Best Golf Courses In Phoenix/Scottsdale Region
The Phoenix-Scottsdale area is arguably the golf capital of the world when you consider the number of courses available – not to mention the fact that nearly all of them are top quality. Add to that myriad things to do in the city and around the Sonoran Desert as well, and you can understand why so many flock to the Valley of the Sun get their golf fix. The best golf courses in Phoenix are often ranked as some of the top in the country.
Most of the best golf courses in Phoenix & Arizona can be found in the Valley. And while the area has its share of great private clubs like Estancia Club, Whisper Rock Golf Club and Desert Mountain, the Phoenix-Scottsdale golf scene is really known for its resorts, which are packed with high-end amenities including spas and wellness centers. But their golf courses are also top notch in the winter months thanks in part to extensive overseeding with cool-weather Rye grass. These lush, green fairways provide a great contrast to their dormant desert surroundings in the winter – a blend of views unlike anything else in the country.
Troon North Golf Club (pictured above), with courses designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf, is a North Scottsdale icon with two fabulous Sonoran desert designs—the Monument and Pinnacle—and a lavish clubhouse. Just north of Troon, the 36-hole Boulders Resort (with its incredibly appointed spa) and Fairmont Princess Resort, as well as the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale—home of the world’s most rowdy golf tournament, the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open—are what drive folks to pack up their sticks and fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, especially in the late fall, winter and early spring. (A trip here during baseball’s spring training is especially entertaining with the entire Cactus League based in the Phoenix area.)
This resort list, though, is just the beginning. The Westin Kierland is one of the area’s favorites, with 27 player-friendly holes and a number or ways to navigate them including the Golf Bike, Segway and GolfBoard. Here you will also find one of the finest Scotch collections in the United States. There are also 36 holes at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, with the Saguaro Course designed by Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw and Cholla layout provided by Scott Miller. And there even more resorts, including the luxurious Phoenician Golf Club in Scottsdale and 54-hole Wigwam Golf Resort in Litchfield Park, arguably one of the best values in the valley. Coore & Crenshaw also delivered 36 holes of a more “desert minimalist” nature for Talking Stick Golf Club & Resort, which is one of the livelier casino resorts in Scottsdale, with summer pool parties and a TopGolf onsite.
One non-resort facility, Grayhawk Golf Club, features two outstanding golf courses that have hosted numerous top area championships, from the PGA Tour to NCAAs. Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, which also has a new short course and a daily fee facility, is among the best golf courses in Phoenix. Even the municipal scene in Phoenix is noteworthy, particularly at Papago Golf Course, a recently renovated William Bell layout that’s just minutes from the airport and Arizona State University. And if you venture a little farther outside the city, you’ll find some real gems like Wickenburg Ranch Golf Club and the Rees Jones-designed Quintero Golf Club.
Regarding non-golf activities in the area, you could try four-wheeling in the desert, take a day trip up to the Grand Canyon or Sedona, go on a hot-air balloon ride or shop at Scottsdale’s Fashion Square, just to name a few.
Golf packages in Phoenix-Scottsdale can cost a premium in the peak winter golf season at the top luxury hotels, but off- and shoulder-season rates make golfing much more affordable.
As for the high temperatures in the summer, yes it’s a dry heat and sometimes brutal, but it is also a real opportunity to save money on tee times for those looking to tee off on a budget. Premium courses that are often well into triple digits during peak season are reduced by 50 percent or more when the temperatures reach the triple digits. All you have to do is play early or late, hydrate and enjoy the savings at the best golf courses in Phoenix.