Some of the best golf courses in Arizona—and the nation—are in Scottsdale.
Here are six Scottsdale courses you should play (and play again) this year:
Troon North Golf Club
Many consider Troon North Golf Club the best golfing venue in the state thanks to its two breathtaking desert courses: Pinnacle and Monument. Pinnacle is the more traditional course and is actually walkable, while Monument offers stunning views of Pinnacle Peak. Both 18-hole courses are kept in PGA Tour condition.
Original designer and British Open Champion Tom Weiskopf recently renovated the courses so they’re more in line with his original vision for a classic desert golf experience. If you haven’t played since these renovations, you haven’t really played Troon North.
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
If Troon North is the number one Scottsdale club, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is a close second. Like Troon, it has two 18-hole courses: Cholla and Saguaro. Designed by Scott Miller, Cholla was named one of the 10 best new public courses in the world by Sports Illustrated after it opened in 2001.
Don’t overlook Saguaro, though. The newer of the two courses has only a few yards separating its greens from the next set of tees, making it one of the few truly walking-friendly options around. We-Ko-Pa provides manual push carts so you won’t have to worry about lugging your clubs around if you decide to play it.
The Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale isn’t the most visually stunning course, but who can resist tackling the same 18 holes that PGA greats like Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, and Phil Mickelson have played in the Waste Management Phoenix Open? The Champions Course is also fun to play.
TPC Scottsdale has been named “one of America’s best courses” by Golfweek and “one of the Top 50 Golf Resort Destinations in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler.
Kierland Golf Club
The Kierland Golf Club is definitely unique. Even though it’s in the middle of the desert, there isn’t a single saguaro on the property, and instead of one or two 18-hole courses, there are actually three nine-hole courses: Acacia, Mesquite, and Ironwood.
But what really sets it apart are the air-conditioned golf carts, the bagpiper that plays near the ninth green of the Acacia late in the afternoon, and the unusual ways you can play golf on the courses. Kierland Golf Club lets you ditch the cart and go from hole to hole on a Segway (after an hour-long lesson), a golf board (an electric board that allows you to “surf” the course), or a bike. You can also arrange in advance to golf the course in kilts while drinking Johnnie Walker.
Talking Stick Resort
Golfweek included Talking Stick Resort on its list of best casino courses, and it’s easy to see why. Designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, the 18-hole North and South courses, both offer excellent golfing only steps from the resort and casino. The North Course, with its links-style design, is the tougher of the two and features grasslands and unique bunkering,while the South Course, with its tree-lined fairways and water features, is more traditional and straightforward.
Bonus: The club is offering a $99 all-inclusive golf card that treats the cardholder and one guest to complimentary breakfast, lunch, and non-alcoholic beverage on each day of play, up to 50 percent off green fees, and 10 percent off select food and beverages. The Card is valid through 10/1/16.
Grayhawk Golf Club
This is the classic golf club the pros hung out at in the 1990s. In fact, Phil Mickelson was such a regular that the restaurant was named for him. Today, the two 18-hole courses are just as challenging and impressive as ever.
Recently reopened after a renovation, the Tom Fazio-designed Raptor Course has been named one of the “Best Public Golf Courses in Arizona” by Golf Magazine. The Talon Course offers incredible views of the McDowell Mountains as well as the Phoenix skyline and features holes that skirt steep drop-offs and thick stands of mesquite, palo verde, and ironwood trees.
Scottsdale and the Valley area are full of remarkable golf courses full of great views, good eats, and fantastic golfing. Feel free to give me a call if you’d like to chat about any of the other courses not mentioned here- I’ve played many of them and would be glad to recommend even more spots to play.