An Exclusive Look Into a “Top 100 Best Places to Live” Community in Scottsdale, AZ

You’ve no doubt heard that Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the Top 100 best places to live and work. And finding the best places to live in Scottsdale is a real treat!  Whether you’re looking for a place to raise a family, a golf community, or an active lifestyle community, there are several differentiators with each community differing- often drastically – from one another. Before you make a decision on the best places to live in Scottsdale AZ, take some time to discover the benefits of living in Arizona and the unique communities it has to offer.

Here’s an exclusive glimpse into how we define community living at Terravita, and what sets our lifestyle apart, and ahead, from other communities.

Living among Friends

We call our way of life community living for a reason. Not only are our homes and facilities intentionally designed to foster relationships and nurture connection between residents, but we have also created a neighborhood full of vibrant and like-minded individuals. To accompany this lifestyle we remodeled our community center and clubhouse, which was unveiled in January 2019 and has quickly become the central core of our golf community.

At Terravita, we also emphasize family and group activities. If you want to develop a skill or try a new hobby, we have plentiful opportunities to do so in the company of friends. So whether you become a regular at our art studio, or gather a group of neighbors for a weekly bocce ball tournament, you can’t go wrong socializing and having fun in a community living setting.

Enjoy the Finer Things of Life

Our residents also love the premium we place on quality, throughout every corner of our community. We keep all our roads in tip-top shape with regular paving and frequently update our golf course with improvements. We also ensured our new community center and clubhouse is first-class, with state-of-the-art equipment and amenities. Terravita members enjoy all the best in health and wellness, including classes in Pilates, Tai chi, water aerobics, yoga, cardio, strength training, and beyond.

We Don’t Do Fine Print

Another one of the best features of our community living model is the financial aspect. We manage money and have stable dues (with no assessments), which is unlike many other active communities. Beware of any community that assesses you for financial viability, or makes you jump through other hoops and/or sign off on other fine print in order to join. We keep things straightforward, and top-notch, for your benefit.

As you’re looking around at living in Scottsdale AZ, we encourage you to consider the benefits of living in a luxury private golf community. At Terravita we strive to provide something for everyone at every age. We’d love to take you on a tour and answer any questions you have. Please contact us any time.

Learn from One of the Best Golf Instructors in the Nation!

Congratulations, Ron!  Ron Gring, Director of Golf Instruction at Terravita, has been named to Golf Magazine’s Top 100 List of Instructors for the 16th consecutive year. This recognition places Ron in the most elite fraternity of Golf Instructors worldwide.

“It’s hard to believe that it has been 16 years since I was first named to Golf Magazine’s Top 100 list of instructors. It is a real source of pride for me and I am so appreciative to Golf Magazine. But more importantly, our Terravita golf instruction program is for the Members of Terravita to improve the quality of their overall health, lower their handicap and have more fun in the process. We are here to provide the highest level of expertise in that pursuit. This announcement from Golf Magazine is an important confirmation of the results of our program and the Terravita team of instructors.”

Our Director of Instruction, Ron Gring, has had many accomplishments during his career both in tournament competition and in golf instruction. Ron Gring played professionally on the American mini-tours, Asian Tour and South American Golf Tour from 1978-1985. He won the Gulf Coast Chapter, Dixie Section PGA Championship in 1989, won the Dixie Section Player of the Year Award in 1991 and was named the Gulf Coast Chapter Player of the Year in both 1990 and 1991. He also took home the Gulf Coast Chapter Teacher of the Year in 1991 and the Dixie Section PGA Teacher of the Year in 1991, 1996 and 2003. Ron has been a contributor to Golf Magazine since

 

 2003 both in the magazine itself with its Golf.com online instruction.

Ron has been named to Golf Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Teachers every year since 2003 and has been honored with Golf Digest’s Best in State in both Alabama and in Arizona. 

Ron, along with the entire Terravita Golf Instruction & Fitness team are here to help you improve your golf game.  Whether you want to only focus on hitting the ball better to improve your golf score, improve your overall fitness level to feel better (and hit the ball better) or just want to have more fun playing golf, Terravita is a great option to improve your golf game. 

Golf Swing Analysis

– Why guess? When you can measure?

To find out what is real vs. what you feel is the secret ingredient to improvement. With our FlightScope launch monitor, MySwing 3D data capture and V1 high frame rate video capture, we can accurately diagnose and establish your individual priorities and then create a plan of improvement.

TPI fitness analysis

– You can only swing as efficiently as your body will allow.

Our TPI Golf Fitness Evaluation experts will show you why you swing the way you do, provide a path to enhanced swing efficiency, more power and your overall physical fitness will improve dramatically in the process.

Individual Programs for Individual Golfers

– There is no “The Way” there is only “Your Way”

From the information that our evaluation process provides, we will design a specific plan for your improvement, your schedule of lessons and precisely what you need to focus your attention toward to improve your game.

Contact the Terravita Golf Club if you are interested in lessons or if you would like more information about joining the Terravita Golf Club.

5 Reasons Why Tennis Is Great for All Ages

Tennis is an ideal option for anyone looking for fun outdoor sports. The low-impact exercise is great for strength training and cardio, which makes it a great sport for people at nearly every age. Even better, you can adjust each tennis game to suit your mood and skill level; one day you might play a slow, leisurely game and the next a higher-intensity, more competitive one. Here are a few more reasons why tennis is an activity to keep in mind for everyone, no matter your age.

  1. It’s a Social Sport.

There are no two ways about it; you can’t play tennis solo! Whether you go to the tennis court to play singles (you’re against one other person) or coordinate a doubles match (you and a teammate vs. two people on the opposing team), you’re almost certainly in for a good time. Tennis has a way of bringing out good-natured competition and spirited banter when played by old friends and new friends alike.

  1. Tennis Makes for Great Exercise.

Kids and young adults will love the thrill of hitting the ball and getting their hearts pumping by bouncing around the court. And adults past 45 will especially love how playing tennis can help bolster their weight management efforts, and keep weight-related diseases at bay. The regular exercise is also sure to supply players with a lot of endorphins and extra energy.

  1. It Supports Bone Health.

In addition to burning calories, tennis provides a unique form of weight-bearing exercise. This, in particular, is good for the bones, which tend to become weaker with age. You can keep them strong and even prevent bone breakage by starting a regular tennis regimen.

  1. It Can Help Keep Your Brain Sharp.

All of us, no matter our age, can benefit from activities that keep us mentally engaged. But the older we get, the more intentional we often need to be about exercising our minds. Tennis provides an opportunity to practice tactical thinking and keep your brain dexterous. This makes it a truly great exercise for seniors.

  1. Tennis Can Improve Balance & Coordination.

The pros make it look easy to run around the tennis court, swing the racket, and score some points. But all of the technique and physical movement in tennis requires a good deal of balance and coordination. The only way to improve in these areas is to continue practicing, and when you do, you’ll start to notice you’re more in control of your body. This can also help reduce your chances of falling and hurting yourself, which is a concern as we get older.

Whatever stage of life you’re in, tennis can be a great fit for your exercise needs. If you’re retired, it might be the perfect time to get back into – or start new with – a hobby like tennis. The best way to learn is to take lessons from a USPTA instructor, and we have one on staff at Terravita Golf & Country Club for our members. If you are looking to move to an active community, Contact us to learn more!

Must Try Outdoor Exercise Activities in Arizona

It’s always during this time of year that we get to look at our surroundings, smile, and talk to our fellow Arizonans about how much we love where we live. Part of the beauty of residing in such a temperate (and gorgeous state) is that being outdoors year-round contributes to better health, more options for physical activity, and overall stress reduction. So if you’re in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, and want to tap into the benefits of exercise and being outdoors, here are some ideas to combine it all.

Go for a Climb

Hiking and Arizona go hand-in-hand, and there’s no better time to hit the trails than the winter months. With clear skies and cool temperatures, you’ll feel (literally) on top of the world as you climb toward the summit of your choosing. A couple of Valley favorites are Tom’s Thump or Sunrise trails at McDowell Sonoran Conservatory, where you can even join their All Trails Club to get a guided tour from Stewards and Preserve volunteers.

Blaze a Trail

When you think of a physical exercise that can be done outdoors, you might not immediately think of horseback riding. But traversing the trails on the back of a majestic horse can do a lot for stress reduction – and provide quite a workout. Check out Cave Creek Trail Rides to learn more and to find out what options are available.

Go for a Winter Swim

Just because summer is long gone doesn’t mean you have to bid adieu to swimming too! In fact, many gyms and aquatic centers around the valley offer heated pools throughout the winter. Our favorites are the ones that are both heated and outdoors, so you can enjoy the beauty of nature from the water, no matter the temperatures outside. Living at Terravita our residents love to spend their time year-round at our resort style pool; and can enjoy swimming laps, water aerobics, and socializing with friends.

