Readers select Phoenix over Austin as America's No. 1 Golf City

Last year, Golf Magazine and the National Golf Foundation joined forces to compile a countdown of America’s 10 Best Golf Cities. After receiving a slew of feedback, the magazine opened up the ballot boxes to its readers, who in turn produced their own list.Phoenix's Club West

After more than 1,000 votes were tallied, Phoenix emerged as the new No. 1.

While the seven deciding factors didn’t necessarily have to be taken into account by the readers, they certainly wouldn’t disqualify Phoenix from its new perch.

The initial rankings took the following criteria into account: affordability, weather, quality of courses, accessibility, number of courses designed by esteemed architects, availability and crowdedness.

In the end, it was all about courses you can play and afford to play, in good weather.

The Phoenix area boasts more than 200 courses and averages 85% of possible sunshine during the calendar year. The city receives scant rainfall, the average being just about 8 inches per year.

While most cities tend to hibernate in the winter months, at least in terms of golf, Phoenix thrives in the winter and early spring. For the most part, the winter months are mild to warm with daily high temperatures ranging from the mid 60s to the low 70s. On average, Phoenix has only five days per year where the temperature drops to or below freezing.

Austin, Texas, which was voted No. 1 on the initial list compiled by the magazine and the NGF, stayed in the top-10 but fell to number six.

Only four cities, Orlando, Las Vegas, Austin and Atlanta, found their way into the top-10 on each list.

Half of the reader selections were in the Southeast; Charlotte (10), Jacksonville (9), Atlanta (8), Tampa/St. Petersburg (7) and Orlando (4).

Cities that dropped out of the top-10 when the readers had their say were Rochester, N.Y., Portland, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas and Columbus.


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