Arizona is a great state for golf, and so it naturally has some great courses to check out. To help you zero in on the best ones and rent a property near to one of these golf paradises, we’ve put together a list of the 9 best golf courses in Arizona.
In This Article:
- Starr Pass — Tucson, AZ
- TPC Scottsdale — Scottsdale, AZ
- Quintero Golf Club — Peoria, AZ
- South Course at Boulders — Carefree, AZ
- Talon Course at Greyhawk — Scottsdale, AZ
- Golf Club at Johnson Ranch — Queen Creek, AZ
- We-Ko-Pa Golf Club — Fort McDowell, AZ
- Pine Canyon Club — Flagstaff, AZ
- Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club — Maricopa, AZ
Why is Arizona so great for golf?
Arizona’s dry, geologically diverse landscapes provide the perfect environment for an exciting and invigorating golf experience.
Those not familiar with desert golf, know that it’s a totally different experience than “normal” golf. You can read all about desert golf here, but it has 5 especially huge advantages that make avid golfers flock to it:
- Stunning views.
- Dryer air, which means you won’t sweat as easily.
- Unbelievably low prices in the summer months, when the temperatures often get into the triple digits.
- Less foraging through the rough, as wayward shots in desert golf, are considered lateral hazards.
- Dry, usually warm weather even during winter months.
Arizona is a prime exemplar of all of these desert golf perks. It is temperate and beautiful, and it has a vast selection of courses to suit all tastes.
9 best golf courses in Arizona
Part of the reasoning behind these 9 specific courses was to showcase the massive variety of the best golf courses in Arizona have to offer.
1 Starr Pass — Tucson, AZ
Starr Pass is a perfect example of the geological diversity we mentioned. Parts of the course are lush and green, and parts are dry and sandy. Parts are flat, others built on rolling hills. The course runs through desert scrubland, over mountain passes, and through stark red canyons. It’s almost reminiscent of one of those themed putt-putt golf courses you may have been to.
Tucson is also an excellent location for Arizona golfing in the Summer months since its high altitude makes it a bit cooler than other cities in AZ.
2 TPC Scottsdale — Scottsdale, AZ
TPC Scottsdale (which is partially built in a stadium) was built specifically to house the PGA’s Phoenix Open, so many of its holes are designed to provide high-tension play. For example, the 15th hole and beyond have high risk-high reward layouts than can totally make or break your round. This design makes it lots of fun to play through this course with friends, especially if wagers are on the line.
3 Quintero Golf Club — Peoria, AZ
If you want to get away from desert landscapes while still experiencing one of the best golf courses in Arizona, Quintero is ideal. It’s a lush green tree-lined valley with plenty of tall grass and water hazards. The whole thing is also exceptionally well-maintained.
Although the course has a very different feel than most of Arizona, the location is extremely central — just 30-40 miles from Scottsdale and Phoenix.
4 South Course at Boulders — Carefree, AZ
The main thing that sets South Course at Boulders apart is its “Caddiemaster” program and personalized classes, which offer players the option to hire a seasoned caddie to give them pointers and guidance for mastering desert golf. The course is quite tricky, too, which makes the caddie’s instruction even more useful.
In addition, the course is absolutely beautiful. The resort it’s on is named after the stunning rock formations that litter the grounds, and they make for an unforgettable golf backdrop.
5 Talon Course at Greyhawk — Scottsdale, AZ
This is another very creative one. Most of the holes are divided into multiple tiers, and golfers have to leapfrog their ball between each to get to the green.
The club staff also change the pin positions every morning, so you’ll get a different experience visiting any given hole on different days.
It also has spectacular mesa views and some green desert landscaping among the nicest in Arizona.
6 Golf Club at Johnson Ranch — Queen Creek, AZ
Johnson Ranch is almost like two courses for the price of one, because the first nine holes are different from the back nine. The first half is flat and easy, a nice warmup for the second half, which runs over rolling hills.
This course is pretty basic compared to the other best golf courses in Arizona. It’s a good budget option, though, because it’s so diverse. It’s also a great place for families.
7 We-Ko-Pa Golf Club — Fort McDowell, AZ
We-Ko-Pa is literally two courses, although not for the price of one. Both the Chollo and Saguara courses are among the public’s top three best golf courses in Arizona, according to Golf Digest, and they are right next to each other.
They do not have housing developments within eyeshot of the fairway, like most golf courses in Arizona. Instead, the holes are located amid an endless stretch of lush green desert, even though the course is just 20 minutes away from the Phoenix airport.
Admission is not cheap, but it’s worth it.
8 Pine Canyon Club — Flagstaff, AZ
Pine Canyon is probably the most luxurious and meticulously-kept course in Arizona. The clubhouse is inviting and comfortable. The restaurant is top-notch. And the course itself is definitely 5-star, with wonderfully manicured fairways and perfectly laid out holes.
9 Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club — Maricopa, AZ
For some golfers, the most satisfying part of the game is getting the chance to slice the ball as hard as they possibly can. Ak-Chin is heaven for those golfers. It takes advantage of Arizona’s endless stretches of mountain and flat desert by making almost every hole really, really long — some as long as 7,500 yards from the tee to the hole.
Each of these courses is very special and can’t be given due credit in just a few short paragraphs. So if you’re renting a vacation home in Arizona and think you might be interested in playing a few rounds of golf, be sure to check a few of them out in greater detail.
To check out the top 10 courses in Scottsdale, AZ, individually, give this video a watch!