bogwarrior, ... Although it's not cheap to play golf at WKV (can't remember exact figure, but $160-185 per 18 seems right), if you are staying at the villas, you can play and charge to your room.
There are 3 nines. The pro shop makes the assignment of which 2 you will play. All 3 nines are about the same in difficulty. The course has 5 tee placements to accommodate various golf skills. You can make it easy or hard to play. A lot of the holes are scupted like half-pipes. Balls hit off line bounce back toward the fairway. I think the course was designed for resort play and higher handicap users. But, there's lots of grass on the course, the sand traps are everywhere and deep and the greens are in good shape. And, there are plenty of good golfers that play there, as you can tell from watching them on the practice tee.
Last time I played (late October) was in the WKV SVOpen so Starwood arranged the tee times.
My recollection from a trip last January was that all I had to do was call after I had a SVO reservation number, give the proshop the reservation number and make the reservation. January is slow so there was no problem getting a time then. But, WKV use is based on availability and it's a busy place in Spring. (Your post reminded me that I'll be at WKV the first week of March so I should make the reservations pronto.)
The hotel has lots of conventions and companies can reserve blocks of tee times. I'd make my reservations as far out (3 months or so) as I could. The green fees include lots of "free" balls stacked in pyramids by the tees on the driving range and an electric cart. Like all courses, if play moves along, it is a really enjoyable experience.
If Kierland is full when you call, there are many courses in the area. I'm sure you will find a place to play. Just Google "Phoenix Golf Courses."
If you need serious work on your game before you play, there is a public driving range on the East side of Scottsdale Road about 3 blocks North of Greenway. I can't remember the name of the place but it looks like a city park. The range has automatic pop-up balls on tees so lazy people like me don't even have to bend over and re-tee. You buy an allotted number of balls at the office and put your card into a slot on a stand behind each tee. It keeps track of how many balls you use. The tee height is adjustable from the stand. It's shaded and the little carrels can even blow out cool air! Enjoy! ... eom