With over 300 days a year of sunshine, Arizona has developed into a desert paradise that attracts millions of visitors per year. A true golfer’s heaven. Home to more than 300 golf courses Arizona, and the Phoenix-Scottsdale area in particular, has developed into one of the world's top golf destinations.
1.Troon North Golf Club
This course is a "must-plays" thanks to a pair of courses that dish out cacti, arroyos, rock outcroppings and stunning vistas of Pinnacle Peak and the surrounding mountains. The crown jewel of golf clubs in the Valley, the club features two courses: the Pinnacle and Monument. The Monument Course, designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Moorish, is an ode to British Open golf with its bump-and-run shots and hole names: No. 9 is affectionately called Hell's Bunker. Troon North's Pinnacle Course is known for its greens; they're elevated, tiered significantly, sloped from back to front, and protected by long, deep bunkers.
2. TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course
Home to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the best-attended (and rowdiest) stop on the PGA Tour, the TPC Scottsdale Stadium course is nobody's idea of a beauty queen, but what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in thrills. No hole in the Valley is more intimidating than the infamous par-3 16th.
3. Talking Stick Golf Club
Challenging greens and a relatively flat course with wide fairways are the hallmarks of this club. Though their flat fairways provide less drama than many Valley courses, you won't find a more artfully crafted set of bunkers in town than at Talking Stick.
4. We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
We-Ko-Pa may be the most peaceful first-class experience in the Valley. There are no houses on the course or traffic to distract golfers. The Cholla course, a Scott Miller design, has incomparable scenery and holes that zigzag artfully through canyons, over ridges and down mountain slopes. The Saguaro course, a 2006 Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw design, is wide enough that a spray hitter will still find his tee shot.
5. Gold Canyon Golf Resort
Forty-five minutes east of Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport is Gold Canyon Golf Resort's Dinosaur Mountain course, a Ken Kavanaugh design that should be mentioned in any discussion of Scottsdale's best layouts. Dinosaur Mountain will truly get your attention. It's one of the Valley's most spectacular courses, both visually and in terms of how it plays. It features six par 3s and dramatic elevation changes from tee to green.
6. The Boulders
36 holes laid out in a setting unlike anything you're likely to find elsewhere in the world. Giant, 12-million-year-old namesake boulders -- some perched in seemingly magical and precarious pirouette poses -- dominate the Sonoran Desert landscape. Jay Morrish sculpted two superb courses from the prehistoric rocks that define this property. The North course is the stronger, better balanced of the two, but the South has the more spectacular holes.
7. Grayhawk Golf Club
The Tom Fazio-designed Raptor course has hosted most of the big events, including the PGA Tour's Frys.com Open (2007-2009), but the David Graham/Gary Panks-crafted Talon course offers more drama, notably at the par-3 11th, where golfers traverse a swinging bridge to reach the back tee, and at the island-green, par-3 17th that's rimmed with colorful flowers.
8. Southern Dunes Golf Club
Just 25 minutes south of Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport, Southern Dunes is a big, bold, 7,300-yard layout and possibly the very best work that Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley have done. Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is an Australian links layout that features 129 sand traps and high grasses bordering nearly every fairway. It also can play long: From the tips the course has a 76.2 rating, a 141 slope and five par 4s of at least 463 yards.
9. Quintero Golf Club
Originally built as a private club but went public to improve its bottom line. Quintero has severe elevation changes on every hole and, indisputably, the best collection of par 3s in the Valley. Ranked as the “Best Public Course” by both Golf Digest and GolfWeekly Magazines in 2016, the course was designed by master golf course architect Rees Jones. Many of the holes are isolated in valleys, surrounded by hills, which is somewhat reminiscent of another really good Jones course, Cascata near Las Vegas. Bordering Lake Pleasant, the course features generous fairways, beautiful bunkering and multi-level bentgrass greens against a magnificent backdrop desert landscape, wildlife and mountains.
10. Sunridge Canyon Golf Club
Designed by Keith Foster in 1995, this 6,823-yard par 71 course is a shot-maker's delight. Golfers can't just grip it and rip it from the tees. Washes intersect nine fairways, forcing players to think about their club selection. Sunridge features perhaps the best closing stretch of holes in the Valley.
Cost: $65 - $150
11. Verrado Golf Club
Stretching to more than 7,000 yards, and offering jaw dropping views and rugged natural beauty, Verrado Golf Club is an exceptional West Phoenix Valley golf experience that can accommodate golfers of all levels.
Cost: $75 - $129
12. Wigwam Resort
Established in the 1920’s Wigwam’s three 18-hole championship golf courses offer unmatched diversity (two of which were designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. The Gold Course, Patriot Course and Heritage Course all feature straightforward layouts). The jewel is the recently redone, 50-year-old Gold Course. Designed by Jones, Sr. (Patriot is also RTJ) and updated by Tom Lehman, the Gold really is pure gold with a smattering of strategic bunkers, water, doglegs, plenty of pines and eucalyptus trees -- and lots of memorable holes.
13. Raven Golf Club
The design team of Gary Panks and former PGA Tour Pro David Graham took cotton and alfalfa fields and turned them into Midwest feel with pine trees lining every hole. The Raven is located in the middle of Phoenix, but to get on the course is to feel like you're somewhere in the parklands.
Cost: $49 - $85
14. Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club
Recently named by Golf Digest as a Top 10 Best New Course in North America, the Bill Brownlee and Wendell Pickett-designed course features a variety of holes, elevated tees and natural beauty. Nothing about this golf course, which has five par 3s and five par 5s, is boring.
Cost: Private, with limited outside bookings
15. Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
There's nothing about the Westin Kierland that isn't fun. On one nine, tee shots even funnel toward the middle of generous fairways, so it's difficult to get in trouble off the tee. But really, all three nines at this wonderful resort are player friendly, in great shape and easy to navigate.