Stretch your Way Strong

No healthy lifestyle is complete without stretching, which is part of the reason why so many people are loving the age-old practice of yoga these days. But did you know yoga doesn’t have to be practiced indoors? In fact, many people organize yoga sessions outdoors, in parks or other open areas where you can stretch and enjoy nature in one fell swoop.

Go for a Scenic Bike Ride

Another idea for better health is to get your heart pumping by riding a bike. You could do a spin class indoors, of course, but why not ride along the Arizona canal and feel the cool breeze on your face instead? Ride through downtown Scottsdale, and see some sights, while the weather is still perfect outside.

Explore as you Exercise

As you think about ideas for physical activity, remember you don’t have to go far from home to partake in exercise outdoors that’s good for your body, mind, and soul. Go for a walk around your neighborhood, or explore until you find a neighborhood gem like the Carefree Desert Gardens. You might be surprised to discover all the beauty in your area if you simply start roaming it on foot and opening your eyes to what’s around you.

These are a few of our best ideas for outdoor exercise activities in Arizona that promote better health and stress reduction as you aim for a healthy lifestyle. Did we miss any? What are your favorites? Contact us to learn more about living an active lifestyle surrounded by the beauty of Arizona’s nature.

Why You Should Include Volunteering in Your New Year’s Resolution

When you go to write out your New Year’s resolutions, volunteering may not come to mind right away – if at all. In fact, most people think about goals like healthier eating, exercise, sticking to a budget, and spending time with loved ones, which are all important. But whether you’re retired and looking for activities for retirees or jobs for retirees, a recent empty nester, or a career-minded 30-year-old resolving to begin volunteer work, this might just be the one resolution that you end up sticking with and getting the most from.

It’s obvious that volunteering helps the cause you choose to serve, but did you know it also helps you? The best volunteer jobs keep the brain active, boosting your mental health and giving you a positive outlook on life. To that end, serving others can prevent depression by giving you a sense of purpose in life and can actually lower blood pressure and improve health.

Furthermore, depending on the type of volunteering you choose to do, it can also give you a great outlet for physical activity. If you help paint a children’s shelter or participate in a fundraising 5K, you’re doing something positive for your mind and body. And lastly, the best volunteer jobs keep you socially connected to others of all ages. You’ll make new friends that care about the same causes you do and enjoy the rewards of making a difference together.

Places to Volunteer

Now that you might be eager to add volunteering to your New Year’s resolutions, where do you start? Here are a few places to volunteer in the Valley that can use your help:

  1. Foothills Animal Rescue – If you love animals, and want to make a real impact, FAR could be a great fit for you. With plenty of opportunities to foster pets or volunteer in another way (e.g. become a “cat cuddler!”), you can’t go wrong furthering this charity’s mission.
  2. The Fetch Foundation – This innovative organization was created to help first responders increase their ability to save pets in fires and other emergencies. They also help rescue organizations and shelters identify dogs that could be trained to become ‘search and service’ dogs or a therapy dog for veterans or people with disabilities. You can help by purchasing a “Fido bag,” volunteering to clean kennels or in numerous other ways.
  3. Foothills Food Bank – When it comes time for the holidays, there’s a part of our community that may not able to enjoy the season quite so much. For our neighbors in need, food banks like this one can use a lot of help coordinating donations, handing out food and more.
  4. Winged Hope – This Gilbert-based nonprofit provides resources and support to victims of family violence (including domestic violence and child abuse), and education to the community for prevention. This 100% volunteer-run organization also regularly revamps shelters and family advocacy centers and can use monetary donations as well as helping hands to accomplish it all.
  5. Desert Foothills Library – The only nonprofit public library in the Cave Creek area, this beautiful facility is always looking for community members to volunteer with them. Fill out an application and learn how you can help with their different programs and events.
  6. Salvation Army – Who doesn’t think of the holidays and the kind individuals in red vests who collect money for those in need? Those are Salvation Army volunteers, and you can be one too. Whether you help collect money outside of stores or volunteer in their storage areas or kitchens, your help is always welcome with this organization.

There are nearly endless opportunities for volunteer work in Phoenix and its surrounding areas. As long as you choose an organization that speaks to your heart, you will end up enjoying the best volunteer jobs and all the benefits that come with volunteering – and make a real difference in the community. So, get out that pen and start writing down your new, favorite resolution for 2019: volunteering!

Hosting Family for the Holidays? Check out These Winter Activities Your Family Will Love!

It seems like it was just the beginning of the year and now the holidays are upon us. As crazy as it might be to have time fly by so quickly, it’s also exciting. After all, who among us isn’t excited about the winter fun and winter activities we can enjoy during this festive time of the year? If you’re looking for things to do in Arizona for the holidays, here are some ideas to keep your guests entertained:

ZooLights

If you’re a resident of Arizona, you know ZooLights is one of those must-do winter things on your list every year. Starting the week of Thanksgiving and available through the first two weeks of January, you have plenty of time to schedule a family outing to take in the breathtaking millions of lights around the zoo. Beyond the lights, there’s also a 200-foot long Polar Slide™, live reindeer, Stingray Bay, and a 4-D Theater. All of that fun is available with admission so ZooLights is definitely one of the best things to do in Phoenix with visiting family.

Magical Getaway

If you want to treat those in your life to a special experience that’s out of the neighborhood, but not terribly far away, take a little getaway to Christmas in Carefree. Just north of North Scottsdale, this winter wonderland starts November 30 with a tree lighting ceremony and lasts until January with the Carefree Desert Garden “Glitters”. It’s a celebration of the season with a light display, real snow, a Christmas market, a parade, a Chanukah celebration, fireworks, live performances, and more.

Things to Do in Scottsdale, AZ

If you want to stick around Scottsdale this year, you have plenty of fun winter activities to choose from. Looking for something to do with the kids? Go to the iconic Phoenician and experience its magical Christmas experience. You can either grab a bite to eat and walk the grounds or stay a night for a staycation. Either way, you’ll encounter Mrs. Claus story time, elf magic tricks, and games and treats in Santa’s workshop! Another fun idea for the little ones (or even a date) is to go to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park for live music, holiday lights, a visit from Santa, and a spectacular train ride. Make sure to get your tickets in advance, though, as this is a popular activity every year.

Maybe you want something a little more geared toward adults. If that sounds like what’s on your wishlist, check out the Musical Instrument Museum. This year, they’ll be hosting the 14th season of the “Irish Christmas in America” show. It features top Irish music, song, and dance in an engaging performance rich in history, humor, and boundless energy. Produced by Oisín Mac Diarmada of the award-winning Irish group Téada, the 2018 tour brings back the amazing Séamus Begley, along with the vocal talents of Sligo’s Niamh Farrell.

As you can tell, there are nearly endless options for what you can do to stir up some magic and winter fun with your friends and families this holiday season. The hardest part might be narrowing it down to just a few activities!

Three Ways the New Golf Rules Can Help You 

New Rule Changes for 2019:

In case you haven’t heard, golf is in for some exciting times starting in January.  In an effort to “modernize” and “speed up play,” the USGA and R&A have decided to update and continue their collaboration to issue a single set of rules that govern the game worldwide.  There are some updated/improved rule changes that will take effect in January of 2019, so we wanted to go over a couple highlights for you:

  1. No Penalty for Putting with the Flagstick In!

Starting in January, there will no longer be a penalty for hitting the flagstick while your ball is hit from on the putting green.  You may have heard Bryson Dechambeau talking about keeping the pin in for the Tournament of Champions event in Hawaii at the beginning of the year.  Ever the tinkerer, he will be testing out this rule to find the advantages and disadvantages to it.  If I were to ask one person to determine the effectiveness of this rule, it would be him.  As of right now, the “ruling” is still out on this rule and we should have an answer soon as to whether this rule makes sense or not scientifically.

  1. No Penalty for a Double Hit!

If you are a golfer like me, you probably gave a big sigh of relief after reading that and might have some difficulty wiping a smirk off your face. The dreaded double hit is as scary as watching a horror movie by yourself in a creaky cabin in the woods on a full moon!  After experiencing this shot myself, I’m not sure which is more embarrassing, the double hit or the penalty stroke after the fact.  The USGA has apparently decided that shot is scary enough that it can take away the embarrassment!  Thank you USGA…my golf game is embarrassing enough!

  1. A Fourth Relief Option for Unplayable Lies in a Bunker

We all know, or at least know when we pull out the rule book, the three current ways to get relief from an unplayable lie in a bunker with a ONE stroke penalty…1) Stroke and Distance – 2) Back on the Line Relief IN the Bunker – 3) Lateral Relief in the Bunker.  Now there is a fourth relief option which allows us to drop the ball back on the line of relief OUT of the bunker for a TWO stroke penalty.  This could be the most beneficial rule change to golfers who struggle to get out of the bunkers!  When I first heard this rule change, my mind started to wander to the bunkers in the British Open and what could happen in the upcoming years.  This rule will definitely be used more by those who struggle to get out of the bunkers, but I wonder at what point someone who is great out of bunkers takes advantage of this rule?

