Are you ready to tee off in the Valley of the Sun? If you’re a golf enthusiast, you’ll find no shortage of stunning courses to explore in Phoenix, Arizona. This desert oasis boasts over 300 days of sunshine annually, making it a golfer’s paradise. But with so many courses, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where we come in.
This article will showcase the best public golf courses in Phoenix based on real ratings and reviews from golfers like you. Get ready to experience desert vistas, lush fairways, and challenging layouts that will put your skills to the test. So, grab your clubs, hop in the cart, and explore Phoenix’s top-rated public golf courses.
10 best public golf courses in Phoenix
Gold Canyon Golf Resort & Spa
Nestled in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains, Gold Canyon Golf Resort & Spa is a golfer’s dream come true. With two 18-hole championship courses, the Dinosaur Mountain Course and the Sidewinder Course, this resort offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Phoenix area.
The Dinosaur Mountain Course is particularly noteworthy, with stunning views of the Superstition Mountains and challenging holes that wind through desert canyons and over rolling hills. The course is also home to a unique rock formation known as the “Widow Maker,” which challenges golfers to hit their ball across a deep ravine.
Fun fact: The Dinosaur Mountain Course was designed by Ken Kavanaugh, a former NFL player turned golf course architect, in 1982. Kavanaugh drew inspiration from the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains, and his design has earned praise for its seamless integration with the environment.
The Sidewinder Course offers a different challenge, with tight fairways and strategically placed bunkers requiring precise shots. Both courses have been recognized as some of the best in Arizona and have hosted numerous tournaments over the years.
Eagle Mountain Golf Club
Perched high in the McDowell Mountains, the Golf Club at Eagle Mountain offers some of the most stunning views of any course in the Phoenix area. Designed by Scott Miller, this par-71 course features elevated tees and greens that make for challenging shots and beautiful vistas of the surrounding desert and city below.
One of the most unique features of the course is the 13th hole, a par-4 that requires a blind tee shot over the hill to a fairway that slopes downhill toward the green. The Golf Club at Eagle Mountain has also been recognized for its quality, including being ranked as the #2 Most Improved U.S. Golf Course by Golf Advisor in 2022.
Aside from its beauty, the course also boasts a state-of-the-art practice facility, including a large driving range, chipping and putting greens, and a bunker practice area. The clubhouse features a full-service restaurant and bar and a pro shop stocked with all the latest gear and apparel.
Raven Golf Club
Located in South Mountain Park, the Raven Golf Club is a world-class course designed by renowned golf course architect Gary Panks with the help of David Graham and Gary Stephenson in 1995. The course features a stunning blend of natural beauty and challenging play, with lush fairways, challenging bunkers, and water hazards that will test even the most skilled golfers.
One of the standout holes on the course is the par-3 6th hole, which requires a tee shot over a pond to a green surrounded by bunkers. The course also features several elevation changes, with holes that play up and down the mountain slope.
The course has five sets of tees, ranging from the championship Raven tees at 7,078 yards to the Family tees at 4,044 yards. The Silver tees are 6,722 yards, while the White and Gold tees are 6,264 and 5,759 yards, respectively. The Family tees are the most forward and forgiving, providing a more relaxed and enjoyable round for beginners and seniors.
In addition to the 18-hole championship course, the Raven Golf Club offers a practice facility, which includes a large driving range, putting and chipping greens, and a short game area. The clubhouse features a full-service restaurant and bar and a pro shop stocked with top-of-the-line gear and apparel.
Note: In 2000, the Raven was recognized as the top golf course in the country in terms of service.
Wigwam Golf Club
The Wigwam Golf Club is a classic course that has been integral to the Phoenix golf scene for over 50 years. The legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed the course in 1965, ensuring the 54 holes of championship golf were surrounded by stunning desert landscapes and palm trees.
The course has a variety of holes that will test golfers of all skill levels, with challenging bunkers and water hazards that require strategic shot-making. The course is also home to several classic holes, including the par-5 8th hole on the Gold course, which features a green surrounded by water.
The Gold Course is regarded as one of Arizona’s most respected and demanding golf courses. Its layout is designed to test the skills of even the most experienced golfers. The Blue Course, on the other hand, is a combination of sportiness and subtlety. It features challenging holes that provide a mix of invigorating and frustrating moments. Lastly, the Red Course is a local favorite, offering a more laid-back atmosphere while providing a fun and exciting round of golf.
Aside from its three stunning courses, the Wigwam Golf Club has hosted several top-tier golf events. It has welcomed various PGA and LPGA events, and in 2011, it was even the host of the Golf Channel Amateur Tour National Championship.
Ocotillo Golf Club
Nestled in the beautiful landscape of Phoenix, the Ocotillo Country Club offers a picturesque setting for golf enthusiasts to enjoy. Opened in 1986, the club features 27 championship holes designed by the renowned golf course architect Ted Robinson.
The course’s signature feature is the series of interconnected water hazards that come into play on nearly every hole. The water hazards and the beautiful desert landscape create a challenging yet stunning golf experience. The course is also known for its excellent condition and manicured fairways and greens.
What’s interesting about Ocotillo Country Club is that any two of the three courses can be combined for an 18-hole round. All the courses are exceptionally designed and offer golfers of different skill levels challenging yet enjoyable play.
