Must-tee Golf Courses in Scottsdale
Saying that Scottsdale is a golf town is like saying that there are a few old buildings in Rome or a few places where they put on plays in New York City. There are no fewer than 51 courses in Scottsdale itself, and well over 200 in the surrounding metro area. For a visitor to the area who also happens to be a golfer, the options can seem a bit overwhelming. Where to start?
While it would be impossible to list all the great courses in the Scottsdale area in the limited space here, a short list of some of the best will be like that magical tee shot on the very first hole – a great place to start.
Troon North Golf Club
Troon is the indisputable crown jewel of golf in the Scottsdale-Phoenix metro area, and the two Tom Weiskopf-Jay Morrish courses are “must-plays” for golfers who visit the area. The Pinnacle and Monument courses are carved into the spectacular desert landscape and offer panoramic views of arroyos, saguaro cacti, dramatic rocky outcrops, Pinnacle Peak, and the surrounding mountains. Play them both; Monument for the scenery and Pinnacle for a great challenge. Elevated tees and shifts in elevation can be tantalizingly deceptive. Troon North is located at 10320 E. Dynamite Blvd., Scottsdale.
The TPC Scottsville Stadium Course is host to the Phoenix Open, a regular stop – and the rowdiest one – on the PGA Tour. It may not be the most picturesque course in the area, but it has plenty of thrills and challenges. The par-5 15th, with its green on an island, and the drivable par-4 17th are among the most high risk/reward holes on the course. And during the tournament, the par-3 16th has been called “the most exciting hole in golf.” Just across the street is the Stadium Course’s lesser-known sister, the par-71 Champions Course. Less expensive but just as enjoyable, it is a walkable course that got a major facelift in 2007. You can find TPC Scottsdale at 17020 North Hayden Rd., Scottsdale.
Grayhawk Golf Club
Both courses at Grayhawk – Talon and Raptor – have won high praise since the club opened in 1994. The Tom Fazio-designed Raptor course stretches for 7,090 yards with long and short par-4s and some great par-5s. Palo verde, mesquite, ironwood trees, and majestic saguaro cacti dot the scenery, and the splendid McDowell Mountains are in the distance. Talon, designed by David Graham and Gary Panks, has hosted several top-talent events. Along with the mountains, the Phoenix and Scottsdale skylines are visible from the course, and the back nine plays around stunning box canyons. The par-3 17th, with its fun little island green, is one of the best challenges on the course. Grayhawk Golf Club is at 8620 E Thompson Peak Pkwy., Scottsdale.
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
Just northeast of Scottsdale in Fort McDowell, the We-Ko-Pa Golf Club sports two courses in a beautiful and serene setting. Both courses are etched into the lovely Sonoran Desert and boast magnificent views of the McDowell Mountains, Red Mountains, Four Peaks, and the Superstitions. The Cholla Course, designed by Scott Miller, is 7,225 yards from end to end and offers a true one-with-nature golf experience; no homes or developments spoil the pristine view. The Saguaro Course, designed by Ben Crenshaw, is a bit easier than Cholla. It is a 6,966-yard walkable course that follows the natural contours of the desert. We-Ko-Pa Golf Club is located at 18200 E Toh Vee Cir., Fort McDowell.
Camelback Golf Club
Located in Scottsdale, Camelback Golf Club features 36 championship holes. Two scenic courses, Ambiente and Padre, boast native grasses, lakes, lofty trees and mountain views. The terrain, with its elevation changes, bunkers and water holes, challenges golfers of all skill levels. Play a round in spectacular fashion on your next Arizona vacation.
The Short course at Mountain shadows
The Short Course is a delightful par-3 golf course, that is efficient and thrilling to play. The elegant design and layout challenges experienced golfers to control their distance and swing, while beginners can bump along each hole on wide-open greens. In the 1970s and 80s, Golf Digest continually named the golf course at Mountain Shadows one of the best short courses in the U.S. Originally designed by Arthur Jack Snyder, the course has been re-envisioned by golf course architect Forrest Richardson, who worked with Snyder for more than 25 years.
It’s one of a kind due to its breathtaking views of Camelback and Mummy Mountains and its scenic desert surroundings which make the course a true destination with a golfing experience that cannot be matched. The Short Course at Mountain Shadows is located at 5445 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale.