Central Arizona Glendale

Legend at Arrowhead Golf Course

The Buzz: It got off to a delayed start, but Legends at Arrowhead, designed by legendary Arnold Palmer became one of the most popular public facilities on the Valley of the Sun’s “west side,” and has stood the test of time with its traditional setting and player-friendly layout. Set among six lakes and characterized by elevated tees, mature palm trees, numerous doglegs, 65 strategic bunkers and large, undulating greens, this is a solid and fair test of golf. Legend at Arrowhead is one of seven courses in Arizona designed by Palmer and delayed its opening for nearly three years after it was built because the clubhouse and other amenities were not completed.

The grand opening in 1989 helped spark a resurgence of the master-planned development Arrowhead Ranch. Built on the site of a former citrus ranch covering 5,000 acres, it has become a very successful development that is 95 percent built out with nearly 9,000 homes priced from $200,000 to $1 million. Palmer and right-hand man Ed Seay also designed the nearby Arrowhead Country Club, and he later said he was proud of what was accomplished in the area.

“When we designed Arrowhead, it was a new challenge in the Arizona desert,” Palmer said. It was built before desert-target courses became popular in the Valley, and has more turf than they offer, with a nice variety of holes and strategic challenges. There are four sets of tees at 7,005, 6,509, 6,013 and 5,233 yards, with a rating of 73.1 and slope of 131 from the back tees. Six lakes bring water into play on nine holes and bunkers stretch, twist and snake their way along fairways, helping to define target areas, but greens might provide the toughest challenge with their speed, tiers and undulations.

One memorable stretch is a three-hole combination that starts at the fifth, a 431-yard par 4 that is considered the signature hole. It begins with sculpted, elevated tees that are created in tiers and, even if you tee off from one of the shorter sets, do yourself a favor and check out the views from the top tier. Then forget the view and focus on avoiding the lake along the right side. The par-5 sixth is the No. 1 handicap hole at 529 yards that brings danger into play on every shot, accentuated by prevailing winds. The horseshoe-shaped hole wraps around a lake on the right side, water and a stand of palm trees block the shortest route to the green on the second shot, and a layup still requires an approach over water to a semi-island green tucked cozily into grass mounding. The par-4 seventh isn’t particularly long at 392 yards but requires a well placed drive to negotiate the right-to-left dogleg and maintain the proper angle for a second-shot into this heavily contoured green. Par these three and your compatriots will consider you the “player” in the group.

Amenities include a clubhouse with full-service pro shop and restaurant, practice facilities with driving range, putting and chipping greens and a golf school. The club offers several memberships, including a “player development program” with unlimited range access, free weekly clinics, discounted tee times, free golf after 3 p.m. and other benefits.

Central Arizona Glendale

Glen Lakes Golf Course

Arizona Golf Authority AZGA Golf Course Buzz: Built in 1968, Glen Lakes has long been one of the most popular 9-hole executive courses in Arizona due to its great practice facilities, good conditioning, entertaining layout and affordable green fees.

Glen Lakes is one of about 15 courses designed in Arizona by Milton Coggins; owned by the city of Glendale, this municipal layout offers some of the lowest golf rates in the Valley of the Sun.

Glen Lakes is a relatively flat course of traditional design, with water in play on four holes. Level par is 33 for the six par-4 and three par-3 layout; two sets of tees are in play. The back tees are set at 2,403 yards with a rating of 62 and slope of 98 for 18 holes and the shorter tees play at 2,135 yards with a rating of 59.5 and slope of 89.

One highlight of the round is the third hole, a short par-3 at 122 yards with large eucalyptus trees guarding the right side of a green that slopes left-to-right, towards a pond and is guarded in front by a grass bunker.

The 5th and 8th holes are drivable par 4s at 265 and 301 yards; mature eucalyptus trees at No. 5 place an emphasis on accuracy and No. 8 features a lake threatening the left side of the primary landing area and a smallish undulating green.

The best hole of the lot is the 9th, a 186-yard par-3; lakes running along both sides and a daunting bunker in front of the green demand an accurate tee shot to end the day.

