Arizona Golf Vacations

Ice Skating on Tucson Golf Vacations?!


The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, offers ice skating on Arizona golf vacations.

The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson offers outdoor — yes, outdoor — ice skating on Arizona golf vacations.

How’s this for a unique off-course activity: outdoor ice skating…in the Arizona desert.

For those who want to escape the cold with Arizona golf vacations, but still want a taste of “home” when they’re not playing golf,  a Tucson, Ariz., resort has set up an outdoor ice skating rink.

Frankly, when I’m on an Tuscon Golf Vacation, I don’t want or need any reminders that it’s winter, but I must admit, ice skating when it’s 70 degrees outside would be a pretty cool thing to experience. Here’s where you can find it.

The “Arctic Pass” as it’s being called, is being offered by the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson.

Initially open only to hotel guests in December, this 1,500 square-foot ice skating rink, complete with “synthetic ice” (whatever that is), is now open on weekends to anyone on Arizona golf vacations through February 14, 2010.

Skating time is sold in 25-minute blocks and is priced as follows: $10 for the general public; $7 for hotel guests; $3 for resort restaurant diners. Skate rental is included.

By the way, if you choose to stay and/or play at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa on your Arizona golf vacation, here’s the lowdown from the editors of Golf Odyssey:

“Located southwest of downtown, this huge hotel is remote from most of Tucson’s top-caliber golf courses. We were impressed by the rich, polished interiors and the sun-filled public spaces, although their gargantuan scale can make them seem cold. Guest rooms are attractive and comfortable. The concierge staff at the JW Marriott is superb, even if they do their jobs in rather silly Western outfits.

The rap on [the golf at] Starr Pass, formerly a co-host of the Tucson Open, has always been that it is too quirky and tricky. Palmer Design added nine new holes but didn’t do too much to the old routing other than reshape the bunkers, enlarge the greens, and flatten out the big ridges that made putting such an ordeal. Though Starr Pass is now more resort-friendly, there’s really no way to change its essential character. Layups, blind approaches, and awkward stances remain central to the game, even on the short, new Roadrunner nine. To score well here, players must really know their distances.”

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