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GOLF GEMS AROUND THE WORLD

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The Hilton Sedona

Towering Mesas at Bell Rock

The red rocks of Sedona, Arizona are known for their spiritual vortexes, easy to dismiss until you’ve been there and sense the special edge to this extraordinary place. Natural beauty is always mesmerizing, but the towering mesas and other geological phenomena from a seabed long gone made me a believer that there is more to this life than meets the eye. Beware if anyone ever wants to drill or frack in this wonderful place!

My base of operations for a weekend golf stay was the gracious Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock, a short drive from town along as scenic a road as can possibly exist. (Drivers inevitably slow to a crawl and stare, but nobody cares.) My suite had a fireplace and balcony, and was Olympic-sized, just like the world class pool and hot tubs. The resort shares its idyllic setting with Sedona Golf Resort, where the towering red rocks continue trumphant. The course is covered in Kentucky blue grass of all things, a true oasis in the desert, and the landscape goes a long way towards explaining why golf is played outside.

To many visitors, the Sedona experience is all about hiking, bike trails and the great expanse of Arizona desert, with its cacti and 800-year-old trees. Leading the list of things you can’t do at home is the Pink Jeep Tour, a wild foray into the desert aboard a specially modified four-wheel drive vehicle that leaves Hummers cowering in their driveways. I don’t know why I had the sense of imminently driving off a precipice into flora and fauna oblivion, but it was fun.

On the gastronomic front, Sedona meant healthy dining for me, and the locals know how to serve it up, be it bison burgers, vegetarian, or savory rice and beans. My choice for top eatery is Elote, a popular spot with fantastic food! It was a treat I was able to walk off on a hike around Bell Rock and Courthouse Rock just before sunset, a perfect ending to my visit.