The Sonoran Desert offers a wealth of premier golfing destinations…so many, in fact, that you may be finding it hard to figure out where to play first. Information is your best ally as you plan your next weekend outing or your next extended vacation, so once you've learned more about the premier golf resorts and courses listed below, find out where they are using our extensive course directory, read a detailed review, and request printed information for free. Whether you are looking to play golf in Northern or Southern Arizona, in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe or anywhere else in the state, Arizona Golf Guides can help you find your ideal course.
Want to learn more about these gorgeous courses in full color? Request the print version of the Arizona Golf Guide along with free brochures from numerous golf courses in the Phoenix / Scottsdale area, Southern Arizona, and the rest of the state. All the information you need is just a few clicks away.
For those who choose to stay and play golf in Arizona, the journey into the high Sonoran Desert and its spectacular natural surroundings offers the trip of a lifetime. Here are only some of the reasons why Arizona just might be the ultimate golf destination.
1. 375 golf courses & counting!
As unbelievable as it might seem, Arizona had fewer than 100 golf courses as late as 1982. But once Phoenix became host of the inaugural Skins Game in 1983, golf in Arizona skyrocketed to new heights. The growth in the past 25 years has been so explosive that the Metropolitan Phoenix area now boasts more than 200 layouts of its own. With the game still growing by leaps and bounds throughout the state, there seems to be no end in sight. Jack Nicklaus, who carved numerous courses throughout the state, is among those who are flabbergasted, and yet..."The desert is a very beautiful place, prettier than most people know," the Golden Bear points out. "And beauty is a key ingredient of all great golf courses."
2. Fun in the Sun
Unlike the East Coast or Midwest, Arizona seldom sees rain. Translation: How many ways can you enjoy the sunshine? While Florida and North Carolina deal with muggy and buggy, and Michigan and Missouri try to avoid getting wet or (brrr!) icy, Arizona averages an awesome 330 days of "rays" per year. "We get a lot of sun in Arizona, but for the true golfer, it’s never too hot to tee it up," says one local pro. (Can you say "dry" heat?)
3. Variety is the spice of life
Despite the popular belief that most desert golf plays between the saguaros and the boulders—as in "target golf’’—nothing could be further from the truth. Arizona offers a virtual smorgasbord of styles, from the tree-lined parkland variety to the rolling terrain of its mountain layouts to resort courses featuring wall-to-wall grass and lots of—believe it or not—water features.
4. Manicured to perfection
Combine ideal growing conditions with superior scientific know-how, and the results lead to the best greens and fairways on the planet. Such are the gorgeous putting surfaces and carpetlike fairways that define Arizona golf. Tom Weiskopf, whose resumé includes 13 courses within the state’s borders, may have put it best. "If there are better greens than the ones you’ll find here, then show me. And the fairways? They’re absolutely perfect." Taking it one step further, Weiskopf adds, "The tee boxes are so good you could cut a hole (a cup) and putt on them." Yes, be it Bermuda or bentgrass, or even a hybrid tiff somewhere in between—it’s hard to beat the conditioning of Arizona’s tip-top courses.
5. The 19th hole
What would a long day of golf be without a round of refreshments at the 19th hole? Pretty boring, huh? Fortunately, Arizona is blessed with some of the most fabulous clubhouses in the game, which translate into some wonderful bars, grills, and restaurants. It’s true that a brew never tasted quite so good as those enjoyed on the veranda at one of the many courses that offer breathtaking views of the mountains and cityscapes.
6. Playing & staying at the very best
Remember, a round of golf takes only 4 hours, which leaves a lot of time away from the golf course. In that regard, Arizona features some of the most outstanding Four- and Five-star resorts in the world. Many of them not only boast striking golf courses on-site, but also offer a wide variety of other amenities from spa treatments and activities for the kids to horseback riding, fine dining, and more.
