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Arizona golfers not stopped by excessive heat warnings

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PHOENIX — It’s not unusual for Arizona golfers to hit the course on a hot day, even during excessive heat warnings like we’re facing this week.

“Every summer, no matter what the temperature is, there’s somebody out here playing,” said Justin Creighton, head golf professional with Arizona Biltmore Golf Club.

Most summer golfers follow certain tips, he said.

“Play early in the morning, stay hydrated, find the shade when you can,” he said. “We do a thing here at the Biltmore with cold ice water towels.”

“Keep them on your neck, [and it] lowers your body temperature about 10-15 degrees and keeps you cool the entire time,” he said.

And Creighton walks the walk. He was on the 16th hole when I caught up with him for this interview — and it was already 108.

Dan Miller, born and raised in Arizona, is heading out onto the course after 11 in the afternoon.

“It’s cheap and nobodies here,” said Miller. “It’s going to be a wide open course, it’s still beautiful out here.”

“110, 115, 120 — it’s all the same, really. Once it gets hot, it’s hot,” he said.

Miller said when you’ve been out on the course for an hour or two, it gets hot. But summer golfers just find ways to cool off.

“There’s water on different holes, we got plenty of ice, and cold things to drink,” he said. “If you have to douse yourself, wash your face, whatever it takes to keep going.”

Miller said he doesn’t really stop playing unless the sun goes down and he can’t see. He said he remembers what he was doing the last time Phoenix hit the record 122.

“1990, I was like 17 years old and I was out playing basketball with some buddies, from like 11 to 3 in the afternoon,” he said. “I didn’t find out it was a record until I went into a 7-11 and the lady says ‘What are you guys doing?”

The lady informed them they had been playing basketball in 122-degree weather.

“It was hot yesterday, it’ll be hot today and it will be hot tomorrow,” he said. “If it hits a record that’s one thing.”

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