Must-play golf in Phoenix-Scottsdale: My favorite courses in the Sonoran Desert
I have been visiting the Phoenix-Scottsdale area every year for the last seven years, I must have played at least 40 different courses there. The region is generally considered to be one of the best golf destinations in the world, and for good reason. Both the quality and quantity of the golf courses is tough to match. There is a cornucopia of courses in and around the city while Scottsdale is the epicenter.
Troon North Golf Club
36-hole Troon North Golf Club is one of the Arizona “classics.” The club is world-renowned and has established itself as one of the premier public-access facilities in the country. The configurations of the 18-hole routings were changed a few years ago, so now you are essentially playing a combination of the original designs. Originally, one course was a collaboration of Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish while the other one was a solo effort of Weiskopf. The layouts offer spectacular views, target-style golf with forced carries and are always in immaculate condition. Each course at Troon North should be at or at least near the top of every visitor’s must-play list.
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club is a 36-hole facility in the suburb of Fountain Hills sans houses. The Cholla, designed by Scott Miller, opened in 2001. With the effort, the Cholla quickly became one of the best designs in the “Grand Canyon State.” Miller took full advantage of the secluded, undulating property and built a variety of fun, strategic holes. The Saguaro course, opened in 2006, was built by Bill Coore (who lives in Arizona) and Ben Crenshaw. Coore and Crenshaw laid out a very natural-looking and walkable course with wide fairways and a couple of short par 4s.
There seems to be no consensus as to which course is the better of the two, although Saguaro gets my vote.
The Golf Club Scottsdale
The Golf Club Scottsdale boasts a challenging 18-hole golf course that can play over 7,000 yards long. Designer Jay Morrish was given a site with no houses where golfers can escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The layout features a number of carries over desert and fast and true bentgrass greens (a rarity in the area). The Golf Club Scottsdale is a private club but guests who stay at certain hotels have access to the course.
Quintero Golf & Country Club
Quintero Golf & Country Club is located in Peoria northwest of Phoenix in an idyllic and serene setting. Rees Jones took full advantage of the generous property, most holes are secluded so that no other parts of the golf course can be seen.
Quintero has arguably the best selection of par 3s in the valley (three of them have an elevated tee box). Quintero used to be a private club but started accepting outside play at the end of last year.
Among other local favorites are also the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale (where the Waste Management open is played), Grayhawk (with two 18-hole courses), the Boulders Resort (with two 18-hole courses) and Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club.
|« Golf in my home country of Austria|