Deep in the Copper State of Arizona, you will encounter many wonderful things. However, many fail to associate the home of the Grand Canyon with golfing, possibly due to the seemingly arid landscape. The climate, however, is ideal for golf and featuring over 100 operational golf courses. Today, we’ll be highlighting the best golf courses in Arizona.
Whether you’re living in the state, planning a trip there, or simply wondering about golf course trivia, this list will give you what you need.
So, grab your favorite polo shirt and tee yourself up for a quick guide through Arizonan golf courses, the mecca of the South West golf scene. These courses are one of the reasons Arizona has become a hotspot for amateur and professional golfing.
1. The Troon North Golf Club
Immersed in the rugged Sonoran Desert, the Troon North Golf Club features a course sure to blow you away. The courses are challenging, and the desert feeling adds to this sensation. Don’t let that drive you away, though (pun intended), since the ambiance and amenities offered at this luxurious club in Scottsdale will certainly please everyone’s palettes.
Troon North sports two courses:
- The Troon North Pinnacle Course
- The Troon North Monument Course
While the Pinnacle is the players’ favorite course, the Monument is certainly the more scenic. Preference rules as king here, and if you have the time, it is highly recommended to try out both.
2. We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
We-Ko-Pa is home to two stunning golf courses – the Saguaro course and the Cholla course – which are deservedly on this list.
Set just outside Scottsdale in the Sonoran Desert, these courses are of award-winning standard. The surroundings are void of human development, leaving you in a quiet, serene setting, allowing you to focus on the golf and the beautiful scenery.
Beloved by travelers and locals alike, it is important to remember that these courses include hazards other than the simple bunker or lake; if you miss the fairway, it may just be a snake that prevents you from getting your ball into the hole.
3. The Estancia Private Golf Club
The impressive brainchild of Tom Fazio, the Estancia is another Scottsdale course – and the first private one – to make it to our list of Arizona’s best golf courses. The reason is that the course is often rated the best golf course in Arizona and boasts various other accolades. Furthermore, caddies are available to players at all times.
Though an incredibly beautiful golf course, a downside to the Estancia is the necessity of owning a membership to play.
Either that or you could accompany another member as a guest. Like other private courses, the Estancia is often too exclusive for the general public to access or afford.
4. Wickenburg Ranch Golf Course
The Wickenburg Ranch Gold Course, also known as the Wick, is prized for having some of the best-golfing conditions (weather, grass, scenery, etc.) that U.S. courses offer.
Located in Wickenburg, Arizona, the course showcases the beauty of local natural landmarks such as Vulture Peak and the Prescott National Park.
Bringing the focus back to the playing conditions, what makes the course famous is its ability to produce the finest Bentgrass greens.
Proudly, the gold club claims their greens are the best that most public players will ever get to put on. Furthermore, to ensure smooth play for all golfers, a time par of 4 hours and 20 minutes has been established
5. The TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course
Imagine playing on the same fairways and greens as some of your favorite professional golfers. At the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale, you can do just that.
Host of the WM (Waste Management) Phoenix Open and part of the PGA Tour, the Stadium Course is always kept in tip-top shape, and players can truly experience the challenge and glory of pro golf.
Recently renovated (2014) and designed by the duo Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, it would be a shape to pass through Arizona without stopping this course.
In the unlikely case that the Stadium Course is not your cup of tea, TPC Scottsdale features another amazing golfing experience: the Championship course. This course allows players more freedom and creativity in their shots.
6. The Forest Highlands Canyon Course
Although a very exclusive private club, not every course is meant to be played. Head over to the Forest Highlands Canyon Course and bask in the beauty of its naturalistic greenery. If you are, however, looking to move to a private gold estate in Arizona, this might be the one for you.
Golf Magazine finds that the Highlands Canyon Course is the number one course in the state.
Like TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course, the Highlands Canyon is also designed by the world-renowned Weiskopf and Morrish combo. As the name suggests, the course makes the best of the mountainous surroundings and provides golfers with the ultimate luxury experience.
7. The Quintero Golf Club
Only 90 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, you will come across this fabulous golf course in the Sonoran Desert. This course, designed to challenge even the most experienced players, will improve your game by throwing you into the deep end.
Precision will be demanded, but the rewards (not to mention the views) will be worth it.
The Quintero Golf Club furthermore features many other amenities, and they are welcome to corporate golf getaways of all sizes. In addition, the club has a partnership with Ping to offer affordable club rentals for players who cannot afford their own or don’t want to travel around with the extra weight.
