A view of the eighth hole at Grayhawk Golf Club. (Photo by Hornstein Creative/PGA of America).
Phoenix, Arizona, is one of the top golf destinations in the country, especially in the winter months. You will find sunny skies and warmer weather here in the desert, but on top of all of that, you will also find some incredible golf courses.
As a PGA of America Golf Professional living in Phoenix/Scottsdale for just over a year, here are my top picks for your next golf trip to Phoenix. Grayhawk Golf Club
Former host of NCAA D-I Men's and Women's Golf Championships, National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship, and so much more. The two golf courses at Grayhawk Golf Club are some of the best public courses you will find in the area. Both courses, the Raptor and Talon, are easy to navigate, but present plenty of challenges from tee to green. The experience from the parking lot to the final hole of your trip will be that of high quality. You will find plenty of merchandise to choose from in their sizable golf shop, and there's a variety of food & beverage options within the clubhouse that are perfect for pre- or post-round.
We have all seen this spot on TV during the WM Phoenix Open, but if you head to TPC Scottsdale in the winter outside of that week, you will get to experience the golf in a whole new way. In most of the winter months, golfers at TPC Scottsdale will play the Stadium Course with the grandstands either already built or in the middle of being built. It adds a whole different and exciting environment to a round of golf. The Champions Course is worth playing as well, as it feels like a completely different golf course than the Stadium. The variety between the two courses make for a great destination during your trip.
And if you're ever wondering what it's like to make an ace on the 16th hole, PGA of America Member Keith Bennett has your answer:
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
I recently played the Cholla course at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club in the Southwest PGA Section Championship, and it's turned into one of my favorite courses in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Alongside Cholla is the Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw-designed Saguaro course, which is a rare desert links design that follows natural movement of the land. While the natural desert surroundings put premium on accuracy, We-Ko-Pa also brings outstanding views of the mountain ranges and pristine conditioning, especially in the winter, making it a great desert golf experience. Additionally, We-Ko-Pa offers stay-and-play and 36-hole packages, too, making it easy to try out both Cholla and Saguaro.
Wildfire Golf Club
With courses named “Faldo Championship Course” and “Palmer Signature Course,” you know you are going to get some quality golf at Wildfire Golf Club. Both courses are always in outstanding condition, and the experience at this club is one to remember. The Wildfire Golf Shop was named a "Top 100 Golf Shops in America," so you can pick up some swag for your friends that missed out on your spectacular golf trip.
The name is fitting here, as you will find plenty of boulders on this golf course. The Boulders Golf Club is known for its unique course layout and, of course, its boulders. The golf course will be fun and challenging to every type of golfer. Each hole will have you thinking, and each hole will be in fabulous condition. From tee to green you will find shots in your bag that you will have to hit that you never knew existed. It is a fun golf course to play, and it will be a great addition to your lineup when you visit Phoenix.
Of course there are plenty of other golf courses in the area, as there are 193 in Maricopa County alone. It is hard to go wrong in Phoenix/Scottsdale, especially in the winter months. If you are planning a trip here soon, I hope these picks will make your planning a little easier!