Please note there are several other rule changes that will take place at the beginning of this year and we encourage everyone to grab a copy of the Players Edition of the Rules of Golf.  We have 300 copies in the Terravita Range House, so please stop on by at your convenience and pick one up!

Top Fall Recipes to Try This Season

Fall is finally on the horizon, and we can already taste the fun fall foods that come with the change in seasons. After all, fall is practically synonymous with parties and gatherings with friends and family that gives us an excuse to try new fall food recipes.

If you’re eagerly awaiting the change in weather as well as the fun festivities around the corner, here are some recipes and ideas to get you even more in the fall mood.

Pumpkin, Pumpkin Everywhere

It wouldn’t be fall if everything wasn’t pumpkin-scented, pumpkin-flavored, or pumpkin-decorated. And if you’re a pumpkin fanatic like many of us, we’ve got you covered with two of the best pumpkin recipes out there:

Recipe 1: Become the envy of all your friends at your next soiree by serving this delectable Pumpkin Cashew Soup as an appetizer. Creamy and rich, this soup is made with coconut milk and, of course, pumpkin. Counteracting all of the pumpkin lattes, the soup is brimming with healthy fats, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Best of all, it tastes great and definitely falls under the category of easy pumpkin recipes. Serve it in festive pumpkin-shaped bowls, and you’ve just taken your hosting game to the next level.

Recipe 2: Looking for more fall appetizer recipes? Whether you serve it first, or as a dessert, this flavorful Pumpkin Roll should definitely make the cut for your next party and quickly become a guest favorite.

Childhood Tastes, All Grown Up

What’s a gathering without a few festive adult beverages? Evoke the beauty and wonder of your friends’ fall childhood memories by dressing up some well-loved drinks with seasonal elements. Take the standard Moscow Mule, and transform it into a Caramel Apple Mule. Simply made with vodka, caramel syrup, apple cider, and ginger beer, your guests will be immediately transported back to hayrides, colorful leaves, and bobbing for apples.

Another way to use fun seasonal flavors is by trying out this Maple Bourbon Old-Fashioned recipe. With grown-up notes of maple syrup and even a maraschino cherry, you’re sure to bring back guests’ warm, fond fall memories. And if your group doesn’t drink, any of these beverages can be equally enjoyed without alcohol in them.

And don’t forget to share with your neighbors! At Terravita, we have an amazing and friendly neighborhood. If you’re interested in learning more about joining our neighborhood, contact us today.

Retirement is a Lifestyle, Not a Destination

For some, early retirement is an incredible achievement to strive for, but oftentimes this life goal is achieved with little idea of what retirement life will look like. Many wonder what to do when they’re retired, but remember – retirement is a lifestyle, not a destination. It’s a new chapter in life full of amazing possibilities. This can include things you’ve always wanted to make time for, or completely new activities you hadn’t considered trying.

With its abundance of good weather and golf, Arizona is known to be one of the best and most exciting retirement destinations in the world. If you live here, or are interested in moving to Arizona, review our suggestions for fun things to do when you retire and fill up your newly freed schedule!

Fun Things to Do in Arizona            

  1. Grand Canyon National Park: This world-famous canyon provides endless views and hiking trails. Chances are you’ll probably want to visit more than once!
  2. Sedona: This red-rock surrounded town is a great stopping place on the way to the Grand Canyon. There are numerous hiking trails with access to Red Rock State Park, plenty of bird watching, and picnic destinations with beautiful views.
  3. Arabian Horse Show: In Scottsdale, the Arabian Horse Show takes place every February at Westworld and offers a chance to see some of the most beautiful Arabian horses from around the world. Thousands attend every year, and there are hundreds of accompanying activities.
  4. Culinary Festival: In April, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, one of the longest-running festivals in the U.S., arrives with six days of gourmet food and celebrity chefs for every palate.
  5. Musical Instrument Museum: The relatively new Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix has close to 7,000 instruments on display from all over the world. Guests can see and hear instruments and their sounds; many of them in their original contexts. The art gallery showcases instruments from the likes of John Lennon and Taylor Swift.
  6. Enjoy Outdoor Activities: Beginning this new journey in life might get you thinking about starting up a past hobby or even starting a new one. And with optimal golfing weather almost year-round living in Arizona is the perfect place for spending your days on the links. If golf isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other outdoor activities Arizona caters to such as tennis, swimming, hiking, biking, taking a trip to the Phoenix Zoo or the Desert Botanical Garden, and much more!

Finding a New Purpose

Re-connecting socially with friends is key during retirement. Research shows that many retirees miss the social connections they’ve made at work, which underscores the importance of maintaining a social life during retirement. Social activities like golf, tennis, and joining group fitness classes are all things you can find in an active community like ours. If you are interested in learning more about community living, contact us today!

Practice Your 50-Yard Wedge Swing to Improve Your Driver

If you want the best shortcut to improvement in your driving distance AND accuracy…

Hit More 50-yard Wedges!

 

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

 

But if you give that idea some thought, it implies a profound question. If you cannot control the clubface, sweet spot path, centeredness of contact, trajectory control, spin control and distance control on a 50-yard shot…how will practicing a much longer and much faster golf driver swing help you?

 

The fact is that as you add speed, how you are moving and what you are feeling move further apart and that makes it just about impossible to accurately feel what is going on. So the odds are against you that you will improve at all, if ever.

 

So, if you want the fastest track to hitting every club better, follow this drill/exercise and learn how to improve your golf swing and hit your driver like a pro.

 

Address the ball and “rehearse” exactly where you would like to be positioned at the Moment of Truth IMPACT!

 

Move, slide, rotate, shift and bend every part of your body and every part of the club to the precise zone you need to be located in when the club contacts the ball.

 

Bingo!There you have it! Clearly presented, right in front of you, the exact location and the exact FEEL of where every component needs to be at the most important microsecond in the swing. Just follow the step-by-step instructional video so that you can put yourself into the precise position for impact.

 

From there, NOT  FROM ADDRESS… make a long enough swing with your favorite wedge to hit the ball 50 yards. Your first goal is improvement in compression of the golf ball. Then repeat. Then repeat. Then repeat again.

 

As consistency in your compression builds you can then make half or three-quarter length golf swings, maybe hitting the ball 100 yards with a longer club…but now, with a higher level of trajectory control and compression. As soon as your compression decreases, go back to the 50-yard golf wedge swing and build in length and speed as your compression improves.

 

Am I suggesting that you should never practice at full speed? Of course not…but only after you have an improved level of excellence with a shorter, slower 50-yard golf wedge swing.

 

There is no “secret” to hitting the ball with a high level of certainty. But if there was…it would be your ability to reproduce precise impact alignments. Even better, there is no point of diminishing returns. How would it be possible that you could have too much precision at impact? Precise impact alignments are Golf’s Gift that keeps on giving.

 

So, if you want to control your game…gain control of the flight of the ball. If you want to control the flight of the ball…control your impact alignments. If you want more consistent impact alignments…hit more 50-yard wedges.

 

If you need training related to where you need to be at impact, our T.G.I.F. (Terravita Golf Instruction and Fitness) team is here to support you. We would love to show you this fantastic exercise. It is one of our most crucial components in our instruction program. And as always, contact us if you are interested in joining our private golf and country club.

 

 

How to Conserve Water with Sonoran Desert Landscaping

If you’ve recently created a gorgeous landscaped desert paradise in your back or front yard, or you’re looking to create one, it’s important to know how to best care for desert landscaping. Here’s an overview of the types of plants that work best in a desert climate, along with tips for modern desert landscaping. 

Caring for Your Desert Plants

Desert plants tend to thrive in as much natural sunlight as possible. Unless specified otherwise, plant desert trees, shrubs, and cacti thrive in areas that won’t be covered by shade or pool umbrellas, or blocked by an awning or patio. Remember that desert plants are used to living with minimal rain. Wait until you notice the soil is dry before you water these types of plants and avoid the tendency to overwater. Part of the beauty of a desert landscape is that it’s very low-maintenance compared to other types of landscapes.

If you’re still looking for desert landscape ideas for your yard, consider planting a mix of cacti, ground covers, and succulents. The following varieties do really well in the desert:

  • Cacti: Prickly Pear, Indian Fig, Golden Barrel
  • Ground covers: Red Spike Ice Plant, Tufted Evening Primrose, Morning Glory Bush
  • Succulents: Blue Yucca Plant, Agave Plant, Partridge Breast Aloe Plant

 

Water Conservation

Desert landscapes inherently conserve water as they require less moisture than many other types of landscapes and they’re generally very easy to care for. A large part of living in the desert is recognizing our precious resources and doing all we can to conserve water. One of the ways to conserve water with your desert landscaping is to water more in the warmer months, when it’s a necessity, and then backing off with the amount of water you use in the cooler months. When watering during the warmer months do so in the morning or evening as well.

Also, soils high in clay content hold onto moisture well but could retain moisture a little too well for desert plants. Consider adding some coarse sand to create the perfect mix of soil that will retain moisture, but not allow the plants to maintain too much.

