Sun, Oct. 20

It's tee time at Verde Santa Fe Golf Course

Golf --365 days a year?  

That's the hope of management at Verde Santa Fe Golf Course in Cornville.

In only 10 years, Verde Santa Fe Golf Course has become a popular destination for locals, for golfers from throughout Arizona, and for out-of-state winter visitors- "snowbirds."

Yavapai County golfers appreciate the reduced green fees they get when they identify themselves as residents.  Moreover, those reduced fees are in place seven days a week.

Out-of-county and out-of-state visitors also find they can play for significantly lower costs, especially during fall and winter months, when fees at championship courses in the Valley of the Sun and in Tucson are often in triple digits.

"Winter play is up quite a bit because visitors have discovered they can play an enjoyable 18-hole round in the fall and winter for a lot less than what they would pay in southern Arizona," says Tom Bienek, managing partner. Many winter visitors also take advantage of the "Stay and Play" packages offered by the golf course in cooperation with  several area hotels and timeshares. 

Bienek's partner and the course's marketing director, Rex Blees, agrees. "I think we're the only course in northern Arizona where golfers can play 365 days a year. The course is low enough in altitude that we don't have to worry much closing the course because of snow or heavy frost. And the sun shines almost every day."

Challenging enough for serious golfers, yet designed to accommodate recreational golfers, the course has three sets of tees. Yardage ranges from 6,021 from the black tees to 4,976 from the red. The par 71 course is walkable, too, for those who don't want to rent carts.

Some retirees like to use the course to entertain their grandchildren. For instance, Wes McDerman, a recent retiree to Cornville, takes his grandchildren to the driving range where they can pound away at practice balls for a really modest cost. 

"It gets them out of the house and gives them something physical to do-better than watching TV or playing videogames," he grinned.

Bienek emphasized that he wants area residents to realize that Verde Santa Fe is "...their course," so he frequently offers golfing specials, such as the Twilight Golf & Dinner on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 

For $29.85, golfers get nine holes of golf, a cart, a sleeve of balls, and then dinner at the full-service clubhouse restaurant - less than a round of golf at some area courses. What's more, the dinner is accompanied by live entertainment. Of course, reservations are recommended by calling (928) 634-5454.

The restaurant also is open for breakfast and lunch.

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