk and reward. Stretching 7,090 yards from the back tees, the par-72 course unfolds over the gentle hills and across shaded natural arroyos found in this picturesque corner of the Sonoran Desert.

A brief Valley golf history

About 100 years ago, golf began to matter in the Valley of the Sun and in and around Scottsdale, Ms. Pressler points out.

“Scottsdale and golf became synonymous nearly 100 years ago when golfers played on the area’s first golf course — an oiled dirt course under Camelback Mountain at the Ingleside Inn,” she explained.

“With events like the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships, as well as over 200 courses in the region, Scottsdale remains an unparalleled golf destination to this day. Visitors can play the nation’s top courses surrounded by towering saguaros and lush desert landscape — and they can play here year-round, including in the winter and early spring when much of the country experiences bitter cold.”

Golf managed and maintained by Troon are spectacular recreational amenities found throughout the Valley of the Sun with Scottsdale being no exception.

‘Breaking Par’ with Experience Scottsdale

Officials at Experience Scottsdale, which is the branding entity charged with meeting goals of the municipal destination marketing contract, has recently upped its game when it comes to promoting golf, Ms. Pressler explains.

“Experience Scottsdale has always promoted Scottsdale’s golf courses and events to potential visitors around the globe,” she said.

“The activity has only grown in popularity in recent years, and to continue attracting golf travelers, Experience Scottsdale recently partnered with the team behind ‘Breaking Par,’ the fastest growing golf show on television, to produce a video series that puts a spotlight on our golf courses.”

Ms. Pressler says those videos are streaming live.

“With Experience Scottsdale’s assistance, the production team also is creating a 30-second commercial and a 30-minute episode about Scottsdale’s golf offerings, both of which will air on Bally Sports network in the fall,” she said. “The ‘Breaking Par Destinations’ episode on Scottsdale will show more than 250 times nationally over the course of a month, reaching an estimated 80 million households across 21+ regional sports networks.”

Ms. Pressler confirms it is undeniable the one-of-a-kind draw the community of Scottsdale is for golf travelers both domestic and abroad.

“We also work with national and international media to a share Scottsdale’s golf story with their readers and viewers,” she said. “Through efforts pitching and hosting golf writers, this fiscal year, we have helped generate editorial coverage about Scottsdale’s courses and events in publications like Golf Digest, Links, FORE, Colorado Avid Golfer and more.”

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