Golf Courses in Phoenix

It’s getting to be that time of year again when the snow birds flock to Arizona to get in a few rounds of golf during the winter months. Arizona is one of those hot spots (forgive the pun) where golf is king in the winter and people come from all over to play the fabulous links. The center of the golf world in Arizona is definitely its capital city, Phoenix. There are dozens of golf courses in and around the Phoenix area and below are just a handful of the more popular ones.

Arizona Biltmore Country Club

The Arizona Biltmore Country Club features 36 holes and what are considered two of Phoenix’s premier golf resorts; the Adobe and the Links. The courses were built back in 1928 but were lovingly restored in 2004. Both courses are nestled in a lush setting with trickling ponds that almost make you forget you’re in a desert. The Adobe features wide fairways and cross bunkers while the Links is known for its rolling fairways, the desert ravines and the multiple lakes. If you need a little chip and putt practice before you play the championship 18 hole putting course will give you all the challenging practice you need.

Arizona Grand Golf Course

The Arizona Grand Golf Course has been a popular destination to visitors and locals for more than two decades. Rather than hiding the desert behind carefully manicured greens and tees, Arizona Grand Golf Course uses the desert to its advantage. This traditional link course winds through Arizona’s South Mountain Park, a protected natural desert preserve. The views are spectacular and the course is very challenging, especially to those unexperienced in desert golf.

Cave Creek Golf Course

Cave Creek Golf Course is the area’s most popular municipal golf course and estimates that approximately 100,000 rounds are played each year. Cave Creek is a trailblazer in the field of environmental golf course design as it was a landfill back in the early 1980s. The reclamation project turned that landfill into an incredible 18 hole course that is loved by everyone who has played it.

Club West Golf Club

Club West Golf Club is located on South Mountain and is surrounded by the Sonoran desert. This course has repeatedly been ranked as one of the top 20 courses in the state. Each hole is designed with the utmost of care and stands on its own as an architectural wonder, to further set each hole apart is the fact that most of the fairways are not contiguous. The one thing that will really stick out in your memory are the dramatic elevation changes on many of the holes.

Encanto Golf Course

The Encanto Golf Course is the third oldest golf course in Arizona having been established in 1935. The course is not for the professional golfer, it’s more suited to an intermediate golfer with its wide fairways and few hazards. The course is perfect for the golfer looking for a good score and not much of a challenge or someone just wanting to get in a quick practice round.

Foothills Golf Club

The Foothills Golf Club is a prime desert golf course with meticulously groomed holes parked adjacent to the unforgiving desert. The course stretches almost 7000 yards and features beautiful blue lakes and a rough 65 bunkers. The four sets of tees are an attempt to make the course accessible to all but any way you slice it (again, no pun intended) this is one challenging golf course.

Maryvale Municipal Golf Course

Maryvale Municipal Golf Course was designed by William F. Bell, noted golf architect of the Torrey Pines. This course is another one that isn’t for the professional golfer but perfect for someone looking to improve their game. This 18 hole municipal course is medium length but well within regulations. As a side note, if you book your tee times online you may be able to get a reduced rate for your round.

Palo Verde Golf Course

Palo Verde Golf Course in Phoenix is a little nine hole executive course with a part of 30. This course is great for beginners and youths but is very popular and making reservations days in advance is recommended. But don’t assume that the course will be full if you’re looking to pick up a quick round, it’s always worth a shot (ok, that pun was intended).

Papago Golf Course

Papago Golf Course has recently been renovated (2008) and is an excellent city golf course, given more care than many others in the area. Located at the base of the Papago Buttes this gem of a public course is another creation of the golf architect William F. Bell and got its start back in 1963. The course has hosted some important local championships and once boasted hosting more than 100,000 rounds a year. The renovations were well deserved and the course is completely refreshed.

Phantom Horse Golf Club

Phantom Horse Golf Club is located in one of the most popular resorts in Phoenix, the Pointe South Mountain Resort. Phantom Horse Golf Club is another course that recently underwent a renovation but still maintains its unique ability to give players a taste of a traditional golf course and a taste of a desert course. The front nine almost lull you into your comfort zone with the traditional manicured grass, although the twists and turns on the fairways will keep you on your toes. By the time you make the turn the back nine with have you second guessing every shot on this desert course with its unique challenges.

Phoenix Country Club

Established in 1899, the Phoenix Country Club has become a staple of Phoenix area golf and has hosted many noted golfers throughout the ages. It’s been ranked in the top 100 most prestigious private clubs in America and was also selected as a Platinum Club of America. The redesigned course pays homage to the past while upgrading and refreshing the course for the future. This is a private course and visitors will have to join to play or find a member to invite you as their guest.
Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Flickr/ Dru Bloomfield