Another way to minimize water usage is by grouping together the plants that need the most water, and then grouping together the plants that need the least. This way you can irrigate your plants according to their water needs and save water overall. This is called “hydrozoning.”

Harvest Monsoon Water

Did you know that we get more than half of our annual rainfall during the monsoon months? Instead of letting this precious water go to waste, you can be intentional about collecting it and using it to water your desert landscape. You can use your roof, with a system of gutters and downspouts, or implement a series of basins and terraces in your landscape design with sloping terraces that deliver rainwater directly to your plants. However you choose to do so, try to make use of this important natural resource as much as you can.

Birds are Your Allies

When creating the perfect desert oasis, you’ll want to attract the right type of birds that complement your modern desert landscaping. To attract cardinals, choose a sturdy feeder that can support their weight (between one and two ounces typically) and offer foods like crushed peanuts, safflower and sunflower seeds.

To attract hummingbirds, consider planting citrus trees or mandevilla. You can also think about planting nectar-producing plants or offering nectar in a hummingbird feeder.

If you’re interested in learning more about optimizing your desert landscape, and proper cactus care, check out the Desert Botanical Garden’s workshops for homeowners.

As always, it’s important to check with your HOA to make sure your desert plants are approved before beginning to plant. If you’re interested in moving to a private community that is lush and beautiful with natural desert landscaping, contact us or view our desert inspired homes today!

Improve Your Game Permanently in Less than 5 Minutes

I know you are saying, “AW C”MON! Every training aid infomercial, every teacher, every TV commentator, every so-called expert with golf tips says the same thing…and you know what? IT NEVER WORKS!

I agree 100%.

It is a fact that in golf there is nothing you can do to achieve instant perfection. 

But, you can improve immediately, if you will agree to take on a different approach…and here it is… 

To improve your game immediately and permanently… 

Clean Your Room! 

In the book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Dr. Jordan Peterson, he uses the metaphor of cleaning your room as an amazing way to improve your life.

As it relates to golf performance improvement, “cleaning your room”
would require that you:
1st – Recognize the parts of your game that are a mess.
2nd – Find the motivation to clean them up. 

 

3rd – Do something about what is in the most obvious need of your attention. In other words, take some action to “clean them up”. 
4th – Continue to “clean your room!” Stay committed to preventing the same mess from influencing your game in a negative way again. 

There is a pervasive but misguided conviction among golfers that adding a new skill set, adjusting your golf grip, renovating the swing, adding a fifth wedge or getting custom fit for a super powered self-shooting new driver will immunize them from making bad decisions. While all of those ideas may have merit, that is not the outline of what is being offered here.

I am proposing the idea that you become mindful of the parts of your game that are killing your scores…and that you simply…

Stop doing those things. 

The first step is to stop doing those things that are the most obvious, the ones that everyone notices…the ones you already know about without having to drill deep into diagnostic analysis or go to a psychotherapist to discover.

For example, if you know you are a poor bunker player, choosing shots 

 

that eliminate or at the least minimize the chance of hitting the ball into a bunker would be one way to “clean your room”. 

Maybe you are not very good at short-side lob shots. Playing away from the short side of pin locations would be a good way to “clean your room”. 

If you know you are not a good fairway metal player and you know that you probably cannot hit a successful shot with the fairway metal club that you are “supposed to use”, use your favorite club instead, no matter 

 

what it is, to significantly improve your chances of hitting a successful shot. These golf tips would be another great way to “clean your room”.

If you know you have something in your golf swing that always shows up on the course, but not on the practice tee…learn how to compensate for it in the interim, while you are in the process of working to eliminate it. This can get a bit complicated, but with help from your personal PGA or LPGA instructor, you can figure out a way to play better with the imperfection until your swing gets better with a little golf swing practice. If you’d like to set up a golf lesson, contact us. Just one more way to “clean your room”. 

It is a very simple formula:
1.) We all have parts of our games that are better than other parts. Based on evidence from your previous 5-10 rounds, what are yours? By determining what the strongest components of your game are you can immediately begin to play toward those strengths
2.) Come to a conclusive understanding as to what are the weakest elements in your game and then avoid them. 
3.) Play to your strengths. The proposal of focusing on improving your weaknesses as a way to lower your scores is simply wrong. Place your strengths in the center of your attention on every shot and play toward them. Choose the shots and the clubs that are your most reliable based on recent evidence, using results from your last 5-10 rounds. 
4.) Make better shot selection decisions. Stay away from the shots and skills in your game that are outside what you have determined to be your strengths. Be committed to the principle that, “I am going to play toward my strengths and stay away from my weaknesses. I am going to play the shot that I know I can execute, not the one I am “supposed to play.”

Want to improve your game in a permanent way? 

CLEAN YOUR ROOM!* 

And simply stop doing the obvious things that are destroying your scores.

Home Renovations for Every Budget

At some point, most homeowners will decide that something in their home needs a refresh. Whether you’re looking to do a full home renovation, refresh one area of your home, or do a smaller upgrade, there are a lot of home remodeling ideas to choose from. And regardless of if you’re planning on a complete remodel or a minor touch-up of your kitchen, bathroom, or backyard, it’s always a good idea to get organized.

Prioritize Your Projects and Plan

Walk through your house and make notes of the areas of your home you are considering updating. What don’t you like? How much time, money, and effort will go into fixing it? Is it a priority right now, or are there other things that you’d like to fix up first? Doing this can help you address potentially larger or more urgent issues you might not have considered. If you’re doing a complete interior remodel of your house, taking this kind of inventory will allow you to know where to start.

Do major repairs/upgrades first, so you can address minor issues later. Are you re-carpeting your home? If so, this can be a good opportunity to consider other updates to flooring as well, and then you can move onto smaller projects like repairing your deck or updating furniture in the living room later.

Consider Your Budget

Once you’ve nailed down your plan, you can decide which projects you’d like to tackle on your own, and which, if any, renovations you’ll want to use a contractor for. Projects take time, so it is important to do your research before you start knocking down walls.

We recommend basing the potential cost of your home renovation on the market value of your home. For example, if you’re debating a full kitchen remodel, then you’ll want to take into account that kitchens should cost about 10-15% of the price of your home. That said, even for lower budget projects like a bathroom remodel, it’s essential to build in at least a 20 percent cost cushion, because renovations never go according to plan, and things can add up quick.

Adding a Personal Touch to Your Home

Just looking for a few simple things to make a new home look like your own? Simply adding new light fixtures and painting the walls a different color in your living room to fit your style can make a world of difference. Easy home upgrades like a fresh coat of paint or a bold pop of color can dramatically transform any room into your own.

If you want to take your remodel plans to the backyard, there are a variety of home projects you can do to transform your outdoor area into your own personal resort. At any Terravita home, you have the option to update not only the inside of your home but the outside as well; remember to check with your HOA before undertaking any exterior modifications. Living in Arizona allows you to have the option to add a pool, a miniature putting green, and comfortable outdoor dining areas that you can enjoy year-round.

If home projects sound intimidating, another option is to seek out an already renovated home. Doing this will not only save time and effort but will offer a beautifully updated home with new fixtures and appliances. Tackling a home renovation at any level big or small is intimidating, but by taking the time to prioritize your projects will help you get organized and finish the project on time and within your budget.

Spring into Scottsdale!

The winter air has given way to warmer temperatures, which means spring has sprung in Scottsdale! Spring is the perfect time to enjoy some of Scottsdale’s most exciting restaurants and activities.

Living in Scottsdale, Arizona means there is never a dull moment, especially during March and April. Baseball’s Spring Training season is in full swing, and the Cactus League is not to be missed with almost half of Major League Baseball teams in Arizona to participate.

The newly remodeled Scottsdale Stadium is the exclusive home of the 2014 World Champion San Francisco Giants, and it offers some great views of Camelback Mountain. Of course, baseball is not the only “game” in town, so check out our “must do” list of things to do in Scottsdale this Spring: 

Scottsdale’s Best Restaurants

Over the years, Scottsdale has become a fine dining mecca. We’ve highlighted a few of below and sprinkled in some casual spots as well.

  1. For special occasions, Café Monarch in Old Town Scottsdale is the place to be. Aside from its reputation as one of the most romantic restaurants in America, the four-course prix-fixe dinner menu changes weekly. Per to the restaurant’s website, the food “revolves around local, organic, sustainable and overall responsible procurement.” Highly trained sommeliers offer expert wine pairings with each course.
  2. Virtù Honest Craft, Chef Gio Osso’s Scottsdale dining destination, offers a mostly Mediterranean-inspired menu using locally grown produce and a modern space to enjoy some of Scottsdale’s most exquisite cuisine. The James Beard-nominated menu changes frequently, but some staple must-try dishes include grilled octopus, a variety of scallops, duck, and daily fresh pasta offerings.
  3. In the mood for brunch? Arcadia Farms is a local favorite known for its rustic and welcoming atmosphere. This part café part gourmet marketplace is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers freshly baked goods, organic salads and gourmet sandwiches to satisfy any palate.
  4. Love the Hamptons? The Montauk, one of Old Town’s newest spots, is a casual dining experience that will take you right back to the Village of the old days. The menu offers Hamptons-inspired cuisine, from sliders and fries, to lobster rolls and fish tacos. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m.
  5. If you’re in the mood for simple but tasty cuisine in an intimate setting, Sel is worth a try. Prix-fixe menu items are locally sourced and the menu changes frequently, but often includes filet mignon and seared tuna. Also recommended is Sel’s strawberry marzipan shortcake for dessert.

