The Most Charming Golf Courses in and around Scottsdale

by Paul Joseph  |  Published May 24, 2021

Scottsdale is perhaps best known as a world class golfing destination, with large number of desert-style courses scattered across the area’s landscapes of hills, rock formations and cacti.

(Photo: Troon North Golf Club)

Situated in Arizona, east of the state capital of Phoenix, the city of Scottsdale attracts large numbers of visitors every year, many of whom come to enjoy its array of spa resorts and exceptional golf facilities. If you’re considering a trip here and would like to try your hand on one of its golf courses, we’ve picked out some of the most charming that the city and its surroundings have to offer.

Troon North Golf Club

One of the jewels in Scottsdale’s golfing crown, Troon North Golf Club is home to the Monument and Pinnacle courses that gracefully wrap around the northern slopes of Pinnacle Peak. Giant granite boulders lie strewn across the rugged landscape of the High Sonoran Desert, where the club combines the visual sensation of a desert with challenging golf play and a truly unique ambiance. The club also features a pro shop, a dedicated performance center, and a grill-style restaurant.

10320 East Dynamite Boulevard

The Westin Kierland Golf Club

(Photo: The Westin Kierland Golf Club)

A centerpiece on The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa’s 250 acres in North Scottsdale, The Westin Kierland Golf Club presents a thoughtfully distinctive, award-winning brand of golf in which guests are consistently met with an elevated golf experience rich in innovation, one-of-a-kind offerings and fun new ways to play.  Designed by Scott Miller, the Troon-managed Golf Club features a dramatic 27-hole course offering a complementary collection of three nines – each named for an indigenous tree (Acacia, Ironwood and Mesquite) with its own flavour and strategy, yet all equally enjoyable and challenging – across perfectly manicured rolling greens, a series of serene lakes and dry desert washes, and stunning Sonoran flora and fauna.

15636 North Clubgate Drive

Grayhawk Golf Club

(Photo: Grayhawk Golf Club)

Offering a thrilling challenge from start to finish, Grayhawk Golf Club is home to the Raptor and Talon courses, widely considered two of the best public golf courses anywhere in Scottsdale. Both courses combine excellent playing conditions with beautiful views – surrounding the course and looking out far beyond. The club also features multiple dining options with various themes, from organic Italian dishes to Southwest American favourites, while the Golf Shop & Trading Company at Grayhawk is an uber-stylish shopping venue.

8620 East Thompson Peak Parkway

Talking Stick Golf Club

(Photo: Talking Stick Golf Club)

Owned and operated by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, this 36-hole golf complex is one of the region’s most popular golfing destinations. The North Course has a links style due to its deep bunkers and the chance to run your ball onto large greens, while the North has a more treeless and waterless landscape, but with more strategic options and risk-reward holes. The Piipaash course, with its tree-lined fairways and raised greens defended at the sides, offers a straightforward style of play, and the O’odham Course features broad, angular holes, slightly crowned greens and close-cropped approaches. Other notable club amenities include a lounge and patio area with mountain vistas, and a grill restaurant.

East Talking Stick Way, 9998 Talking Stick Way

Phoenician Golf Club

(Photo: Phoenician Golf Club)

Home to a stunning 18-hole course that showcases the unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert, the Phoenician Golf Club is a magical place to play golf. The course has no surprise bunkers or blind hazards and has been designed to provide a natural rhythm and flow for golfers of all abilities. Complementing these magnificent playing conditions are The Phoenician Golf Shop, modern locker rooms, state-of-the-art practice facilities complete with driving range and pitching green , and a 19th Hole grill and patio dining venue.

6000 East Camelback Road

Orange Tree Golf Club

A desert oasis located in what was once an orange grove, Orange Tree Golf Club is one of Arizona’s finest luxury golf destinations, and has also been recognised for its green efforts. Combining the first class amenities of a golf resort with the ambiance of a country club, at its heart is a beautifully maintained Parkland-style 18-hole championship golf course that’s challenging for players of all skill levels. Featuring fairways lined with mature trees, there are four lakes situated on the course’s flat terrain, providing water hazards that come into play on five holes, while sand bunkers also surround every green The club also has a fully-equipped golf shop, a full driving range, PGA certified professional golf instruction, a swimming pool and hot tub, a fitness centre, a badminton court, and BBQ pits.

10601 North 56th Street

McDowell Mountain Golf Club

(Photo: McDowell Mountain Golf Club)

One of only a few premier public golf courses in Scottsdale, McDowell Mountain Golf Club is located in the valley of the McDowell Mountains, and offers all the amenities of a private club, but without any annual memberships or fees. The vistas from the course are sensational in all directions, particularly from the elevated 18th tee box or on the green, where you can peer out to  Pinnacle Peak and the McDowell Mountain Preserve to the north and Camelback, Squaw Peak, and Mummy Mountains to the south, surrounded by the Valley of the Sun. The 18th also features a new dramatic waste bunker that puts a premium on driving accuracy. After golf, you can take in more stunning views from the club’s grill restaurant or clubhouse patio.

10690 East Sheena Drive

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club is blessed with spectacular mountain vistas, with the landscape enhanced by the flowing Verde River and the iconic Four Peaks to the east, which rises to more than 7,000 feet. Indeed, unlike so many other golf clubs, there are no homes, condos or townhomes lining the fairways here. With two award-winning golf courses – the Cholla Course and the Saguaro Course – you can enjoy a challenging round in splendid surroundings. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by We-Ko-Pa’s award-winning clubhouse, inspired by the Yavapai culture and featuring a “desert vernacular” styling with unique detail contributions that draw inspiration from the natural environment. Here there’s also scenic indoor or outdoor dining complete with full-service dining.

18200 Wekopa Way, Fort McDowell

SunRidge Canyon Golf Club

(Photo: SunRidge Canyon Golf Club)

SunRidge Canyon’s Keith Foster-designed course unfolds around the rugged ridges and shady canyons unique to the desert mountains that divide Fountain Hills from Scottsdale. It gradually descends on the way out before doubling back to climb up the slope on the way in, with this subtle elevation change characterising the dramatic golf experience on offer here. From its beginning and all the way through the signature “Wicked 6” stretch of finishing holes, this course is simply sublime. A contemporary clubhouse features a bar and grill, and there’s also instructional programming and a Golf Shop stocked with a wide variety of equipment, apparel and accessories.

13100 Sunridge Drive, Fountain Hills

Boulders Golf Club

Tucked into the Sonoran Desert foothills, The Boulders’ two championship golf courses feature massive granite boulder formations that grace the landscape. Designed by Jay Morrish, both the North and South courses afford spectacular views of Black Mountain as they meanders through the Boulders community. Keep your eyes open for desert wildlife too, such as bobcat, rabbits and coyotes. The club itself melds architecture with nature in a ruggedly luxurious manner, with lavish amenities including a state-of-the-art spa, pampering services, four swimming pools, a fitness facility, a terraced Tennis and Pickleball Garden, and a choice of five restaurants and cafes. There’s also a well-stocked Pro Shop.

34631 North Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree