Arizona is a top golfing destination, especially during winter months when other parts of the country are covered with snow. But, before you book your plane tickets, there are several important things to know.

Here are four tips for playing a desert golf course in Arizona.

Tip #1: Hit Your Driver Straight

Golf courses in temperate regions, such as in the Midwest, are known for tree-lined fairways, which can limit the negative impact of a bad tee shot. Most desert courses, however, do not have large trees lining their fairways. Missing the fairway with a nasty hook or slice is almost guaranteed to result in a lost ball. And, don’t bother venturing into the desert to look for your ball—you might find a rattlesnake instead!

Tip #2: Familiarize Yourself with Desert Play

It goes without saying that desert golf courses are surrounded by desert. This means that a typical hole will have many places where the grass ends and the desert begins. A ball that scoots off into an accessible desert area may be played as it lies without penalty. However, it’s wise to choke down on the club and move the ball back in your stance. This will help ensure stable footing and, hopefully, solid contact.

Bonus tip: Golfers have been known to pack a “desert club” (usually an old mid-iron) for hitting out of the desert’s sand and loose gravel. This way, you won’t scratch up your other clubs.

Tip #3: Be Prepared for Extreme Weather Conditions

Playing eighteen holes of golf when it’s 120 degrees isn’t ideal. That’s why many people choose to play early—before the day’s heat is in full effect. Even so, the low temperature in July is usually in the 80s. No matter when you play, be sure to drink plenty of liquids containing electrolytes. Relying exclusively on water may cause you to miss out on important minerals that you’ll need to finish your round.

Tip #4: Play “Ready Golf”

On a typical Saturday during the summer, our tee sheet at Las Sendas Golf Club is completely booked from 5:30 am until noon. That translates into about 160 golfers who are trying to complete their rounds before it gets too hot. Playing slow isn’t just annoying for the foursome beyond you—it can also cause dozens of golfers to remain in the heat longer than necessary. Be ready to hit your shot and be mindful of your pace of play.

Play Las Sendas, a Top Desert Course in the Phoenix Valley

Las Sendas Golf Club is considered one of the top golf courses in the Phoenix Valley. Planning a golf trip out west? Be sure to include Las Sendas on your list of Arizona desert golf courses.