Baseball players aren't the only ones who benefit from some early-season spring training in Arizona. Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale is offering a golf and lesson package: A round on the Ben Crenshaw/Bill Coore-designed North (, above) or South () courses, plus a lesson from one of Talking Stick's assistant professionals, all for $165. Normally, the peak-season green fee alone ranges from $150 to $170, and a lesson is another $60. Tee times can be made up to seven days in advance, and lessons are based on teacher availability. For more information, phone 480-860-2221 or visit www.troongolf.com.
TRAVEL NOTES NO PRESSURE: Native Scot David McLay Kidd has received one of the choicest assignments in golf from the St. Andrews Links Trust: Designing the seventh course at the "home of golf." Kidd, who designed the critically acclaimed Bandon Dunes in Oregon, will shape a 200-acre waterfront parcel a mile from the town center. The course isn't expected to open until 2006 at the earliest, giving American tourists plenty of time to get in line.
KIAWAH RENOVATIONS: Already a course in Golf Digest's Places To Play, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island reopened in September after renovations that should make it even more memorable. Under the direction of original designer Pete Dye, seven holes were modified and each green was resurfaced with TifEagle Bermuda. But the most striking changes were made to the 18th hole, where Dye moved the green away from the clubhouse and toward the ocean. Now, your approach shot on the 445-yard par 4 will be almost straight toward the ocean (and into the wind).
OPEN ACCESS: Nonresidents always had a tough time getting on Torrey Pines South. After a Rees Jones tuneup and U.S. Open buzz, the lines have gotten even longer. But spring for the $150 Advance Tee Time Package at www.torreypinesgolfcourse.com and you can guarantee a tee time, plus get a three-hole playing lesson.