One of the courses, the Blue Course, is a clear favorite among golf enthusiasts. It features nine holes, with water coming into play on eight of them, and two par 5s that present a perfect risk-reward opportunity. With a par of 36, the course spans 3,497 yards and is a delight to play on.
The Gold Course is similar to the Blue Course, with abundant water and features two par 5s that are easily reachable. It’s the longest of the three courses, measuring 3,545 yards from the tips, and is also a par 36.
The White Course is the shortest of the three courses, measuring 3,285 yards from the tips, and it’s the only course with a par of 35. It has two signature holes and some impressive houses to admire while playing.
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
McCormick Ranch Golf Club is a public 36-hole golf course in the heart of Scottsdale, just a few miles from Phoenix. The club was founded in 1972 and has become a favorite among locals and visitors. The two courses at McCormick Ranch are the Palm Course and the Pine Course, each offering a unique experience.
The Palm Course, designed by Desmond Muirhead, is known for its narrow fairways, challenging greens, and water hazards. The course features tree-lined fairways and several doglegs, requiring golfers to play smart and strategic shots to score well. At 6,782 yards from the back tees, the Palm Course is not overly long but presents a challenge to golfers of all skill levels.
The Pine Course, designed by Ted Robinson, is more forgiving with wider fairways and greens. The course also features several water hazards, but they are more spread out and less of a factor than on the Palm Course. At 6,968 yards from the back tees, the Pine Course is slightly longer than the Palm Course.
McCormick Ranch Golf Club has been recognized as one of the top golf courses in Arizona and has hosted numerous professional and amateur golf events over the years. With its beautiful views, challenging holes, and impeccable course conditions, McCormick Ranch Golf Club is a must-play for any golfer visiting the Phoenix area.
Arizona Grand Golf Club
Arizona Grand Golf Club is one of Phoenix’s best public golf courses, offering an incredible desert-style golfing experience. Designed by golf course architect Forrest Richardson in 1987, the Arizona Grand Golf Club features a challenging 18-hole course spanning over 6,288 yards. The course offers stunning views of the South Mountain and the surrounding desert landscape.
The course is known for its tough layout, tight fairways, and strategically placed bunkers. It also boasts several water features and elevated greens, which add to the course’s difficulty. However, with five sets of tees, players of all skill levels can enjoy a round at the Arizona Grand Golf Club.
Aside from the challenging course, the Arizona Grand Golf Club also offers several amenities, including a driving range, practice facilities, and a clubhouse with a restaurant and bar. The course has also won several awards, including being named one of the “Top 50 Golf Courses in Arizona” by Golf Advisor.
Grand Canyon University Championship Golf Course
The Grand Canyon University Championship Golf Course, located in the heart of Phoenix, is a spectacular 18-hole championship course designed by John Fought in 1961. The course is on the beautiful campus of Grand Canyon University and is open to the public year-round.
This challenging course has been designed with precision and attention to detail. The par-71 layout features rolling fairways, mature trees, and strategically placed bunkers that will test the skills of any golfer. The course also boasts scenic water features and stunning mountain views, adding to the already breathtaking surroundings.
The Grand Canyon University Championship Golf Course has received numerous accolades, including being named one of the Top 25 College Courses in the U.S. by Golf Advisor in 2020, at number 21.
One unique aspect of this course is that it is the home of the Grand Canyon University men’s and women’s golf teams. Playing on this challenging course provides a great opportunity for aspiring golfers to compete on a championship-level course and hone their skills.
The course offers a variety of tee boxes, ranging from 5,104 yards to 7,239 yards, making it accessible to golfers of all skill levels.
Palo Verde Golf Course
Palo Verde Golf Course, located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, is a challenging yet enjoyable golf experience. Designed by William F. Bell, the course has been a favorite among locals and tourists alike since it opened in 1961.
The course features a classic layout with tree-lined fairways and small greens that require accuracy off the tee and precision on approach shots. At 1,752 yards to the back tees, Palo Verde is not the longest course in the area, but it makes up for it with its strategic bunkering and water hazards that come into play on several holes.
One unique feature of Palo Verde Golf Course is its driving range, which features an elevated tee box with a stunning view of Camelback Mountain. This makes for a great warm-up before heading out to tackle the course.
Note: “Palo Verde” means “green stick” in Spanish, referring to the green bark of the palo verde tree native to the area.
Troon North Golf Club
Troon North Golf Club is a premier golf destination in Scottsdale, Arizona. It boasts two 18-hole courses: the Monument Course and the Pinnacle Course. Both courses were designed by renowned golf course architect Tom Weiskopf in 1995 and have been ranked among the top 100 golf courses in the United States by Golf Digest.
The Monument Course is the longer and more challenging of the two, measuring 7,028 yards from the championship tees. It features dramatic elevation changes and stunning Sonoran Desert landscape views. The course is known for its signature par-5 third hole, which requires players to navigate a wash that runs across the fairway.
The Pinnacle Course is slightly shorter than the Monument Course at 6,966 yards but is equally challenging. The course is set against the backdrop of Pinnacle Peak, a 3,169-foot summit that looms over the surrounding landscape. The course features narrow fairways, deep bunkers, and large greens that require precise shot-making.
Looking for the ultimate golfing experience in Phoenix? Look no further than these top-notch public courses. With stunning landscapes, challenging courses, and a range of amenities, these courses offer something for everyone.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just looking to tee off for the first time, these courses will impress. So why wait? Book your tee time today and prepare for a day on the greens like no other!