TPC Scottsdale, the home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, is known as one of the top facilities in the US. The resort offers two championship-style courses—The Stadium Course and the Champions Course—fine dining, tour-quality golf instruction, and other luxury amenities.
The Phoenician Golf Resort has been named “North America’s Leading Golf Resorts” by the World Travel Awards and has also been ranked among the “Top 75 Golf Resorts in America” by Golf Digest. It is one of the 17 Troon Golf managed facilities in the state, which is recognized as one of the world’s leading high-end golf development, marketing, and management corporations.
Two of the Monument’s most notable holes are numbers six and fifteen. The short par-4 number six, also known as Gamble, is a perfect example of how taking a risk can be rewarded. Many long-hitters can reach the green in one, setting up a perfect eagle opportunity. Number fifteen, another short par-4, is a player favorite due to its scenic surroundings. Precise accuracy is a must in order to put the ball far in the fairway or on the narrow green.
Papago has numerous false fronts and elevated greens, which also adds difficulty to reaching greens in regulation. Commonly large greens help compensate the difficulty of approach shots, but can also add yet another challenge—long putts. A lot of the greens appear to be flat, but they actually tend to break more than expected (many putts flow toward Downtown Phoenix).
Phil Mickelson and his ASU coach recently bought the operating rights for the course. They got down to good golf business and embarked on making some very notable improvements which left the course one that matches quality and playability of any.
A short ride west of Phoenix, The Wigwam has it all but I’ll give it a big gold star for the history it represents and what it’s done for golf and the resort industry in Arizona. First built in 1918 and opened as the The Wigwam in 1929. its world-wide resort reputation is only highlighted by the three excellent golf courses (Gold, Patriot and Heritage) ranging from 6.000 to 7,400 yards.
The inward nine holes at Talking Stick feature some of the most challenging and unique layouts in the area. Starting with the lengthy par 3 11th, golfers are greeted by a three hole stretch as visually stunning as it is intimidating. After the sobering “fairway wood from the tee” length of number 11, the course bends towards the east and greets players with the split-fairway par 4 12th hole.
The course itself features several sets of tees, but even the back tees appear deceptively short on the scorecard. Measuring just over 7,000 yards, the back tees instead rely on tricky angles, forcing brave golfers to work the ball and shape shots to fit the hole rather than bomb it down the middle. No hidden washes or bunkers await well struck shots at Club West
The 15th hole to me is the Signature. The finest elevated hole around, its green is well below the tee box but you get distracted because you can see Piestewa Peak, Camelback Mountain and Papago Buttes as well as 3 cities. When all that’s digested, take your shot onto the green that’s tucked in a corner and trust that the sign that says “play for 165 yards” is accurate. What a hole!
You appreciate Sidewinder immediately—the first hole is one of the toughest in the 18 and the course throws you into it the deep end right off the bat. The par-5 first hole stretches 487 yards from the tips. From the elevated tees, you can see the entire hole, water lining the left side of the fairway, coming into play more often on your second shot than your tee ball. The average player can reach it in two with one pure shot after the next, but it may be wise to lay up to your favorite wedge distance to take water out of play.