Best Public Golf Courses in Arizona
The Phoenix-Scottsdale area is home to some of the finest golf courses in the country. Whether you are new to the game, already an avid golfer or looking for a resort atmosphere to share with another person who is not a golfer, Phoenix-Scottsdale has much to offer. Below is our list of the 5 best public golf courses in Arizona.
Troon North Golf Club
Visually stunning, Troon North’s two separate courses, Monument and Pinnacle, are nestled in the foothills below a magnificent landscape of natural ravines. A semi-private golf course, it offers both memberships and daily tee times for non-members.
Designed by British Open Champion Tom Weiskopf, Troon North has been ranked as one of Golf Channel’s “Top 10 Arizona Resort Courses.” While some consider it pricey, its immaculate fairways and bentgrass greens offer the discerning golfer an exceptional experience—and the Dynamite Grille, open to the public, offers the discerning diner a delicious menu and marvelously scenic views.
Director of Instruction Doug Hammer is a Class A member of the Southwest Section of the PGA of America and is recognized as one of Golf Tips Magazine Top 30 instructors. A Callaway Master Club-fitter as well, Doug can ensure that you have the perfect equipment for your swing to advance your game to the next level.
You can even trade your golf cart for a GolfBoard and dramatically increase the pace of play!
Part of the Tournament Players Club Network, TPC Scottsdale is one of more than 30 golf properties licensed by the PGA TOUR. They were all designed by some of golf’s most elite architects and offer recreational golfers the opportunity to play on the same layouts as the world’s best golfers.
There are several levels of reasonably priced Annual Passes available, from Premium through Junior, and the sense of community and camaraderie are constantly fostered by interclub matches, weekly women’s league play and mixed golf events. There are even summer golf camps for children.
Additionally, the TPC Passport offered with eligible membership gives you access to playing privileges, social events and more at over 200 properties worldwide, plus a host of other benefits.
Under the umbrella of “Together, Anything’s Possible,”—the charitable mission of the PGA TOUR and TPC Network—funds are provided to a number of organizations, including:
- Birdies for the Brave
- Make-A-Wish Foundation
- TPC Adopt a Charity
- The First Tee
Grayhawk Golf Club
Located in the foothills of the majestic McDowell Mountains, Grayhawk’s two, daily-fee, 18-hole courses—Talon and Raptor—have been listed among the “Best Public Golf Courses in Arizona” by Golf Magazine. Both have hosted numerous professional golf events.
The Talon Course, designed by former U.S. Open and PGA Champion David Graham and golf course architect Gary Panks, is one of the highest-rated golf courses of its kind in Arizona.
The Raptor Course was designed by Tom Fazio, who was honored three times by Golf Digest Magazine as Best Modern Day Golf Course Architect. He has designed more than 120 courses and has more courses ranked among the top 100 in the U.S. than any other golf course architect.
Besides magnificent views and exciting course layouts, Grayhawk Golf Club boasts an award-winning golf shop, beautifully furnished as an Old Southwester trading post, as well as four dining options:
- The Morning Joint, offering smoothies, full breakfasts, and more
- Quill Creek Café, providing breathtaking views along with American and Southwestern classics
- Isabella’s Kitchen, for the finest in rustic Italian dining
- Phil’s Grill, a leather-clad hangout decorated with memorabilia from PGA TOUR Ambassador Phil Mickelson
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
Proudly owned by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, We-Ko-Pa Golf Course is a daily-fee facility with two 18-hole courses.
La Cholla, designed by award-winning, international golf course architect Scott Miller, is thought to be one of the Southwest’s most aesthetic and pristine desert golf experiences. Among its many awards and accolades, it was ranked 9th in the 2016 State-by-State Courses You Can Play in Arizona, 20th in 2016’s list of Casino Courses, and was No. 46 in Golf Magazine’s “Golf’s Top 100 You Can Play” for 2016/2017.
With greens situated near to the next tee, Saguaro follows the natural movement of the land and is considered unique for the desert. Inspired by the “Golden Age of Architecture,” the legendary team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed Saguaro based on the philosophy that traditional, strategic golf is the most rewarding.
Offering stay-and-play options, other memorable “destinations” on the Fort McDowell Reservation include:
- Fort McDowell Casino
- We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center
- Poco Diablo Hotel
- Fort McDowell Adventures
Quintero Golf Club
If you are looking for the ultimate stay-and-play golf vacation, Quintero is for you. It was ranked as the “Best Public Golf Course” by both Golf Digest and Golfweek Magazine in 2016, and one of Golfweek’s top 100 golf courses in the United States for the past nine years. Designed by master golf course architect Rees Jones, it has been described as “The Purest Golf Experience” in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area.
In addition, it offers golf instruction for all levels of experience from beginners to professionals.
The countless amenities and activities on the lush, secluded grounds—including swimming in the sparkling pool, a hot tub, a barbeque area, walking, boating and hiking—can make time off from playing the championship course an unforgettable experience. Returning to the luxurious accommodations will make you feel pampered and refreshed at the end of the day. They include:
- Terrace Casita, a condo adjacent to pool, Jacuzzi and entertainment area.
- Executive Loft, a 2,500 sq. ft., 2nd floor condo with towering windows and magnificent views.
- Private Estate, a private, fully equipped home with three bedrooms, each of which features its own luxurious en suite facilities.
Public vs. Private Golf Courses in Phoenix
What is the difference between a private, semi-private, and public golf course? A public golf course is essentially open to the public. These courses are typically less expensive than private courses. A private golf course requires membership, are less crowded, and offer a range of other activities. The fairways are in perfect condition, and these courses have usually been designed by one of the world’s top course architects.
A semi-private golf course is a hybrid of the two, with tee times available for non-members, and members gaining special privileges. The greens on semi-private courses are usually immaculately groomed and offer discerning golfers visiting the area the option of playing a top-rated course without a membership.
Something for Everyone
The Phoenix-Scottsdale area has something for everyone, from summer golf camps for children to immersive stay-and-play resorts—enhanced by shops, restaurants and nightlife that make it the perfect destination.