Top 10 Scottsdale Golf Courses

Top 10 Scottsdale Golf Courses

Our panel starts with three impartial golf writers who know the sport and the best places to play:

Joe Passov, former managing editor at GOLF magazine, now co-host of Backspin the Golf Show on FOX Sports 910

John Davis, former golf reporter for Arizona Republic; now reviewer for the Arizona Golf Authority

Tom Mackin, former senior editor, GOLF magazine, now contributing editor, Troon Golf & Travel Magazine

To that group, we added two marketing specialists who, although they both serve clients within the golf industry, count so many on their client list that they were free to vote without playing favorites:

Linda Dillenbeck, senior advisor with Global Golf Advisors and partner in The Image Group, a marketing firm serving the golf industry

Jerry Rose, vice president of Communication Links, a marketing firm specializing in the golf industry

Desert Forest Golf Club (private)

37207 N. Mule Train Road

Carefree, AZ 85377

(480) 488-4589

Joe Passov: Don’t let the town name fool you. The golf course possesses the fanged bite of a rattlesnake. Desert Forest dishes out rolling fairways that inevitably propel imperfect drives into an ornery variety of cactus and other spiky desert plants. I’m a fan because no desert course so seamlessly melts into the surrounding landscape.

Whisper Rock Golf Club (private)

32002 N. Old Bridge Road

Scottsdale, AZ 85266

(480) 575 8700

Best course(s): Upper and Lower

John Davis: Two courses, one designed by Tom Fazio and the other by Phil Mickelson and Gary Stephenson. Members include many of the tour pros residing in the Phoenix area.

Troon North Golf Club (public)

10320 E. Dynamite Blvd.

Scottsdale, AZ 85262

(480) 585-7700

Best course: Pinnacle

Tom Mackin: Classic desert golf on both the Pinnacle and Monuments courses, and each have undergone renovations within the past two years making them both better than ever.

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (public)

18200 E. Toh Vee Circle

Fort McDowell, AZ 85264

(480) 836-9000

Best course: Saguaro

Joe Passov: Now a teenager, this 13-year-old Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw design serves up tumbling, extra-wide fairways that will let you shake off the winter rust, but parries with green complexes that will vex even the wiliest short-game wizards. The long views of Four Peaks are unforgettable, and the back-to-nature ambiance – no homes or roads interfere with play – make it special.

The Estancia Club (private)

27998 N. 99th Place

Scottsdale, AZ 85262

(480) 473-4400

Linda Dillenbeck: Along with its strategic and challenging layout, what Estancia serves up are dazzling views, dramatic elevation changes, natural rock formations, the sculpted fairways and lush bent-grass greens.

Desert Mountain (private)

37700 Desert Mountain Parkway

Scottsdale, AZ 85262

(480) 595-4000

Best course: Chiricahua

Joe Passov: Desert Mountain is loaded with superb Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, but best of the bunch is Chiricahua. Of the six championship layouts, this one features the widest fairways, fewest forced carries and most significant elevation changes, making it the most drama-filled of all. And the conditioning? Flawless.

Boulders Golf Club (public)

34631 N. Tom Darlington Drive

Carefree, Arizona 85377

(480) 488-9009

Best course: South

John Davis: Mammoth granite rock formations provide for some spectacular backdrops on the two courses. Also a popular spot with wildlife, including bobcats, rabbits, coyotes and javelina.

Grayhawk Golf Club (public)

8620 E. Thompson Peak Parkway

Scottsdale, AZ 85255

(480) 502-1800

Best course: Raptor

Jerry Rose: Raptor gets all the love and it is well-deserved. However, the Talon course is sneaky good. Always in great shape and it has a super interesting collection of holes, especially on the backside. And, it has the best vibe around the clubhouse of any place in Scottsdale.

TPC Scottsdale (public)

17020 N. Hayden Road

Scottsdale, AZ 85255

(480) 585-4334

Best course: Stadium

Tom Mackin: Overshadowed by its more high-profile sibling, the Stadium course, the Champions is enjoyable in its own right and much more affordable.

Jerry Rose: No surprise here. It’s a good golf course all times of the year, but playing it as it prepares to host the Phoenix Open is a really special experience. Everyone should do it at least once.

The Westin

Kierland Golf Club (public)

15636 N. Clubgate Drive

Scottsdale, AZ 85254

(480) 922-9283

Joe Passov: Neither the scenic gem, nor the supreme challenge of the courses listed above, but for pure fun, Kierland can’t be beat. To traverse its 27 holes, one can walk, take a traditional two-person cart, or utilize innovative transport options such as a golf bike, Segway, golf board or the new Turfrider. Golf should be a blast – and these folks get that.