Inaugural Heatstroke Open

FURNACE FORES: We suspect there are some people who still avoid saying the words "summer" and "Death Valley" in the same sentence. Which is unfortunate. One of the world's hottest, driest places does have its special quirks and pleasures during the toastiest time of the year, and a new one just happens to be on the horizon. Xanterra Parks & Resorts will launch the Heatstroke Open, a golf tourney that'll run from Friday, June 24 through Sunday, June 26. It's "open to players of all skill levels," and you'll nab two nights at the Ranch at Furnace Creek as part of the deal. And if you're thinking to yourself, wow. Play golf in Death Valley just three days after the longest day of the year? Keeping wowing. We mean, reading.

THE TO-KNOWS: The average maximum temperature at Furnace Creek in June is 109, so that's nothing to fool about with; you've got to be okay with swinging a club in some extreme, plaid-pants-pounding hotness. Heatstroke Open is a memorable tournament name, but nobody should follow through on that. We say take plenty of photos near a thermometer with your golf club in hand (you'll want to brag in all the various places you do any mild bragging). The cost to enter the tourney is $199, and you'll need a special code. 

BADWATER DAYS: And if you're simply curious about what athletics go down in the beautiful and sparse national park at the height of summer, check out the Badwater Ultramarathon, a July run of some 135 miles. It starts in Death Valley and makes for Mount Whitney. Whoa. Props. And again. Whoa.

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