7. Built by the best
The list of architects who designed Arizona’s golf courses reads like the Who’s Who of the game: Nicklaus, Weiskopf, Tom Fazio, Jay Morrish, Pete Dye, Hale Irwin, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Rees Jones, Tom Doak, Jim Engh, Arthur Hills, Keith Foster, Scott Miller, Robert Von Hagge, Gary Panks, Ken Kavanaugh, Ted Robinson, Desmond Muirhead, Dick Bailey, Brian Curley and Lee Schmidt, Tom Lehman and John Fought, Greg Nash and Billy Casper, and Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore. All these golf greats have left their mark on the high Sonoran terrain. They followed in the footsteps of the state’s great pioneers: Robert Trent Jones Sr., Robert "Red" Lawrence, Dick Wilson, William Bell, Harry Collis, and Lawrence Hughes.
8. "Touring" Arizona
With two major professional golf tournaments calling Arizona home—the Waste Management Phoenix Open (Phoenix) and World Golf Championships–Accenture Match Play Championship (Tucson)—it’s easy for visitors to catch up with the touring pros in January and February. Some of the world’s best golfers hail from the state of Arizona, including Jim Furyk who attended The University of Arizona and Phil Mickelson who competed on the golf team at Arizona State University.
9. Getaway golf
Want to get away? Imagine getting on an airplane at 7 a.m. in New York or Chicago and teeing off in Phoenix or Tucson before noon the same day. It happens every day for savvy travelers who know how to book their flights both coming and going. With more than 120 nonstop flights to and from almost every major city in the country, flying and playing all in one day takes no more effort than the click of a mouse.
10. The good life
More and more, retirees seek out the serenity of a golf lifestyle when they finally decide they’ve had enough of the daily grind. Without question, Arizona is the destination where many active adults decide to hang their golf caps and clubs. Phoenix-based Del Webb was one of the first to realize this trend when it developed its Sun City communities back in the 1960s. The landscape now boasts many golf course-based communities (for retired and non-retired folks), where the sight of electric golf carts humming along the serene residential streets is common.
The Sonoran Desert offers a wealth of premier golfing destinations…so many, in fact, that you may be finding it hard to figure out where to play first. Information is your best ally as you plan your next weekend outing or your next extended vacation, so once you've learned more about the premier golf resorts and courses listed below, find out where they are using our extensive course directory, read a detailed review, and request printed information for free. Whether you are looking to play golf in Northern or Southern Arizona, in Phoenix or Scottsdale or Mesa or anywhere else in the state, Arizona Golf Guides can help you find your ideal course.
2727 West Club Drive
Tucson, AZ 85742 | View Map
The recent $30 million renovation boasts award-winning Bob's Steak & Chop House, Legend's Bar & Grill, Tucson's only 4-star rated spa, 36-holes of championship golf, tennis, and 79 newly designed Mountain Vistas.
Selected by Golf Digest as Best Places to Play and one of the "75 Best Golf Resorts in North America," this 650-acre desert resort with 128 guestrooms and suites is one of Tucson's finest spa and golf resorts.
17020 N. Hayden Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85255 | View Map
Fall rates starting from $535
Gracing 65 acres in north Scottsdale and adjacent to the TPC Scottsdale Stadium and Champions Course, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is a world-class AAA Five-Diamond resort. Home to 649 luxurious accommodations, this desert retreat offers guests an impressive array of amenities ranging from five pools, four signature restaurants and lounges, the 44,000 sq. foot Willow Stream Spa and Bobcat Billy's Clubhouse for kids. Golfers can test their skills on two of the best 18-hole championship courses in the Valley including the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course -- home to the annual PGA Tour's Waste Management Phoenix Open. Come and experience this golfer's paradise.
