Arizona is a golfing paradise with over 200 golf courses spread across the state. From the lush greens of the desert to the mountainous regions, Arizona offers a diverse range of golfing experiences for players of all skill levels. With such a vast number of courses, it’s no wonder that Arizona is considered one of the top golf destinations in the United States. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there’s a golf course in Arizona that’s perfect for you. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a closer look at the stunning number of golf courses in Arizona and what makes each one unique. So, pack your clubs and get ready to discover the best golf courses in Arizona!
AZ Golf Courses: An Overview
Why Arizona is a Golfer’s Paradise
Climate and Weather Conditions
Arizona’s golf courses are well-known for their year-round playability, with the state’s mild climate allowing for an extended golf season. Golfers can enjoy playing 18 holes on a sunny day in January, something that is not possible in many other parts of the country.
Scenic Diversity and Natural Beauty
Arizona’s golf courses are nestled amidst some of the most picturesque landscapes in the country. From the red rock formations of Sedona to the cactus-studded deserts of the Phoenix area, golfers are treated to breathtaking views that are truly unforgettable.
Accessibility and Affordability
Arizona’s golf courses are also highly accessible and affordable, with many public courses available for play. In addition, the state is home to several top-rated resort courses that offer luxurious accommodations and world-class golfing experiences. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, Arizona has a golf course to suit your needs and budget.
Arizona’s Top Golf Destinations
Scottsdale, located in the Greater Phoenix Area, is renowned for its world-class golf courses. With over 200 courses in the state, it is no surprise that Scottsdale is home to some of the best golf courses in Arizona. From the championship courses of Troon North Golf Club and Grayhawk Golf Club to the scenic fairways of the Tom Weiskopf-designed Troon Golf Club, Scottsdale offers golfers of all skill levels an unparalleled golfing experience.
Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, is another top golf destination in the state. With over 200 golf courses in the city, golfers are spoilt for choice. The Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, is a must-visit course in Phoenix. This 99-hole resort features three 18-hole courses designed by Arthur J. Davis and offers stunning views of the nearby mountains. Other notable courses in Phoenix include the TPC Scottsdale, the Wigwam Resort, and the Troon North Golf Club.
Tucson, located in southern Arizona, is known for its desert golf courses. The city boasts over 30 golf courses, including the acclaimed Omni Tucson National Resort, which features two 18-hole courses designed by Tom Lehman and John Fought. The Resort at Ventana Canyon offers two 18-hole courses designed by Tom Fazio and is a popular destination for golfers looking for a challenge. Other notable courses in Tucson include the Randolph Golf Course and the Tucson National Golf Club.
Sedona, located in northern Arizona, is a destination for those seeking a spiritual and natural retreat. While Sedona may not have as many golf courses as other top golf destinations in Arizona, it does offer some unique and scenic courses. The Sedona Golf Resort features an 18-hole course designed by Keith Foster and offers stunning views of the red rocks that Sedona is famous for. Other notable courses in Sedona include the Oak Creek Country Club and the Seven Canyons Golf Club.
Flagstaff, located in northern Arizona, is a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The city offers several golf courses, including the 18-hole Forest Highlands Golf Club, which features two courses designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish. The Pinewood Country Club is another popular course in Flagstaff, offering a challenging 9-hole course for golfers of all skill levels. Other notable courses in Flagstaff include the Wupatki National Monument Golf Course and the Sedona Golf Resort.
The Golf Courses Themselves
Types of Courses in Arizona
Public golf courses in Arizona are open to the general public and are typically owned and operated by cities, counties, or other governmental entities. These courses are designed to be affordable and accessible to golfers of all skill levels, making them a popular choice for both locals and visitors. Many public courses in Arizona offer a variety of tee options, allowing players to choose the length and difficulty of their round based on their skill level.
Private golf courses in Arizona are owned and operated by private clubs or organizations, and are typically only accessible to members and their guests. These courses often feature luxurious amenities and high-end services, such as private locker rooms, on-site dining, and professional instruction. Private courses in Arizona can be found in a range of locations, from the desert to the mountains, and are often considered some of the best in the state.