8. Grayhawk Golf Club
If you haven’t heard of Grayhawk Golf Club’s two fine courses – the Raptor and the Talon – we highly recommend that you check them out.
The Raptor, designed by Tom Fazio, features broad fairways; don’t let that fool you, though, as misplaced shots will easily find their way into the punishing bunkers along the way.
The Raptor is a true test of a player’s short game.
Conversely, the Talon has a unique design focused on the picturesque scenes of the McDowell Mountains and the surrounding canyons.
Though also featuring generous fairways and greens, the tiers of the greens are quite sporadic and could provide a serious challenge in putting for inexperienced players.
9. The Boulders Resort And Spa South Golf Course
The South course of the Boulders Resort’s recent renovations features improvements to greens, bunkers, and other aspects of the game.
Available to non-members, the Boulders South Course allows all players to enjoy a game of premium golf.
Both of Boulders Resort’s golf courses (North and South) are PGA certified and allow you to rent a professional caddie to get the most out of your game.
10. The Sewailo Golf Club
Casino del Sol’s Sewailo Golf Club is truly an Arizonan masterpiece.
Giving back to the beauty of the land it is raised upon, Native Americans own the property and, consequently, felt it necessary to have one design the course. Therefore, the course is designed by the famed Notah Begay III, who demonstrates equal professionalism in playing as he does in course construction.
Blending natural hazards with an array of water streams, the course itself elevates the nature around it as much as it does the other way around. Furthermore, the greens are smooth yet unpredictable and may leave many putters guessing the best course of action.
11. The Gold Canyon Golf Resort’s Dinosaur Mountain Course
Finding a golf course worthy of your time is often a swing and a miss. The Dinosaur Mountain Course, in all of its picturesque wonder, however, is sure not to disappoint. With unforgettable sceneries and dramatic elevation differences along every course, nobody can resist trying out this course at least once when visiting Arizona.
Whereas most golf courses have only one or two signature holes, the Gold Canyon Resort prides itself on providing players with at least 10 uniquely designed holes.
Equally unique is the resort’s alternative course called the Sidewinder. A design catering more towards the natural desert surrounds, this course will surely impress business partners, colleagues, friends, and rivals.
12. Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club
The Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club is constantly rated among GolfWeek’s top 10 golf courses in Arizona.
Tried and tested by many pros, the combination of Fred Couples and Schmidt-Curley’s design prowess produced one of the state’s best courses.
The Ak-Chin Southern Dunes course accommodates novices and veterans alike and will easily take your mind off your worries.
13. The Mountain Course At Ventana Club and Lodge
The Mountain Course, as its name suggests, features holes at all heights in the surrounding Santa Catalina mountains.
Every hole provides a completely different panoramic view, and the very highest point can be found at the tee of the third hole. The rugged landscape, softened by the welcoming fairways and greens, will be imprinted on your memory forever.
Due to the different levels of elevation, the course itself should also be as memorable as it is challenging. Though, players who enjoy testing the altitude of their shots’ apex are sure to find the Mountain Course entertaining.
14. Papago Golf Club
The course at Papago Golf Club, open to the public, is a municipal golf course where many professionals go to train their swing.
Featuring many practice facilities – mainly focused on the short game – players have the opportunity to improve their playing before tackling more extreme (and expensive) courses.
Furthermore, the course is extremely close to the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, easing access to the play.
The Papago Golf Club is home to the Men’s and Women’s teams of the Arizona Sun Devils, and chances you’ll meet them here are pretty likely.
Locals in the Phoenix area, both affluent and casual citizens, enjoy the amenities found at this clubhouse. You will surely see many charity and professional tournaments on these grounds.
15. Silverleaf Golf Club
Tom Weiskopf’s brainchild, the course at the Silverleaf Golf Club, features a playstyle and scenery that is enough to drive even the most hardened golf veterans mad (and in the best of ways).
Natural contours inspired the elevation of each hole, providing a truly immersive experience for golfers and spectators alike.
Conclusion: Best Arizona Golf Courses
If it is not yet clear why Arizona is the golf mecca of the South West, then the only solution is to try it out for yourself.
Soon you’ll be immersed in the local culture, breathtaking landscapes, and luxurious hospitality the area offers.
Don’t forget to pack in an extra couple of golf balls, though, as the harsh landscape and natural hazards these courses offer may not be as forgiving as city golf.