Seven of the best public golf courses in Arizona you absolutely have to play
Many of the best golf courses in Arizona are reserved for members of private clubs, but there are plenty of great public courses in the Grand Canyon State.
Here we rank seven (or nine) courses in the state that are open to visitors without significant restrictions.
TPC Scottsdale: Stadium
TPC Scottsdale is often criticised as an over-priced round, but the best tip for enjoying a round there is to put the price out of your mind.
It isn’t cheap, but Scottsdale is most certainly worth playing with the back nine a real treat.
Its signature 16th hole draws visitors from around the world to Arizona.
Ventana Canyon: Mountain
The Mountain course at Ventana Canyon boasts one of the great signature holes in all of golf.
The short par three is tucked into the rugged rocks of the Santa Catalina mountains and plays across a canyon of cacti. The tee offers a breathtaking panorama that stretches across the Sonoran Desert into Mexico.
Troon North Golf Club: Monument
The Monument course was the first of two 18-hole layouts to be introduced at Troon North. Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish designed it amid the harsh topography of the Sonoran Desert in 1990, five years before its sister course (the Pinnacle) debuted.
The lush Monument fairways, weave through a sandy desert terrain, skirting arroyos, dry washes, and a variety of cactus and mesquite on their way to relatively huge, elevated greens.
Golf Club At Dove Mountain: Saguaro/Tortolita
The championship course’s opening nine fairways are pleasantly wide, although they sometimes demand difficult carries over desert waste areas. Pay special attention to the 536-yard 5th, a monster par four.
On the back nine, the par three 12th begins at the highest point on the course, and holes 14-17 are expertly routed through a canyon before reaching the home hole, which is nestled inside a grassy hillside layout – ideal for fans watching match play games that go all the way to the finish!
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club: Saguaro and Cholla
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club has two 18-hole courses that are both really worth your time. While Saguaro is the definite feature of the facility, the Cholla course is also a great golfing experience.
The Saguaro Course at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club combines distinctive desert-golf traits with the timeless traditions of links-style design. It’s built for walking with greens situated near to the next tee. It follows the natural movement of the land, and the playing corridors are wider when compared to traditional desert design.
The aesthetic charm of Cholla appeals to golfers just as much as its strategic challenge. For this reason, Cholla is widely considered as one of the most pristine desert golf experiences in the Southwest with nothing to spoil the sweeping views of the nearby river valleys, Red Mountain, Four Peaks and the rest of the majestic Superstition Mountains.
Wickenburg Ranch: Big Wick
The 18-hole, par-71 championship course known as Big Wick was meticulously built to be top-notch ranking it as one of the Best Golf Courses in the United States. The course is situated in the undulating hills outside of Wickenburg, Arizona. With impeccably groomed greens, lush fairways, and demanding play, the course provides an outstanding golfing experience that will delight even the most discerning golfer.
The masterfully constructed mix of six par 3s, five par 5s, and seven par 4s winds through canyons and arroyos with vistas of Vulture Peak and Prescott National Forest, ranging in length from just under 4,500 yards at the forward tees to more over 7,000 yards at the championship tees.
Quintero Golf Club
Quintero presents novel obstacles for scratch players, requiring precise strokes from tee to green.
Quintero, located less than an hour northwest of Phoenix Sky Harbour Airport and masterfully carved from the High Sonoran Desert, is a must-play golf course in Scottsdale. Visitors can stay and play in one of the Club’s designer-decorated residences as well.
The design winds through valleys in the foothills of the central Arizona Hieroglyphic Mountains. The mountains not only provide a stunning backdrop, but they also offer exhilarating elevation changes that challenge players.
Perhaps the finest hole, or at least one of the most memorable one-shot holes you’ll ever play, is the 9th, where you’ll need to carry a diamond-shaped lake to reach the green, which is placed on top of a rock wall.
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