Must-Do Activities

Once you’re ready to work off that meal and you’ve had your fill of Spring Training games, Scottsdale provides limitless entertainment options. Here are some of the activities we recommend adding to your to-do list:

  1. Hike Camelback Mountain: One of the most popular hikes in the valley is Camelback Mountain. The mountain offers four different trails of varying difficulty and of course, breathtaking views of the city.
  2. See Incredible Architecture: Check out a masterpiece in Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home from the 1930’s. Visitors can view the estate up close and walk the grounds. Reservations are recommended.
  3. Wildlife and Botanical Beauty: Take a trip to the Phoenix Zoo, or the world-renowned Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens, which offers a variety of family programs, its music in the garden program, and a host of trails to explore.
  4. Tee Up: We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention golf! Certainly, Scottsdale boasts some of the most beautiful golf courses in the country. At Terravita Golf and Country Club we have a private, award winning course in North Scottsdale known for its beautiful desert landscape combined with the fun and challenging golf course.
  5. Hit the Courts: With the weather ranging from mid 70s to low 80s in Arizona, it’s no surprise that Scottsdale is also known to be a premier tennis destination. Outdoor activities such as tennis are a great way to get an exercise in with friends all while soaking in the Arizona sun.
  6. Shop Until you Drop: For those looking for a great shopping experience, Scottsdale Fashion Square will not disappoint. Flagship Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom stores anchor a slate of luxurious stores like Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Burberry and more. The shopping center is currently undergoing a facelift of sorts, and will debut a fresh look in Fall 2018. 

Now that spring has sprung, we hope you’ll enjoy exploring all the city of Scottsdale has to offer! At Terravita Golf and Country Club, our community loves being able to call Scottsdale home. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about our private community that includes country club living in Scottsdale!

It’s Citrus Season in Arizona!

February is here, which means it’s citrus season in Arizona! We’re one of four citrus-producing states in the U.S. along with California, Florida and Texas.  And because many of you probably have a citrus tree or two in your backyard, we’ve put together some great tips about where to find the best citrus, types of citrus available in Arizona, and how to care for those trees you might have.

Almost any citrus fruit can be grown in Arizona, but the most common types are lemons, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit; they are produced and commercially farmed in the warmer counties of Yuma, Mojave, Maricopa and Pinal. Making Arizona one of the country’s largest producers of tangerines, oranges and grapefruit.

Where Can I Buy the Freshest Citrus?

If you don’t have your own citrus trees, we’ve got you covered. Aside from your local grocery store, there are plenty of fruit trees in Arizona in farmers’ markets offering locally grown citrus. Some of most notable markets with Arizona fruit trees in the Scottsdale/North Phoenix:

  • Roadrunner Park Farmers’ Market on Cactus Road is open every Saturday and is one of the few farmers’ markets open year round in Phoenix.
  • The Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market on Brown Avenue is open on Saturdays from 8 A.M. to 1 P.M. through May and has great citrus trees in Arizona.
  • Farmers Market North Scottsdale on Pinnacle Peak Road reopens Saturday, February 17 and will run through May; it is open on Saturdays from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M.
  • Arizona Orange Company has oranges for sale as well as lemons, tangerines, and grapefruit by the case, and orders can be placed online for home delivery.
  • The Orange Patch Too in Mesa offers a wide selection of fresh citrus and specialty foods.

How to Plant a Citrus Tree

If you’d like to grow and care for your own citrus tree, February is the best time to start. Stop by a nursery that focuses on citrus, like Greenfield Citrus Nursery or Whitfill Nursery.  First it is important to verify your HOA guidelines as some may not allow citrus trees.  We recommend purchasing a Dwarf Citrus tree that is in a 15 gallon container or smaller, as these comply with most HOA guidelines. Once you’re ready to plant, start by:

  1. Digging a hole that measures twice the diameter of the container of your new tree but around the same depth. You’ll want to make certain that the hole you dig is no deeper than the height of the container.
  2. Make sure the tree in the container is damp enough so that once you remove it and place it in the hole it will hold together.
  3. After the tree is placed, set a garden hose in the hole prior to filling it with dirt.
  4. Once the hole is filled with dirt, turn on your hose slowly and fill the hole with water (you’ll be able to pull the hose out once the tree is watered).

You can also plant your citrus tree in a container rather than in the ground. 

How to Care for Your Citrus Tree

Now that your Arizona fruit tree is planted (or if you already have a tree in your yard), you’ll want to water it frequently; typically every 1-2  weeks in the summer and ever 3-4 weeks in the winter. Make sure you stick to a schedule! Proper citrus tree care recommends that you fertilize your tree; you can purchase fertilizer at any local home improvement store.

Citrus Recipes

Since Arizona is such a large producer of citrus, there is often a lot of excess. There are thousands of great recipes that call for oranges, lemons and grapefruit, including cakes, salads, soups and main courses. Taking advantage of locally grown fruit is a great way to spark new ideas for recipes. Try out different types of citrus to add a fun twist to your personal recipes at home to take full advantage of citrus season in Arizona!

How to Stay Fit Later in Life

As we age, life takes some adjustment and requires thoughtful self-care. Keeping or building a social network can help promote consistency and fun when exercising.  Though staying healthy should be a high priority for everyone, it is important to consider the health benefits of staying active later in life and into early retirement.   

Physical activity promotes flexibility, pain management, and heart health, but fitness is crucial for mental and emotional health as well, as exercise aids mood stability and can even improve memory. To stay healthy later in life, consider these fitness and health tips:

Swimming – Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that can be done year-round and is great for the entire body. Swimming has many benefits including, heart health, easy on joints and bones, and great for circulation and lowering blood pressure. By joining a neighborhood gym, or taking advantage of amenities offered at an active adult community you can socialize and take care of your health all at the same time.

Golf – Staying healthy can be as easy as a day on the links: golf is a perfect recipe for health and wellness. Social interaction with golf buddies, vitamin D from the sun, and moderate physical activity are all benefits of playing golf. Golfing with friends at an active community like Terravita Golf & Country Club is a great way to be a part of the community, and to keep your health top of mind.

Yoga – Yoga is a wonderful promoter of healthy aging. It is great for reducing stress and blood pressure, improving flexibility and breathing problems, and for general mindfulness and spiritual health. Start slowly and with regular practice you will begin to see positive changes in your health. Many family and active retirement communities offer a fitness center equipped with group classes such as yoga. Joining group exercise classes not only gives motivation for a healthy lifestyle but encourages a social life away from the office or later in life, post-retirement.

At-Home Fitness Routine – Try some simple exercises that don’t require any equipment and don’t take up a lot of time. Healthy aging can be fostered with just a few daily staples like marching in place and heel raises. These simple exercises can strengthen muscles, improve balance and flexibility, and help reduce pain, cramping, and stiffness.

Many baby boomers and early retirees are concerned about how to stay healthy. By adding new and easy fitness routines, you can encourage healthy aging and enjoy your new hobbies with a community of friends. For more information on Terravita Golf & Country Club and how active communities encourage healthy living, contact us today!

 

Tips for Downsizing to Prepare for Retirement or a New Home

Sometimes bigger isn’t always better. As the years go by and the kids move away, your home can start to feel like a storage unit of good memories and clutter. As you approach the possibilities of early retirement think about what’s important to you and ultimately where do you see yourself living. The steps to downsizing your home and relocating to a retirement community can be overwhelming. If you find your material possessions to be holding you back into early retirement, this might be a sign that you’re ready to downsize your home. 

Here’s a quick guide to start slimming down your home today: 

  • Declutter: Whether you consider downsizing or relocating into a retirement community, start small and purge what you don’t need. Start with something simple like the countertop, then take one closet at a time until you feel you’ve narrowed down the items that you need. Don’t stop until you’ve filled several boxes of items to donate to a local charity with the “stuff” that clutters homes and minds alike. Decluttering is a great first step in downsizing your home and evaluating your main needs.
  • Evaluate Your Needs: What do you love most about where you live? What do you desire in a climate? What activities spur your interest? Do those pastimes come with locational limitations? What size home will suit you in 5, 10, 20 years? If your desires include an active lifestyle, you might consider homes in Arizona to take advantage of golf communities and beautiful weather. If you know what you want, you’re more likely to get it, so start thinking about it now.
  • Make a Plan: Early retirement is one of the most popular reasons people decide to downsize. Whatever your goal is, make a plan. Write it down, share it with family and friends, and put it into action.
  • Focus on the Future: Ask your financial planner how you can put your dreams into reality and what you can be doing now to reach them. Don’t accumulate reasons why it won’t, can’t, or shouldn’t happen.