Resort golf courses in Arizona are typically located at luxury resorts and hotels, and are open to both guests and the general public. These courses are designed to take advantage of the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, and often feature stunning views and challenging holes. Many resort courses in Arizona offer a variety of amenities, such as on-site dining, spa services, and tennis courts, making them a popular destination for golfers looking for a full vacation experience.
Municipal golf courses in Arizona are owned and operated by cities and towns, and are typically open to the general public. These courses are designed to be affordable and accessible to golfers of all skill levels, and are often located in urban or suburban areas. Many municipal courses in Arizona offer a variety of tee options, as well as discounted rates for residents and senior citizens.
Designers and Architects Behind Arizona’s Golf Courses
Tom Weiskopf is a renowned golf course designer who has designed several courses in Arizona. His designs are known for their natural beauty and challenging playability. One of his most notable designs in Arizona is the Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale, which features two 18-hole courses that wind through the desert landscape.
Jay Morrish is another highly respected golf course architect who has worked on several projects in Arizona. His designs are characterized by their strategic approach and incorporation of the natural landscape. One of his most notable designs in Arizona is the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, which features two 18-hole courses that offer players a challenging and enjoyable experience.
Jack Nicklaus is a legendary golfer who has also made a name for himself as a golf course designer. He has designed several courses in Arizona, including the Tournament Players Club (TPC) Scottsdale, which hosts the Waste Management Phoenix Open each year. Nicklaus’ designs are known for their strategic challenge and emphasis on accuracy.
Hideki Matsuyama is a Japanese professional golfer who has designed a golf course in Arizona. His design, the JT Poston Golf Course at We-Ko-Pa Resort in Fountain Hills, features a unique blend of traditional Japanese design elements and the natural beauty of the Arizona desert. The course is known for its challenging playability and stunning views.
Golf Tournaments and Events in Arizona
Arizona is a hotspot for professional golf tournaments, attracting some of the world’s top golfers. Here are some of the most notable professional golf tournaments held in Arizona:
Waste Management Phoenix Open
The Waste Management Phoenix Open is one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the United States. It is held annually at the TPC Scottsdale golf course in Scottsdale, Arizona. The tournament has a rich history dating back to 1932 and has been a part of the PGA Tour since 1947. The event attracts a massive crowd, with an estimated 200,000 people attending each year. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is known for its unique atmosphere, with fans creating a party-like atmosphere on the golf course.
The Cactus Tour is a professional golf tour that features men and women golfers. The tour is designed to provide an opportunity for up-and-coming golfers to showcase their skills and gain experience. The Cactus Tour is held at various golf courses across Arizona and attracts a wide range of golfers from different parts of the world. The tour offers a variety of events, including stroke play, match play, and team events.
Arizona Women’s Golf Association Tour
The Arizona Women’s Golf Association Tour is a professional golf tour that features women golfers. The tour is designed to provide an opportunity for female golfers to compete at a high level and gain experience. The Arizona Women’s Golf Association Tour is held at various golf courses across Arizona and attracts a wide range of golfers from different parts of the world. The tour offers a variety of events, including stroke play, match play, and team events.
These professional golf tournaments showcase the talent of some of the world’s top golfers and provide an opportunity for golf enthusiasts to witness the game at its highest level.
Arizona State Golf Association Events
The Arizona State Golf Association (ASGA) hosts several amateur tournaments throughout the year for golfers of all skill levels. These events provide an opportunity for golfers to compete in a fun and friendly environment while also showcasing their skills. Some of the most popular ASGA events include:
- The Arizona Open Championship: This prestigious tournament is open to professional and amateur golfers and is held annually at one of Arizona’s premier golf courses. The Arizona Open Championship is a 54-hole event that attracts top talent from across the state and beyond.
- The Arizona Women’s Open Championship: This tournament is specifically for female golfers and is held annually at a different course in Arizona. The Arizona Women’s Open Championship is a 36-hole event that attracts top female golfers from across the state and beyond.
- The Arizona Senior Open Championship: This tournament is open to golfers aged 50 and over and is held annually at a different course in Arizona. The Arizona Senior Open Championship is a 36-hole event that attracts top senior golfers from across the state and beyond.
