Arizona Golf Vacations

Southern Dunes Golf Course Renovation

By • May 28th, 2014

SouthernThe golf course at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes in Maricopa, AZ is planning to spend 2 million dollars to renovate the golf course in 2014 by improving courses playability for the more casual golfer. It will still maintain the challenge aspect to experienced golfers as well as it will be suited for more resort style play or competitive tournaments. The project will start on May 27th and end in September of 2014.

To ensure the quality of the spectacular design over at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, original course architects of Schmidt-Curley and Fred Couples were called in to lead the project that entails a full bunker renovation. In all, 83,000-square-feet of bunkers will be removed from the golf course’s current total of 480,000-square-feet. More improvements also include significant turf expansion between many of the forward tees to eliminate unnecessary forced carries for those choosing to “tee it forward” or are still learning how to consistently hit shots in the air. There will be more landing area off the fairway as well as several implementations to improve some of the holes on the course.

“This facility enhancement project is a game-changer for Ak-Chin Southern Dunes on a local, regional and national level, said Brady Wilson, general manager. “The project addresses every spoke of the wheel with regards to improved playing conditions, better playability for core golfers, more challenge for accomplished players and growth of the game options.”

Additional enhancements include re-vegetation of native grasses and many transitions between bunker edges and native desert. A new back tee will be added on No. 1 (a change made with the experienced golfer in mind) while new forward tees are added on holes 5, 8, 12, 15 and 17. Improvements on No. 17 also include a nearly full-redesign with an expansion of the green, reshaping of a large dune to open sightlines to the hole, and changes to the bunker complex around the green.

Come see why Southern Dunes was voted “Top 100 Courses to play”.


  1. I would say Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club is one of my favorite courses in the Valley. I just love the layout, and while I have never gone low there, it forces you to think off every shot. The last time I played there, a few weeks ago, I had several birdies but also found several bunkers that forced smart decisions. It is just a classic layout, and when it is windy, a challenge that you can’t find elsewhere. Can’t wait to see what they do with the changes during this enhancement project.

  2. Another golf course being ruined!!!! This will be the second golf course with a very good layout that I can recall being “dumbed down” for the masses in the Valley. There are a decreasing number of challenging courses with open access for the “public” competitive golfer. I can think of but a few truly challenging layouts in the valley with open access left. This focus on “expanding the game” has made Arizona a great locale for tourists and executive courses with wide open fairways and little to no defense but done little for the local golfers. Now we need to leave the state to find those courses! Even ASU is closing a tournament style layout. When I think of great courses to travel to around the country often they are affiliated with a College program. Not one in Arizona now. Why can’t we maintain a variety of courses in the state to satisfy every level of golfer? There are plenty of accomplished golfers around who can’t or won’t afford $150+ a round. Some of the great “practice” or “learning” courses have been lost as well. Those are my thoughts, I’m certain they will elicit mixed reactions.

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