Whether you’re looking to permanently or seasonally relocate, or just ease the stress of maintaining a house too large for your needs, now is the time to take the first step toward your future. Contact us today to learn more about why planning your early retirement or a new home in a golf community is something you should be thinking about.

The Magic of the Holidays in Arizona

With the dusting of snow gracing several states across the U.S., Arizonans are enjoying gorgeous sunny days and cool evenings. The holidays are just around the corner, and despite the desert that surrounds us, Arizona holidays are a surprising oasis of winter wonderland. The fall and winter weather alone in the Valley is the envy of the country, with temperatures ranging as high as 70°F in daytime to as low as 40°F at night. Whether traveling solo, with the whole family, or hosting friends and family, there’s an endless supply of fun things to do in Phoenix that make Arizona holidays magical.

  • Northern Arizona: If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, take a short drive north of Phoenix and, Jack Frost will be nipping at your nose. There are some of the best cold-weather destinations in the mountains of Arizona that house vertical drops that allow for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.
  • ZooLights: Beginning November 22nd and running through January 14th, take a stroll through the Valley’s brightest tradition of the year at Phoenix Zoo. This beautiful showcase of lights, music, food, and festivities bring joy to all ages during Arizona holidays.
  • Glendale Glitters: Another award-winning festival of lights is the incredible Glendale Glitters. This is the largest free holiday light display in Arizona, illuminating 16 blocks of Historic Downtown Glendale with 1.5 million LED lights. The display runs from November 24th, where they host a big kickoff, through January 6th.
  • Sedona in northern Arizona, is a holiday dream with top resorts, hiking, fun, and entertainment. Sedona world renowned for its magical vibe, and the holiday magic is no exception.
  • Polar Express: Experience the classic children’s book, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, with this magical Polar Express-themed train ride to the enchanted beauty of the “North Pole” and Santa makes a jolly appearance spreading joy and cheer to all on board.
  • Lake Havasu Christmas Boat Parade of Lights: On December 1st and 2nd, two fun events combine, camping and a Christmas light parade on water, with the Lake Havasu Christmas Boat Parade of Lights. It’s sure to delight and impress the whole family. With more than 50 boats decorated in Christmas shine, the London Bridge channel brings the spirit of Christmas.
  • CitySkate Holiday Ice Rink: Ice skating and sipping hot cocoa are practically synonymous with holiday fun. CitySkate is Downtown Phoenix’s signature holiday destination where ice skating outside in the middle of the Saguaro Desert becomes a reality.
  • Holiday Golfing: What golf lover wouldn’t enjoy a nice round for the holidays? Arizona is a top golf destinations and you can’t afford to leave your clubs at home. With breathtaking views and weather to please, it’s no wonder why Arizona is a magical destination for the holidays.

 

The holidays in Arizona is sure to be a magical time at one of the top winter destinations. Contact us to find out more about our community and what Terravita and our surrounding area has to offer.

 

The Beauty of Fall in the Arizona Desert

Do you know where to find the beauty of fall in Arizona? If you hop in the car and drive a few hours in just about any direction you’re going to find more beauty than you ever imagined. The best time to view fall foliage in Arizona, and to experience desert life in fall, is mid-September through October. The Arizona desert begins cooling down, making day and evening adventures enjoyable. Whether you have a few hours or a few days, there’s no shortage of things to do in Arizona, and a uniquely Arizona adventure is just around the bend.

Prescott National Forest

To the north of Phoenix, the Prescott National Forest provides gorgeous scenery and a precious resource – the Verde River. The beautiful fragrant pine trees, lakes and rivers, and archaeological sites make this a must-see for fall sightseers. The elevation is about as high as Denver so be prepared for cooler weather. As far as national park passes are concerned, it’s best to decide whether you will be visiting more than one park and how often. There are annual pass or day pass options for most parks.

Sedona and The Red Rocks

Then comes the famed Sedona Region and its West Fork Oak Creek Trail. At 10 miles north of Sedona proper, it’s a 3 hour hike so make plans to stop off at a local winery afterward. When you have finished enjoying the art, hop on up a half hour to Flagstaff and enjoy the view for the weekend.

Flagstaff

In the northern section of the Coconino National Forest is where you’ll find Flagstaff. The best fall hike is arguably the Aspen Nature Loop. It’s a short 2.5 miles and relatively easy, but its view of Kendrick Mountain and San Francisco Peaks is worth the trip. Flagstaff is at 7,000 feet so be prepared for significant temperature change from the Valley. Expect a 20 degree drop for the day, and even more during the evening. The Wine in the Woods Festival in early September at the Arboretum or the Cornucopia Fall Festival, both in town, are good places to stop after your hikes.

Grand Canyon

Since you’re in Flagstaff and enjoying the colors and the cool breeze, why not scoot another hour up U.S. 180 to the Kaibab National Forest and the beginning of a rather large famous hole in the ground called the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River took its time to paint a very nice landscape there. Truly one of the world’s wonders, there’s no better time to visit this amazing site.

Tonto National Forest

Heading east from Phoenix, and just outside the eastern border of the Phoenix-Scottsdale metro area, is the Tonto National Forest. In the town of Payson, you will find colors galore. Travel a little north on highway 87, and you will find the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. Filled with aspen, cottonwood, and alder trees, the colors will be glorious. Enjoy local beers and wine from THAT brewery at the Taste at the Bridge event on September 23. 

Saguaros

You can also head due south via I-10 through the desert to the Sonoran National Monument where the giant Saguaro cacti are known to bloom year-round. They are a sight you can walk right up to and enjoy, just watch the spines.

Finding fun things to do in Arizona is as easy as a hopping in the car. It does not take much effort to find the beauty of fall in the Arizona desert. For other fun things to do, check out this list of Arizona fall festivals.

We also have many great fun things to do here in Terravita. If you’re looking for a private golf and country club community, living alongside your peers in a private community includes a multitude of fun events and activities. Please contact us to find out more about the perfect place part-time or full-time place to enjoy your active lifestyle.

3 Tips to Improve Your Putting

Keeping an eye on the golf pros touring this year you will see a variety of tools and styles being used for their short game. From the large variety of putter designs, styles of stance, grip styles, and more, it can be tough to know what really is important for improving your own putting. Following these tips and mastering these three simple principles of putting can help you consistently sink more putts.

Steady Stroke

First, you want to develop a consistent stroke that makes proper contact with the ball. To visually check if you are consistently hitting the ball squarely with your putter’s face, draw a line around the middle of the golf ball and roll the line end-over-end. Take a stroke and if the line wobbles, keep practicing! Allow yourself adequate time to practice this tip to develop muscle memory.

Inside the Lines

Second, learn to roll the ball along the intended line you desire. This is managed by the putter face position at impact. An elevated putting line string or alignment sticks can be used to track your results. Using these aides will help you gain confidence in putting along your intended line.

Gain a Feel for the Greens

Third, learn to hit the ball with the proper distance and pace you desire. This is a result of the length and force of your putting stroke. Start by putting from one edge of the green to another (not at a hole) to gain a better feel of distance and pace and the stroke required. A 4 foot putt will require less length and force of the stroke compared to a 12 foot putt. Lay a string or alignment stick down and putt to it from 4,8, and 12 feet until the ball rolls no more than 12 inches past the string. If you practice from 12 feet and in, you are well on your way to making more putts. Next, get to work on the longer putts like 20, 30, and 40 foot putts. Begin by working toward finishing the longer “lag” putts within 4 feet of the cup. Then, with continued practice, you should seek to be inside 3 feet of the cup. Now you are working to minimize your 3 foot putts.  

It’s arguably the simplest part of the game to practice and often least practiced by the average recreational player. Practice these putting tips in two 20-minute sessions per week for four weeks and you will find your golf scores will drop the next few rounds on the course.

Personal instruction and golf lessons from a PGA or LPGA Professional is also a great way to improve your golf game. If you’d like to set up a golf lesson, contact us.

6 Benefits of Living or Retiring in a Private Golf Community

Gone are the days of a boring retirement when such a phrase was synonymous with an uneventful future. The quality of life beyond retirement has grown in leaps and bounds thanks to the flourishing of beautiful private retirement golf communities and the demands of planning an early retirement. The typical retiree isn’t typical – with more choosing private retirement communities with benefits beyond home ownership – communities have risen to the challenge and provide more than just a restful place to retire. Read more for the benefits of living or retiring in a private golf community.

