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It's 119 in Phoenix today and golf will be played

By John Strege

The weather forecast for Phoenix today calls for a high of at least 119 degrees, which got me wondering what a tee sheet at the area's most heavily played public course might like like on such a day.

"On a day like today, it's going to be peachy," Buffy Labombarde, head pro at the municipal Cave Creek Golf Course, where 60,000 rounds are played annually. "We have 50 brave souls. We've got a foursome booked for 1:30. Yesterday was surprising. It was no bargain [110 degrees] and we had 124 players."

The Weather Channel website (weather.com) noted that "it's possible that we could see highs flirt with 120 degrees on Friday and Saturday. Phoenix has only been in the 120s three other times in history."

Related: Playing golf in extreme heat

"Most players try to go early," Labombarde said. "I'm here at 4:30 [a.m.] and right about 5 they go out. But what always gets me is that you'll get the knuckleheads at 3 in the afternoon hitting the jumbo bucket. What are they hoping to accomplish?

"What's amazing here in Phoenix is that you would think you'd have more heat stroke, but you don't. I've been here seven years and I think we've had maybe one person. They have the solar sleeves, the wide-brimmed hats, the towels that keep you cool. They do all that and they drink water and GatorAde."

Phoenix, incidentally, won't be the hottest place in the U.S. today. The forecast for Death Valley, Calif., today calls for a high of 126 degrees. It has a golf course, too, appropriately named Furnace Creek, home to the Heat Stroke Open last weekend. No kidding.

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