Arizona

Map of Arizona

About

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 2018. 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, set amongst Ponderosa Pine, Oak and Aspen trees at 7,000 feet above sea level.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Estancia

2nd Arizona - Best in Area

The Estancia Club is set on a high desert plateau, underneath the northern slope of Pinnacle Peak – Scottsdale’s most famous landmark – where spectacular city views to the south and west are on offer. Tom Fazio designed this desert course among the huge boulder outcrops and the saguaro cacti.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Desert Highlands

3rd Arizona - Best in Area

Lyle Anderson contracted Jack Nicklaus to build a course around a sizeable Scottsdale residential development in the early 1980s and the Golden Bear with his senior designer Bob Cupp duly obliged...

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Whisper Rock (Upper)

4th Arizona - Best in Area

Whisper Rock Golf Club is tucked away in the north Scottsdale desert. This private members facility is accessed via the guard-gated entrance to a residential community which just so happens to have two fine golf courses in their collection.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Stone Canyon

5th Arizona - Best in Area

Stone Canyon Club is a spectacular desert course set between Catalina State Park and Tortolita Mountain Park to the north of Tucson. Its elevated tees, lush fairways and testing greens extend to a tight 70 acres, routed around stone outcrops and canyons flanked by towering saguaro cacti.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Whisper Rock (Lower)

6th Arizona - Best in Area

Whisper Rock's Lower course opened in 2001 and it was the first foray into golf course design for Phil Mickelson. Owner Gregg Tryhus teamed Lefty up with Dallas-based architect Gary Stephenson to turn a boulder-strewn area in the Sonoran Desert into a very special golf venue.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

We-Ko-Pa (Saguaro)

7th Arizona - Best in Area

The Saguaro course at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club opened in December 2006 and it was the second course built at this stunning facility. Located to the north east of Scottsdale, on a site developed by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, it offers daily fee golfers the use of two spectacular layouts...

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Desert Forest

8th Arizona - Best in Area

Desert Forest Golf Club is located at altitude in Carefree, Arizona, to the north of Phoenix and it was one of the earliest desert-style courses ever built, fashioned in 1962 by Robert "Red" Lawrence who went on to shape numerous other courses in the American Southwest...

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Forest Highlands (Meadow)

9th Arizona - Best in Area

Set to the north of its older sibling, the longer of the two 18-hole layouts at Forest Highlands Golf Club, Tom Weiskopf’s Meadow course debuted in 1999, twelve years after the unveiling of his Canyon course co-design with Jay Morrish.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

The Rim

10th Arizona - Best in Area

Located about an hour to the northeast of Scottsdale in an exclusive, private, residential estate, The Rim Golf Club is nestled among the vanilla scented stands of Ponderosa Pine and the team that created Scotland’s famous Loch Lomond Golf Club fashioned the course.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Reviewed
1 M. James Ward Courses Reviewed 25
2 Fergal O'Leary Courses Reviewed 6
3 Javier Pintos Courses Reviewed 5
4 Brian LaBardi Courses Reviewed 5
5 Richard Smith Courses Reviewed 4
6 David Keller Courses Reviewed 3
7 regripped Courses Reviewed 3
8 Colin Braithwaite Courses Reviewed 3
9 Larry Berle Courses Reviewed 2
10 Niall Courses Reviewed 2