February 24, 2013 12:00 AM

Golf is the big draw in this desert town near Phoenix

CHANDLER, Ariz. — You come to Chandler for desert deceleration — not that fast life they live in Phoenix and Scottsdale. The city of about 240,000 ( sits about 20 minutes southeast of Phoenix, below Mesa. In the central plaza it raises a 40-foot-high tumbleweed Christmas tree every winter. Chandler’s several hotels (mostly budget chains) are easy driving from the 11 soon-to-be-active spring training stadiums of greater Phoenix, including the Dodgers (about 35 miles away in Glendale) and the Angels (about 17 miles away in Tempe). A child-related activity brought us to town, but among normal people, golf is the larger draw. Venues include the 18-hole Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort, which dates to 1913; the Ocotillo Golf Resort (27 holes); and the Bear Creek Golf Complex (36 holes).

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