Arizona

Arizona, the Grand Canyon or Copper State, is synonymous with desert landscapes and its mild winter climate is golfing heaven. There are few Golden Age designs here in Arizona, largely due to the fact that tough hybrid grasses had not yet appeared on the scene. However, some courses did appear in the early part of the 20th century and the oldest course in the southwest (1919) is still in play at the Phoenix Country Club.

The first golf course build of serious note in the Grand Canyon State is Desert Forest Golf Club, located at altitude in Carefree. It was designed in 1962 by Robert “Red” Lawrence, an associate of Walter Travis, on an incredibly tight budget. Red Lawrence went on to fashion numerous other courses in the American Southwest, becoming known as “The Desert Fox” of golf course architecture.

Since the early 1960s, more than 300 golf courses have been laid out and the cities of Scottsdale and Phoenix are Arizona’s equivalents of Scotland’s St Andrews. Many courses are fashioned in a target golf style with narrow, ribbon-like fairways. Some golf courses are also eponymously named after the region’s various cacti, which flank many emerald fairways in this hot and arid US state.

Our Arizona Best In State Rankings were last updated in April 2016. Click the link to read the story.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Arizona

Forest Highlands (Canyon)

1st Arizona - Best in Area

Opened in 1988, the Canyon course at Forest Highlands Golf Club was created by the design duo of Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish. It is currently the premier golf course in the State of Arizona.

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Estancia

2nd Arizona - Best in Area

Estancia is set underneath the northern slope of Pinnacle Peak, Scottsdale’s most famous landmark. Tom Fazio designed this desert course amongst the huge boulder outcrops and the saguaro cacti.

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Desert Highlands

3rd Arizona - Best in Area

Jack Nicklaus constructed the course at Desert Highlands Golf Club around a sizeable Scottsdale residential development where 18 sand-protected holes are routed without a single water hazard on the property.

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Whisper Rock (Upper)

4th Arizona - Best in Area

Key to scoring well at Whisper Rock and maintaining a prickle free round is to keep the ball in play as rough desert and spiky cacti surround most holes.

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Stone Canyon

5th Arizona - Best in Area

Stone Canyon is a spectacular desert course where its elevated tees, lush fairways and testing greens are routed around stone outcrops and canyons...

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We-Ko-Pa (Saguaro)

6th Arizona - Best in Area

The Saguaro course at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club is the second course built at this stunning facility and opened in December 2006.

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Rim

7th Arizona - Best in Area

The Rim Golf Club is nestled amongst the vanilla scented stands of Ponderosa Pine and it was fashioned by the team that created Scotland’s famous Loch Lomond Golf Club.

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Whisper Rock (Lower)

8th Arizona - Best in Area

Whisper Rock owner Gregg Tryhus teamed up Phil Mickelson with Dallas-based architect Gary Stephenson to turn a boulder-strewn area in the Sonoran Desert into a very special golf venue.

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Pine Canyon

9th Arizona - Best in Area

A Jay Morrish design from 2004, the course at Pine Canyon Club is routed around numerous ponds and lakes on a rolling landscape to the south of Flagstaff. For those who like to resolve tied matches, there’s a short “Double or Nothing” 19th hole, where bets can be settled.

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Desert Forest

10th Arizona - Best in Area

Desert Forest Golf Club was fashioned in 1962 by Robert "Red" Lawrence who went on to shape numerous other courses in the American Southwest

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