  1. Socialization: Being surrounded by friends and engaging in fun social activities lowers the risk of dementia and strengthens the immune system. Living in a private or upscale golf retirement community comes with a built in network of people who all share space in the community. Enjoy a glass of wine with your friends and neighbors and become part of a community of peers to live stronger.
  2. Security: A solitary lifestyle doesn’t have to be fraught with dangers. Upscale golf or retirement communities are safe places to enjoy an evening stroll, sunset golf game, or stargazing. Realizing you forgot to lock the door is not quickly followed up by an anxiety attack. Enjoy the peace of life in a secured community.
  3. Fitness: Staying active could very well be the proverbial fountain of youth. Enjoy a daily round of golf, a neighborhood stroll, a match of tennis, yoga classes, take a swim in a state-of-the-art pool, or stick with your own routine at a community fitness center. Stay fit and stave off insomnia, prevent heart disease, and decrease cancer risks along with countless other physical and mental benefits. Maybe even enlist your friend and neighbor for accountability and companionship during your workouts.
  4. New Experiences: Ever wanted to try something new but felt uncomfortable going it alone? Enjoy new experiences with neighbors, peers and friends. Making new experiences group experiences is fun and exciting. Luxury private and golf communities cater to their residents with organized opportunities for get togethers, themed-parties, seasonal gatherings, games, book clubs, workshops, volunteering, and more.
  5. Low Maintenance: Being a part of a community simply makes life easier. Many upscale communities offer an array of services from meal planning and preparation, to landscaping, to chauffeured transportation. Living in a home outfitted with the latest technology and favorite amenities makes it that much more pleasurable to enjoy visits with the grandkids. Whatever your personal lifestyle craves, a luxury country club or retirement community has the options to suit your unique needs and characteristics.
  6. City Life Benefits: The quality and availability of healthcare in retirement tops the list of most mature adult’s major priorities. Living in a community that is in close proximity to, but not in the busy heart of, a city like Phoenix is perfect since you having access to major healthcare services and hospitals. You also have easy access to shopping, dining, cultural and other major events.

If you’re looking for a private golf and country club community or in the planning stages of retirement, living alongside your peers in a private community has a multitude of benefits. Please contact us to find the perfect place for your active lifestyle.

Top 5 Ways to Enjoy Summer Golf

As summer is now upon us, we play the wonderful game of golf in Arizona in some pretty high temperatures. It really is true – it is a dry heat and that does make golfing in Arizona much more enjoyable than places with higher humidity. The secret to a more enjoyable round of golf and good scores is easy. Some of the best things you can do to have a successful round is to properly prepare for the high temperature conditions before you play. Here are 5 golf tips to help you enjoy your next round!

 

  1. Hydrate! This includes being well hydrated before you play or practice. Drink plenty of water and know more trips to the restroom are a good thing. Most studies will tell you to drink water versus some of the popular sports drinks as they are high in sugar. A children’s Pedialyte drink is a good choice as well. Even if you think you’re drinking enough water – you probably need to drink more!
  2. Pack a Snack! Eat smaller more frequent snacks that are light and not heavy. Avoid a large heavy meal before you play. Protein bars, fruit, and nuts are great ways to keep your body fueled and help your brain stay sharp. Opt for fruit and nut trail mixes (without chocolate which makes a melted mess), or dried fruit like apple chips and a handful of almonds.
  3. Think Shade and Sun Protection! Play golf courses with lots of mature trees. Park the golf cart under a tree near the tee box or out on the fairway while you’re waiting for others in your group to hit their balls. Stay in the shade as much as possible, it will not only help keep you cool but it will also help protect your skin. Don’t forget a wide brim hat to provide protection from the direct sun. Wear fabrics that are “performance” type that wick away moisture, provide UPF protection, and provide the best cooling effects. Sun sleeves for your arms are very good for sun protection and keeping you cool.
  4. Any Tee Time is a Good Tee Time! The early risers will tell you that you should get out on the course by 6:30 am. Others may suggest you wait until mid-morning – after the course has had a chance to dry out and the humidity levels drop and a breeze is likely to help keep you cool. Or, if you like a bargain – or prefer having your own (practically) private golf course – some will tell you that golfing in the afternoon is the ultimate golfing experience. Regardless, any tee time is a great time!
  5. Finally, take breaks in your practice and be aware of what your body is telling you. Your body will be better able to regulate, and allow you the game’s enjoyment, in these higher temps if you take care of it. Plan a little extra time for these breaks as well when coordinating your next tee time.

Scottsdale, Arizona is known as a mecca for golf – and for good reason – you can enjoy year-round golf at premium golf courses here. North Scottsdale is the ultimate place to take advantage of year-round golf; surrounded by the lush, green Sonoran Desert (yes, it really is very green here year-round!). It is also 5-10 degrees cooler than Downtown Scottsdale or Phoenix in the summer, making every day a great day to golf! Contact us to learn more about how you can live right on the golf course and take advantage of perfect golfing conditions all year.

Scottsdale, AZ – A Foodie Paradise

Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the Southwest’s most desirable living areas. With an abundance of nightlife, shopping, and dining options, it’s no wonder that Scottsdale attracts some of the best and brightest chefs in the business. Rated as the 9th hottest foodie scene in the country by Zagat’s, this jewel in the desert offers everything from local mom-and pop eateries and food trucks to Michelin-star fine dining, and everything in between. There’s plenty more to Arizona than Mexican food and prickly pear margaritas.

In addition to the typical Southwest flavors one might expect to find in a city in central Arizona, Scottsdale also packs a few surprises up its culinary sleeve. Believe it or not, the city is known for its traditional Neapolitan-style pizza and is home to nearly as many Vera Pizza Napoletana-certified pizzerias as New York City. Consistently rated the best pizza in town, Pizzeria Bianco has been serving classic Neapolitan-style pies for over 25 years. Even if you’re only in town for a few nights, you definitely want to put this place on your list!

Old Town Scottsdale is a mecca for foodies and is home to some of the best places to eat in scottsdale. At Nonna Urban Eatery, Chef Gian Franco Brugaletta brings Middle Eastern, Italian, French, and Southwestern flavors together in uniquely creative ways. If you’re looking for something more regional, Scottsdale restaurants with a locavore focus, like FnB and True Food Kitchen, offer creative dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, including a variety of Arizona’s celebrated wines. For the sweet tooth there are decadent dessert locations like Sugar Bowl and Creamistry. Proving you can get anything in this desert paradise, Crab & Mermaid, a highly anticipated eatery, is now open to satiate your coastal appetite.

For more adventurous eaters, Scottsdale’s annual Culinary Festival is held each year in early April. This gathering showcases over 35 of the area’s favorite restaurants. Live music, VIP lounges to escape the sun, and a host of craft beer and spirit vendors round out the exciting event.

If the plethora of options available is overwhelming, let someone else take the reins. Arizona Food Tours hosts a Taste of Old Town Scottsdale Tour where you can tour some of the most celebrated establishments Arizona has to offer.

Whether you’re looking for local favorites, sophisticated fusion, cheap eats, or just desserts, Scottsdale, AZ is a foodie’s paradise in the middle of the desert.

Contact us if you have any questions about the area or to find out more about our community and what Terravita has to offer – including amazing culinary delights at our own Clubhouse.

6 Benefits of Seasonal Living

For many retirees and working professionals with flexible jobs, seasonal living is the ideal lifestyle. People who embrace this way of life are often called snowbirds or winter visitors. They migrate from their homes in a colder climate, such as Canada, the Northeast or Midwest, to a warmer, more mild location. Seasonal living means having your cake and eating it too! Spending the otherwise harsh winter and spring in a temperate area, like Arizona, and the summer months in your home state.

When you’re thinking about retirement planning or early retirement, here are 6 reasons seasonal living is a phenomenal choice for your retirement.

  1. Amazing Weather

Who wouldn’t want to enjoy plentiful sunshine and warmth in the dead of winter? What about year round golf? Many people choose to retire in Arizona, or one of the “sunbelt” states, for these reasons alone. Also, living in a climate that isn’t prone to winter hardships like ice and snow is a smart idea for older adults, who can be at risk for falls on slippery surfaces.

  1. Time with Family

You may think moving south for the winter months will keep you from your family which isn’t true. Seasonal living means you can be close to your family during the summer and enjoy the holidays with them. Then, just when the weather is starting to turn cold and unpleasant, you can zip off to your winter home in a warmer climate.

If your grown children or grandchildren are looking for a place to vacation in the winter, they can visit you! Time spent with family in your seasonal home will become a treasured memory.

  1. Keep Your Roots

Many retirees grow up in a Midwestern or Northeastern town and don’t want to permanently leave. Seasonal living is the perfect arrangement, since you can still keep a home in the town you grew up in, while enjoying a winter home in another state for several months of the year. There are also options if you’re not looking to own two homes. You can rent for the season, or for the more adventurous, take an RV to move between locations.

  1. Enjoy Physical Activity All Year

Keeping an active lifestyle is key to enjoying good health as you age. Seasonal living gives you the opportunity to do more of the outdoor activities you enjoy, such as golf, walking, bicycling, swimming, and enjoying nature. The plethora of outdoor activities and practically year-round availability of gorgeous scenery, golf courses, trails and pools makes Scottsdale Arizona one of the best places to retire in Arizona.