College Golf Tournaments
Arizona is also home to several colleges and universities with top-ranked golf programs. These schools host several tournaments throughout the year, providing an opportunity for amateur golfers to compete against some of the best college golfers in the country. Some of the most popular college golf tournaments in Arizona include:
- The ASU Thunderbird Invitational: Hosted by Arizona State University, this tournament is one of the most prestigious college golf events in the country. The ASU Thunderbird Invitational is a 54-hole event that attracts top college golf teams from across the United States.
- The Arizona Intercollegiate: Hosted by the University of Arizona, this tournament is open to college golf teams from across the country. The Arizona Intercollegiate is a 54-hole event that attracts top college golf teams from across the United States.
- The Wigwam Invitational: Hosted by the Arizona State Golf Association, this tournament is open to college golf teams from across the country. The Wigwam Invitational is a 54-hole event that attracts top college golf teams from across the United States.
Resources for Planning Your Arizona Golf Trip
Golf Course Websites and Directories
Arizona Golf Guide
The Arizona Golf Guide is an online resource that provides detailed information about the state’s golf courses. It offers a comprehensive directory of courses, complete with descriptions, ratings, and contact information. Additionally, the guide includes reviews from golfers, which can help you make an informed decision about which courses to play during your trip.
Golf Digest’s Best Golf Courses in Arizona
Golf Digest is a well-known publication that rates and reviews golf courses across the United States. Its website provides a list of the best golf courses in Arizona, complete with ratings, descriptions, and photos. This resource is especially helpful for golfers who are looking for the most challenging and scenic courses in the state.
Arizona Golf Publications
Arizona Golf Publications offers a variety of print and online resources for golfers planning a trip to Arizona. Its website includes a directory of courses, as well as articles and reviews about the state’s best golf destinations. Additionally, the company produces a print magazine that features in-depth coverage of Arizona’s golf scene, including interviews with course designers and professional golfers.
Golf Resorts and Accommodations
Luxury Resorts and Spas
Arizona is home to numerous luxury resorts and spas that cater to golf enthusiasts. These resorts offer world-class amenities, including championship golf courses, spacious guest rooms, and top-notch dining options. Some of the most popular luxury resorts in Arizona include:
- The Phoenician: Located in Scottsdale, The Phoenician is a AAA Five Diamond resort that features two championship golf courses designed by Homer Flint and Arthur Jack Sullivan. The resort also offers a luxurious spa, multiple pools, and a variety of dining options.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain: Situated in Marana, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is a luxury resort that boasts a 27-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The resort also features a spa, multiple pools, and several dining options, including a fine dining restaurant and a casual café.
- The Biltmore: Located in Phoenix, The Biltmore is a historic resort that features 99 holes of golf across three courses. The resort also offers a luxurious spa, multiple pools, and a variety of dining options, including a fine dining restaurant and a casual café.
Golf Packages and Deals
Arizona golf resorts offer a variety of golf packages and deals that cater to different budgets and preferences. These packages often include accommodations, rounds of golf, and other amenities such as meals and transportation. Some of the most popular golf packages and deals in Arizona include:
- The Grand Golf Package at Troon North Golf Club: This package includes two rounds of golf on Troon North’s Pinnacle and Monument courses, a $100 spa credit, and a $100 food and beverage credit.
- The Tom’s Thumb Golf Package at Grayhawk Golf Club: This package includes one round of golf on the Raptor Course, a pre-round valet parking pass, and a post-round beverage and appetizer.
- The Troon Challenge Package at Troon Golf: This package includes a two-night stay at a participating resort, a round of golf at a Troon-managed course, and a $100 credit towards the Troon Challenge event.
Vacation Rentals and Home Rentals
For those looking for a more private and cost-effective option, vacation rentals and home rentals are a popular choice in Arizona. These rentals offer more space and amenities than traditional hotel rooms, and often include access to golf courses and other recreational facilities. Some of the most popular vacation rental and home rental options in Arizona include:
- VRBO: VRBO offers a variety of vacation rentals in Arizona, including condos, homes, and villas. Many of these rentals are located near golf courses and offer access to golf clubs and other recreational facilities.
- Airbnb: Airbnb offers a range of unique vacation rental options in Arizona, including private homes, apartments, and condos. Many of these rentals are located near golf courses and offer access to golf clubs and other recreational facilities.