120 N. Center St.
Mesa, AZ 85201 | View Map
For golfers, Mesa offers legendary landscapes with courses designed by the best. From the award winning Superstition Mountain golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, or the Ken Kavanaugh designed Longbow Golf Club, to the popular Las Sendas Golf Club laid out by none other than Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Mesa offers value and award-winning pristine golf worthy of any must-play list. The choice of challenging target-style desert golf paired with winding, lush green fairways add to the allure of golf in the Southwest and Mesa shines as a welcome contender. For a complete listing of golf courses in Mesa, find us online at www.VisitMesa.com/golf and browse our all-inclusive or ala carte golf and vacation packages.
Photo by Ken Easley
2201 East Clubhouse Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85048 | View Map
Those that start off their Arizona vacation at the Foothills Golf Group, won't be disappointed. Designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish The Foothills boasts a par 72 desert style course.
Located west of Foothills is the Brian Whitcomb/Ken Kavanaugh designed Club West Golf Club that boasts four sets of tees. www.clubwestgolf.com, 480-460-4400.
Golfers that mosey on over to The Duke at Rancho El Dorado will keep coming back for more. This David Druzisky-design was ranked as the "#1 Player Friendly Course in Phoenix/Scottsdale" by Golf Tips Magazine. www.thedukegolf.com, 480-844-1100.
Ahwatukee Country Club, was designed by Arizona golf legend, John Bulla. This 6,713 yard, par 72 layout combines desert landscape with tree lined fairways. Also be sure to tee it up on Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Club where Gary Panks design serves up an 18 hole, par 60, executive course. www.ahwatukeegolf.com, 480-893-9772, or follow the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ahwatukeegolf or on twitter at: www.twitter.com/ahwatukeegolf
7555 E Eagle Crest Drive
Mesa, AZ 85207 | View Map
Las Sendas Golf Club, built by Robert Trent Jones Jr., presents a masterful challenge etched into the Usery Mountains, 1800 feet above the Phoenix Valley just 20 minutes east of Sky Harbor. It's rated as the 3rd most challenging course in Arizona by US Airways and consistently in the Top 10 in the State. With direct routes from tee to green always available, the more heroic options taunt the gambler looking for shortcuts.
The course offers spectacular views of the Superstitions, Red Mountain and a 280 vista of the Phoenix Valley. The terrain provides elevated greens tucked into Spook Hill along with desert washes lending the quintessential look and feel of desert golf.
The semi-private club offers golf memberships for annual and seasonal visitors. Three new restaurants include — Bogey's Prime Steakhouse, The Grille and The Patio offering dining for all occasions. Our new wedding and banquet facility, Vistas at Las Sendas, we can host any size function.
Millennium Scottsdale Resort & Villas are situated within close range of a number of excellent golf courses. Keen golfers from all over the world travel here to play a few rounds and take in the natural beauty of the Camelback Mountains.
This Scottsdale golf package offers the opportunity to play on a range of world-class courses including: Troon North, Gray Hawk, We-Ko-Pa and the TPC Scottsdale. Over 100 courses lie within an hour's drive of the Millennium Scottsdale Resort & Villas. The hotel can even create a custom golf package to accommodate your preferences, golf handicap and budget.
Packages options of standard guestrooms or two and three-bedroom villa accommodations.
7401 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale AZ. 480-948-5050, www.millenniumhotels.com/millenniumscottsdale
6910 East Williamsfield Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85212 | View Map
Adjacent to Williams Gateway Airport in east Mesa, Toka Sticks Golf Club welcomes guests to a traditional experience on an affordable and enjoyable layout accessed south of Loop 202 at Power and Williams Field roads. The Gila River Indian Community owns this venerable daily-fee facility, which takes its name from an ancient tribal game akin to field hockey. The course plays to a par of 72 and 6,900 yards from the back tees. This fully grassed tee to green parkland style course has fairways guarded by stands of mature eucalyptus, mesquite, and palo verde trees. The course enjoys a reputation for its smooth and fast putting surfaces. The greens are open in front and allow chip-and-run approaches, while the distinct tiers on several greens demand a precise shot to the correct level. Water is in play on four holes—three in a row on the back nine.
Visit www.tokasticksgolf.com or call 480-988-9405.