  1. Change of Scenery

Living in the same town day after day, year after year, can get boring. A change of scenery can help stimulate your brain, which can help you stay mentally active. Especially if you’re considering early retirement, embracing a seasonal lifestyle can help you get more enjoyment out of life while traveling and seeing what our beautiful country has to offer.

  1. Make New Friends

Seasonal retirement communities are very social places. Many communities also host fun social events designed to connect their residents. There are many cultural activities as well in which to engage with others that share your interests, making the transition a bit smoother. The cultural scene in the Phoenix area boasts beautiful botanical gardens, operas and ballets, sporting events and many others, making it one of the best places to retire in Arizona.

With a seasonal population of more than 300,000 residents and daytime temperatures averaging 70 degrees, seasonal living has more than its fair share of benefits in Arizona. Another benefit that makes Arizona one of the best places to retire is that it’s full of activities, such as golf, hiking, bird watching, gambling and social events. Whether you’re considering an Arizona retirement, or another sunshine state, seasonal living is the way to go!

Contact us if you have any questions or to find out more about our community and what Terravita has to offer.

Is Early Retirement Right for You?

Are you considering early retirement? Many people consider retiring before they reach their 60’s. There are many positives and negatives when it comes to retiring early and it’s important to be completely sure before taking the leap. Below are 4 questions to ask yourself if you’re considering early retirement.

  1. Can you live on a retirement budget?

The most important question is whether you can live the life you want on your retirement budget. Many people suggest making a post-retirement budget and living on that budget for a 6-month period to see if retirement is realistic. If you’re considering a move to a great retirement city such as Scottsdale, Arizona, you should calculate in the cost of living in Scottsdale into the budget. The State of Arizona does not tax Social Security income, so be sure to factor that good news into your budget. Each state varies so be sure to check the tax rates for your retirement location. 

  1. Do you have reliable health insurance?

Since Medicare does not kick in until the age of 65 and potential changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) means having reliable health insurance for your early retirement plans is a must. Questions to ask yourself about health insurance are:

  • Does it have low deductibles and copays?
  • Does it cover dental and vision?
  • Will my expenses be as low as possible?
  • How often will rates change and by how much?

There are a la carte options like Direct Primary Care or even faith-based health care ministries available as well. Consider whether dental insurance is important to you and factor that into your early retirement budget.

  1. Are your children financially independent?

If your kids are out on their own, then this is one less thing to consider. However, if you still have kids in high school or college, you must consider the costs of higher education, possibly in another state. Can you retire early and live the way you want to, while paying for college? If you do have grown children and maybe grandchildren, having them come for a visit when you’re retired can be very fun. Retiring early in Arizona, in a place like Scottsdale, there are many opportunities for relaxing and entertainment, such as playing golf, hiking, shopping and fabulous dining or taking in a spa day.

  1. Are your debts paid off?

If you have a mountain of debt, you’re probably not ready to retire. The point of retiring is to be able to relax and do what you have dreamed about doing, but weren’t able to do because you were busy with your career and/or raising a family.

If you answered ‘yes’ to most of the questions, you may be ready for early retirement. One of the best places to retire in Arizona is Scottsdale, which livability.com has ranked a Top 10 Place to Retire. Scottsdale boasts warm, dry weather, plenty of sunshine, and gorgeous desert views. To go with this wonderful weather, Scottsdale offers many outdoor activities, such as golfing, year round. Many attractions offer discounts to senior citizens as well. The city has an extremely low crime rate and top-notch healthcare facilities.

Contact us to find out more about our community and what Terravita has to offer, whether you are retired, considering retiring, or still working.

 

5 Tips to New Year’s Resolution Success

The new year is upon us and with it comes the tradition of creating New Year’s resolutions. Every year people come up with noble and ambitions resolutions, and by February the motivation to complete them fades into the distance. Living in a community can give you and your neighbors a built in boost to successfully tackling your New Year’s resolutions. How can you avoid getting derailed by the February fade? Read on for 5 easy tips to accomplish your New Year’s resolutions.

  1. Launch a monthly “Wellness” meeting where friends and neighbors can share their progress.

If your neighbors have regular social gatherings, consider trying a “Wellness” meeting. At these meetings discuss healthy New Year’s resolutions and create a forum for other residents to talk about their progress and pitfalls. Speaking about your New Year’s resolutions in public, and being held accountable to those nearest you, is a great way to make them a priority and even connect people with similar goals who can work together to achieve them.

  1. Establish measurable realistic goals.

When creating New Year’s resolutions, many people settle on goals that aren’t measurable or even realistic. Losing weight is a great goal but how do you measure it? A better goal would be to lose 2 lbs a month or 10 lbs in 6 months. Talk about the importance of measurable realistic goals and have a system to keep track of them throughout the year. Consider a small printout that can be a constant visual reminder of success. There are also plenty of ‘tracking’ apps available for smartphones and tablets covering a wide array of New Year’s resolution ideas (e.g. meditation, fitness, nutrition, sleep, travel, etc.).

  1. Keep the ball rolling – bring in a seasonal sports or personal trainer.

At different times of the year, different sports are peaking in popularity. Whether it’s summer or winter, there’s always a sport in full swing. With the wonderful temperate climate in the Valley, the Arizona winter is a great time to pick up a new outdoor sport or reinvigorate your passion on the golf course. Enlisting the help of a sports or fitness professional can help you and your friends and family kick off your New Year’s resolutions with the proper training to be successful, even as the seasons and your interests change. 

  1. Create a photography board.

Create and post a public visual display of friends, family or neighbors’ photos of their New Year’s resolution success. It’s like Instagram, before there was Instagram. You can even have a monthly prize for the best photo and celebrate successes. Maybe you’ll be inspired by others and creatively establish new New Year’s resolution ideas. Having a visual display can help motivate residents to travel, cook, exercise and even foster a healthy degree of friendly competition amongst the group. 

  1. Take it one day at a time.

No matter what your New Year’s resolutions are, each day is a new day and a chance to reset and reaffirm that you can and will accomplish that goal. Setting a resolution doesn’t imply you must be absolutely perfect every day. Rather, you resolve to make yourself a better person than you were last year and you take the steps (even baby ones) to meeting those goals. Rome wasn’t built in a day and my friends, you are even more special than the fabled city. Treat yourself with the kindness and patience you would offer to your friends and family as they embark on a new year and you embark on a new you.

Whatever your New Year’s resolutions, every day is a new day to start fresh and reconnect with what you’re really out to accomplish.

Contact us to find out more about our community and what Terravita has to offer, including amenities that can support your goals and lifestyle.  

5 Fun Winter Events to Attend in Scottsdale, AZ

With winter approaching fast, people everywhere are preparing for the holiday season, winter events, and Christmas activities. Don’t let the desert landscape fool you – Scottsdale, Arizona has a lot to offer during the holidays. If you are searching for fun, unique and spectacular events, this article will share with you 5 fun winter events to attend in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Winter Wonderland Arizona

Every winter season Birkett, a local DJ, puts on an impressive and outstanding show with Winter Wonderland Arizona. Winter Wonderland Arizona is a Christmas light show that spreads holiday joy among families and Scottsdale visitors. The spectacular show features 250,000 lights choreographed to flash along with music. Admission is free and the exhibit runs through the month of December.

Scottsdazzle

Check out this fantastic month-long celebration in the heart of Downtown Scottsdale. The one-of-a kind Arizona tree, imported from Italy boasts over one million customizable lighting options and will glow nightly on the Soleri Bridge. There’s plenty of free public parking in the public parking garage located South of Camelback Road next to Nordstrom. There will be a host of signature activities, events and local merchants and restaurants will offer specials, discounts and more.

Las Noches De Las Luminarias

The graceful Desert Botanical Gardens glow with candlelight during this outstanding event. Garden pathways are lit by volunteers with over 8,000 luminaries. The divinely beautiful display draws in sell-out crowds year after year. Mariachis and musicians perform during the event which also includes gourmet refreshments and beautiful restaurants. Tickets are on sale now.

Christmas at the Princess

It’s the 7th Annual Christmas at the Princess in North Scottsdale. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is a spectacular AAA Five Diamond award-winning resort. Witness the transformation into an enchanting winter wonderland through January 1, 2017. The gorgeous tree’s synchronized lighting and music show happens every night from 6 pm. What better way to create special holiday memories with your family?

Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Choo choo! The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park lights up Scottsdale with one of the most unique holiday events in the Valley. Take a ride on the Paradise and Pacific Railroad through a winter wonderland of lights and displays. Festivities will include live music and a tree lighting ceremony and a visit from Santa. Santa will be at the park nightly through December 23rd.

Winter is full of many spectacular events that make wonderful memories. These are just a few of the many exciting events that take place in Scottsdale, Arizona during the holidays.

Contact us to find out more about our neighborhood and what Terravita has to offer.