- Golf Advisor: Golf Advisor offers a range of home rentals and vacation rentals in Arizona, including private homes, condos, and villas. Many of these rentals are located near golf courses and offer access to golf clubs and other recreational facilities.
Tips for Enjoying Golf in Arizona
Clothing and Equipment
Golf is a sport that demands respect for tradition and etiquette. As such, it is essential to dress appropriately when playing at any golf course. In Arizona, the dress code may vary from one course to another, but generally, it is conservative. Men are expected to wear collared shirts, slacks or shorts, and golf shoes. Women can wear golf skirts, shorts, or pants, and golf shoes. It is always best to check with the specific course beforehand to confirm their dress code policy.
Essential Golf Equipment
In addition to proper attire, it is important to have the right golf equipment to enjoy the game fully. Here are some essential pieces of golf equipment that every golfer should have:
- Golf clubs: The most important piece of equipment for golfers is their golf clubs. It is crucial to have a set of clubs that fits the golfer’s swing and style.
- Golf balls: Golf balls come in various types, such as two-piece, three-piece, and four-piece balls. Choosing the right ball depends on the golfer’s skill level, playing conditions, and personal preference.
- Golf bag: A golf bag is necessary to carry all the golf equipment and accessories. It should be lightweight, durable, and have enough compartments to hold all the items.
- Golf shoes: Golf shoes are designed for the golf course’s uneven terrain and provide support and stability during the swing. They also have spiked or cleated soles for better traction on the green.
- Golf glove: A golf glove is an essential accessory for golfers as it enhances grip and control during the swing. It also helps to absorb sweat and keep the hands dry.
- Golf tees: Golf tees are used to tee off and place the golf ball on the tee box. They come in various materials, such as wood, plastic, and metal.
- Golf balls markers: Golf balls markers are used to mark the golfer’s ball on the green to avoid confusion with other players’ balls. They come in various shapes and designs, such as small flags or coins.
- Golf umbrella: An umbrella is necessary to protect from the sun and rain during a golf game. It should be lightweight and easy to carry in the golf bag.
By having the right golf equipment, golfers can enjoy their game to the fullest and enhance their performance on the course.
Playing Safe and Respectful
As a golfer, it is important to be mindful of course etiquette to ensure a smooth and enjoyable round for everyone. Some basic rules of course etiquette include:
- Keeping pace with the group in front of you
- Repairing ball marks and divots
- Raking bunkers after use
- Being aware of your surroundings and not disturbing other players
- Respecting the rules and regulations of the course
Arizona’s golf courses are home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, lizards, and even snakes. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and give wildlife plenty of space. If you encounter a dangerous animal, such as a rattlesnake, it is important to remain calm and give the animal plenty of room to pass. If you are concerned for your safety or the safety of others, seek assistance from a course staff member.
In addition to being mindful of wildlife, it is important to take safety precautions while on the golf course. This includes wearing appropriate clothing and footwear, staying hydrated, and being aware of your surroundings. It is also important to be aware of the weather conditions and take appropriate measures to protect yourself from the sun and heat. If you are playing in a remote area, it is a good idea to bring a mobile phone or other means of communication in case of an emergency.
Exploring Arizona Beyond the Golf Courses
Arizona offers a plethora of opportunities for those who seek to venture beyond the lush fairways and challenge themselves with alternative outdoor activities. The state’s diverse terrain and rich history provide an array of experiences for visitors to immerse themselves in, creating lasting memories that extend far beyond the golf course.
Hiking and Outdoor Activities
- The Grand Canyon: A natural wonder that transcends words, the Grand Canyon offers breathtaking vistas and an array of hiking trails for visitors to explore. From the easy stroll along the South Rim Trail to the more strenuous descent into the canyon’s depths, this awe-inspiring site is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Saguaro National Park: Home to the iconic giant saguaro cactus, this park offers numerous hiking trails that meander through the Sonoran Desert, providing a chance to witness the stunning beauty of the Arizona landscape.
- Monument Valley: Famous for its majestic red sandstone buttes and mesas, Monument Valley is a destination that embodies the spirit of the American West. Guided tours and hiking trails offer a chance to immerse oneself in the rich history and striking scenery of this legendary location.
