This traditional Scott Miller design traverses with a variety of land features from views of untouched desert and encompassing cacti to small arroyos and washes. One of my favorite features is the 300 feet of vertical elevation change between tee boxes and greens because it plays more mountainous versus links-style—an uncharacteristic find for metro Phoenix golf.
Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is a must play if you find yourself in the northeastern Phoenix area. Its central location off the 101 between 56th Street and Tatum Boulevard is prime for people coming into town or locals looking to play an enjoyable round of golf or indulge in a resort stay.
They have two courses at Troon North including the Monument Course and the Pinnacle Course. Both courses are unique, but challenging offering some of ten best views in the Valley. I had the pleasure of playing the Pinnacle Course. Troon North is managed by Troon Golf
Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia recently received Golf Digest’s highest ranking for public courses, 5 out of 5 stars. It is the only golf course in Arizona given this recognition and shares the title with only 24 other courses nationwide including Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass and Spyglass Hill.
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.