The spa at the Four Seasons Resort Scottdale at Troon North offers a special golfer's massage. (Courtesy of Four Seasons) The Boulders Resort is home to a wealth of amenities and off-course activities such as the full-service Golden Door Spa. (Courtesy of of Boulders Resort) The Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers a "Total Immersion Golf Performance Experience." (Courtesy of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess)

After golf, go spa hopping in the Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona area

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There's nothing like a massage after a round or two on the golf course (especially a bad round). And even in the absence of a massage, there's the rest of the spa -- like the hot tub or the steam room or the sauna.

Or in the case of the Willow Stream spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona, there's the spa's co-ed waterfall/pool treatment built in the likeness of the Grand Canyon's Havasupai Falls, which provides sort of a hydrotherapy massage, good after a spa treatment or even in lieu of one. Perfect after a round at the TPC at Scottsdale.

It's really just the tip of the iceberg at Willow Stream, which offers most any spa or massage treatment imaginable. But for golfers, there's also something called the "Total Immersion Golf Performance Experience," designed to provide a combination of nutrition, skin care, strength and flexibility, as well as massage, optimized for the golfer. Working with a staff physiologist, golfers get the whole package designed to optimize their golf game. Of course, that's for the most dedicated. For the rest of us, a massage or a facial might do just fine.

The Fairmont Princess' 44,000-square-foot Willow Stream is undoubtedly one of the finest in the Southwest but hardly the only choice in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. There are so many, and each are unique in their own way.

The Golden Door to relaxation

One I'm particularly fond is the Golden Door Spa at The Boulders in Carefree. It's the perfect complement to the terrific 36 holes of golf designed by Jay Morrish.

The 33,000-square-foot Golden Door Spa blends Eastern and Western influences in its design and treatments. Massages are great, but men, in particular, should dismiss the gentleman's facial. It's no secret that golfers, in general, aren't diligent enough about caring for their skin.

Facials can help reverse some of the damage caused by exposure to the harsh sun. Plus, the treatment is relaxing in its own right, and it comes with a neck and face massage performed by the spa's highly trained therapists.

A golfer's massage

While the Fairmont Princess offers a golfer immersion treatment, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North takes the golf part to another level. In a variation of the hot stone massage, this unique therapeutic massage uses warmed golf balls and stretching techniques to knead tight muscles and ease golf-related stiffness.

Although this seems like the perfect treatment for golfers, I like one of the Four Seasons other options a little better. It's called the "Head over Heels" treatment, which involves two therapists working in tandem. It doesn't get any better than that.

Of course, this is just a sample of the spa treatments offered by a whole host of golf resorts in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, and it's hard to go wrong at any of them. There are several more worth mentioning, such as the Centre for Well Being at the Pheonician, The Spa at the Marriott's Camelback Inn or Agava, The Arizona Spa at the Westin Kierland Resort.

As you might guess, this popular Scottsdale spa takes inspiration from its namesake, the indigenous Agave plant, which is used in many of the spa's treatments. Bottom line: it all feels good after 18 holes.

Feb 13, 2014

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Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.