Cultural and Historical Sites
- Arizona State Museum: Dedicated to the history and culture of Arizona, this museum boasts an extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and research opportunities. Visitors can delve into the state’s prehistoric past, learn about the diverse indigenous cultures, and explore the history of Arizona’s early settlers.
- Pueblo Grande Museum: Located in Phoenix, this archaeological site and museum showcases the history of the Hohokam people, a prehistoric culture that thrived in the region from approximately 300 to 1450 AD. Interactive exhibits and informative displays offer visitors a glimpse into the lives of these early inhabitants.
- Fort Verde State Historic Park: Once the military headquarters for the US Army in Arizona, Fort Verde now serves as a museum and historical site. Visitors can explore the well-preserved buildings and learn about the fort’s role in the region’s history.
Dining and Nightlife Options
- The Grill at Scottsdale’s Fashion Square: A stylish dining destination that offers a unique fusion of Southwestern and Mediterranean cuisine, this upscale grill is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
- Cibo Restaurant: Nestled in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, Cibo is a cozy Italian eatery that serves up authentic dishes and a warm, inviting atmosphere.
- The Lost Leaf: A trendy cocktail bar located in Phoenix, The Lost Leaf is known for its creative cocktails and laid-back vibe. The bar also features a curated selection of local art and an inviting patio space.
Making the Most of Your Arizona Golf Experience
- Researching the best golf courses in Arizona based on your preferences
- Booking tee times in advance to avoid disappointment
- Planning your itinerary to include a mix of public and private courses
- Familiarizing yourself with the courses’ difficulty levels and course layouts
Connecting with Local Golf Communities
- Joining local golf clubs or organizations to connect with other golf enthusiasts
- Participating in golf tournaments or events to meet new people and network
- Attending golf clinics or seminars to improve your skills and knowledge
- Sharing your experiences and recommendations with other golfers to help them plan their own Arizona golf trip
Sharing Your Golf Adventures
- Documenting your experiences and memories through photography or videography
- Sharing your photos and videos on social media platforms to connect with other golfers and inspire others to visit Arizona
- Writing reviews or blog posts about your favorite courses and experiences to help others make informed decisions
- Collecting souvenirs or memorabilia from your favorite courses to remind you of your amazing Arizona golf adventures
1. How many golf courses are in Arizona?
There are approximately 200 golf courses in Arizona, making it a golfer’s paradise. The state offers a wide range of courses, from public to private, and from beginner-friendly to championship-level.
2. Are there any famous golf courses in Arizona?
Yes, Arizona is home to several world-renowned golf courses, including the Tournament Players Club (TPC) Scottsdale, which hosts the Waste Management Phoenix Open, one of the most popular events on the PGA Tour. Other notable courses include the Troon North Golf Club, Grayhawk Golf Club, and the Biltmore Estates.
3. Can I play golf year-round in Arizona?
Yes, golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf in Arizona throughout the year. While the summers can be hot, many courses offer early morning tee times and provide opportunities for players to take breaks and cool off. During the winter months, the weather is typically mild, making it an ideal time to play golf in Arizona.
4. Are there any golf resorts in Arizona?
Yes, Arizona has several golf resorts that offer luxurious accommodations and world-class golf courses. Some of the most popular golf resorts in Arizona include the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Monteluce, and the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.
5. Are there any golf courses designed by famous golfers in Arizona?
Yes, several golf courses in Arizona have been designed by famous golfers. For example, the Troon North Golf Club was designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, while the Grayhawk Golf Club features courses designed by Tom Fazio and Rees Jones. Additionally, the Biltmore Estates Golf Course was designed by Charles B. McDonald.
6. Do I need to reserve tee times in advance in Arizona?
While it’s always a good idea to reserve tee times in advance, it’s not always necessary. Many courses in Arizona offer a first-come, first-served policy for tee times, especially during the off-peak season. However, during peak times, such as weekends and holidays, it’s recommended to book tee times in advance to avoid disappointment.
7. How much does it cost to play golf in Arizona?
The cost of playing golf in Arizona varies depending on the course and time of day. On average, players can expect to pay between $30 to $100 for a round of golf, with premium courses and resort courses typically charging more. Additionally, some courses offer discounts for players who book multiple rounds or are part of a group.