Scottsdale, Arizona, is a vibrant and exciting destination featuring a ton of things for almost any kind of person to get involved in. Want to take a family holiday? Scottsdale is a good choice! Want to get away on your own and meet new people? It’s just as great.
One of the things the area is known for is its array of luxury resorts, many of which are golf resorts. But that’s not the only exciting place for golf lovers to spend some time—these Scottsdale golf courses should be on your to-do list if you’re here!
Check them out, add them to your Scottsdale itinerary, and get ready for a daily golf fix you won’t soon forget.
1. Troon North Golf Club
A typical desert golf experience, Troon North is the proverbial oasis. Enjoy a unique coming-together of lush green fairways and dry, rocky landscapes, certified by Audubon International as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.
This means you’re likely to encounter some of the local wildlife while you’re playing your round, and you can be sure the spectacular desert scenery will remain in top condition as long as the club is around.
Golfers will be pleased to know that Troon has two courses: Monument and Pinnacle. Each is slightly different, so you can enjoy two very different experiences on the same course.
The Monument course has been around for five years longer than the Pinnacle. At a little over 7,000 yards, this one is filled with memorable holes mixed between short, easy ones and longer par-5s and elevation changes to keep things interesting.
This course demands your close attention from hole one. An exciting opening stretch sets the tone, and the long par-5 3rd hole is arguably one of the most memorable on the course, with a serious dogleg, a rocky boulder right in the middle of the fairway, and a tricky green.
The Pinnacle course is the more challenging of the two, so opt for this one if you’re in the mood to really put your training to good use. You probably won’t need your driver on this one because the fairways are tight, many are split, and there’s a fair amount of stage.
It’s an extremely strategic course, with plenty of blind shots and slow, frustrating greens that seem somewhat mismatched with the fairways. It’s certainly not dull, though—you’ll need to play smart to get a good score on this course, although if you keep your ball in play, you should be good to go.
2. Grayhawk Golf Club
Multiple professional tournaments have taken place at this club, so you already know it’s home to two excellent Scottsdale golf courses. Open to the public, it’s wonderfully conditioned and well worth a play. Or two, one on each course.
With views over the McDowell Mountains, the Raptor course is beautiful and an exciting play. While the fairways are generous, Monument demands accuracy if you want a good score.
Deep, wide bunkers are a feature, waiting to steal your shots. Shoot true, and you can expect to score well, although it may be better for mid to high-handicappers than beginners.
Despite being laid out in the desert, most holes feature full-length fairways, with few desert carries. The signature 8th hole is an exception, requiring a 156-yard carry directly to the two-tiered, bunker-shielded green.
Like its sister course, Talon affords the golfer amazing mountain and desert views. Its most unique feature is that its back nine is laid out over a collection of deep box canyons, making the second half of the course more challenging than the first.
It’s a nice course for beginners, featuring a number of straightforward par-3 holes and fun par-4s. The test comes in the par-5s, which are the strongest element of the course, and the many-tiered greens.
3. SunRidge Canyon Golf Club
At first glance, SunRidge looks flat and a little boring. But wait until you’re on it. It will test every aspect of your game, physical and mental. Subtle elevation changes creep up on you, fast greens require precise putting, and the varied desert landscape includes ridges, dips, and undulations.
You’ll enjoy the first 12 holes if you like something you can really play against. But the true challenge comes in the form of holes 13 to 18. Otherwise known as the Wicked Six, and aptly named too!
This collection of two par-5s, two par-4s, and two par-3s is arguably the best finisher in the state. Both par-3s play downhill, which makes them tricky not to overshoot. The other 4 play uphill, which might not seem like much when you begin, but you’ll sure feel it by the end, especially if there’s a wind.
Aside from the elevation, this gang is loaded with challenging hazards like doglegs, water, deep bunkers, and frustrating undulations.
4. We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
Located in the Sonoran Desert, We-Ko-Pa houses two spectacular Scottsdale golf courses. One of the best things about this particular club is that there are no residential properties in sight, which isn’t the case for most others, despite their caliber. On this course, it’s just you, your clubs, the ball, and the hole.
Cholla has received numerous awards since it opened in 2001. The layout winds through the natural terrain, rolling gently from tee to green on most holes.
Gameplay is challenging, but with focused effort and accuracy, you can get a good score. Expect numerous blind tee shots, and having a strong drive in your arsenal will definitely benefit you here.
Saguaro is widely known as the more fun of the two courses, with a distinct links flavor layered on top of the desert atmosphere. Unlike other Scottsdale golf courses, Saguaro features a good few half-par holes, making it a must-play if you haven’t been here before.
Fair warning, some will enjoy them, and others will be annoyed by them, but either way, the layout is one of the best in the state. The layout undulates as much as its sister course does, but the course is designed for walkers, so come prepared with water and carbs!
5. TPC Scottsdale
Another 36-hole offering, TPC Scottsdale, looks and feels like it’s far away from the desert. This is unique in the area, so if you want a break from the cacti, desert sand, and boulders, you can spend some tranquil time on this PGA Tour favorite. For those who follow the tour, this is likely the most well-known of the Scottsdale golf courses.
Created specifically to play host to the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Open, the Stadium course was designed to be dramatic. It stretches to 7,200 yards from the tips, but it also features more forgiving fairways than most of the desert-style courses in the state.
The most exciting hole on this course is the par-3 16th hole, known as “The Coliseum.” During tournaments, the green is completely surrounded by spectators, holding up to 20,000 fans cheering golfers to the hole.
While you won’t get quite the same experience playing this hole in a non-tournament setting, it’s still a thrill to be playing one of the most famous holes in golf.
The Champions Course underwent a revamp in 2007 to help it flow more naturally with the desert terrain, although it also doesn’t look quite like the Scottsdale golf courses, which are far more desert-like.
It’s quite a versatile course, created to be a good balance of eye-catching architecture and strategic plays. There are multiple ways to play each hole, which makes this a fun choice for both beginners and more experienced golfers.
Don’t get complacent as you come to the end of the round. The final four can make or break your round, so maintain your mental and physical strength—you’ll thank yourself later!
6. The Phoenician Golf Club
The Phoenician Golf Club used to be a 27-hole facility but has now been reworked into a flowing 18-hole layout that’s well worth spending some time on.
There’s nothing fancy about this course. Everything is laid before you—all you need to do is play. You won’t find any hidden hazards or blind shots on this layout, which makes it a lovely choice for less experienced golfers looking to gain some experience and have some fun.
Scottsdale Golf Courses
Golfers are spoilt for choice when it comes to Scottsdale golf courses. There’s something for every kind of golfer here, and if you’re in the area often, there’s so much to choose from that you’ll never find yourself bored.
While the majority of the golf courses in Scottsdale are true desert courses, not one is alike. If you really want more of a links feeling, there’s Saguaro. And if you’re in the mood for a more championship-style round, then you can’t beat the aura and history of TPC Scottsdale.
Whatever your needs, wants, and likes on the golf course, Scottsdale delivers. If you’re a golf lover, we highly recommend spending at least a few weeks here so you can tick a few off your list. Find excuses to come back because these golf courses won’t be easily forgotten.
Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not on the course working on his own game or mentoring young golfers, he writes in-depth articles for his website, Golf Influence.