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 August 2020. 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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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Whisper Rock (Lower)

5th 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.

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We-Ko-Pa (Saguaro)

6th 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...

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Stone Canyon

7th 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.

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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...

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Desert Mountain (Chiricahua)

9th Arizona - Best in Area

One of six Jack Nicklaus-designed courses at Desert Mountain, the Chiricahua is routed over the hillier sections of the property, allowing the Golden Bear to incorporate some dramatic elevation changes into the design.

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Silverleaf

10th Arizona - Best in Area

Located less than a 30-minute drive north of downtown Scottsdale, the Tom Weiskopf-designed course at the Silverleaf Club – named after an historic mining claim filed on the property in the late 19th century – is the centrepiece of an upmarket residential development...

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Arizona Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Joshua Asher Courses Played 56
2 Andy Troeger Courses Played 46
3 M. James Ward Courses Played 41
4 Bill Vostniak Courses Played 38
5 Kurt Krause Courses Played 33
6 Marc Bender Courses Played 29
7 Paul Rudovsky Courses Played 25
8 Cory Toth Courses Played 24
= Charlie Funk Courses Played 24
= Jon Gillman Courses Played 24