Glen Lakes’ reputation of being a “family” course that is female-friendly is well deserved and their junior program is one of the best in town.

Practice facilities are popular with a driving range that’s lighted until 10 p.m., putting and chipping greens and a practice bunker. The range is one of the few in the area with a canopy and mist-cooling system to help keep things pleasant during the summer, but on the minus side it has artificial mat tee surfaces.

The course is located near Glendale’s major attractions, including the Arizona Cardinals’ football stadium, Phoenix Coyotes’ hockey arena as well as two baseball spring training ballparks.

Read the Arizona Golf Course Directory AZGA Buzz for every golf course in Arizona at; it’s “All Things Arizona Golf” from the Arizona Golf Authority.

Central Arizona Glendale

Five Hundred 500 Club Golf Course

Arizona Golf Courses – Arizona Golf Authority Golf Course Reviews

The 500 Club is a terrific combination of fun golf holes in a lovely secluded setting for a greens fee golfers will find reasonable, especially during Arizona golf’s “peak season” winter months.

500 Five Hundred Club Golf Course - Arizona Golf Course Reviews from the Arizona Golf Authority
500 Five Hundred Club Par-5 18th

But no matter what season you play, the rate is always worth the rich payoff received when you literally play up to, around and over the protected mountain preserve of the Hedgpeth Hills. Brian Whitcomb used these rugged outcroppings, together with lakes and arroyos, to produce the fun and, depending on your tee selection, challenging par-72 500 Club layout.

From the tips, the course measures 6,867 yards with a rating of 71.5 and 121 slope. Tee markers are also provided at 6,203 and 5,601 yards; rating and slope are 68.5/119 and 69.8/112, respectively. Par for the course from the forward tees is 73.

This is one of those rare Phoenix golf courses that is not a series of house-lined fairways. Due to its location in the preserve, the only house you’ll see all day is the Clubhouse.

The challenge begins early at the 500 Club so stay focused; the lovely setting here can be distracting. The 553-yard par-5 2nd green is literally butted against the mountains – don’t be long. The 409-yard par-4 3rd doglegs left around them – don’t tug it left, and the 4th offering at the 500 Club is a 4-par 419-yard thrill ride down the hill which leaves you staring at an island green, death-gripping your carefully chosen second-shot club. A second, non-island green shares daily duty here from time to time.

Here’s more fun. The mountainside 161-yard par-3 11th plays 2-3 clubs uphill to a green surface too elevated to see, and the 12th tee is perched at the top of that mountain. The view of the preserve from the 12th tee-box is spectacular, as is the view of your drive on this 380-yard par-4 as it falls 80+ feet to the fairway and lake-hugging green complex below.

At the 500 Club, the native desert terrain is kept alongside the fairways and rarely crosses your direct path of play to the green. In the event that you stray a bit right or left, no worries, you’ll find your ball and likely be able to play it without too much trouble.

The lakes are kept alongside as well; you’ll have to hit it sideways to find them. The only forced carry over water on the course protects the 18th green, but along the right side of the green it shrinks in size to form a narrow creek you may step across if you wish.

The 500 Club is a terrific golf course and we recommend to all our avid club players. The facility is outfitted with all the amenities, including a very generous practice range and a separate 9-hole course named the Futures Course.

The Futures plays at 1,620-yards to par-28 and is the perfect spot to groom a veteran player’s iron-game, encourage a developing player’s full-game and sharpen everybody’s short game. Rest assured, the turf conditions here are maintained at the same high level as those on the championship course.

The 500 Club’s ambiance is “come as you are” and anyone who enjoys golf, at any skill level, will feel comfortable. The staff does an exemplary job of providing an entertaining round of golf for one of the fairest rates in town.

Arizona Golf Authority AZGA “Local Hang” for the 500 Club is Dillon’s, on the east side of 59th Avenue, just north of the 101 Loop; you’ll enjoy the drive through the preserve on the way.

Central Arizona Glendale

Desert Mirage Golf Club

The Buzz: No, there’s nothing particularly fancy or dazzling about this course, but if you’re looking for a place in the Phoenix area to learn to play, work on your short game or slip in a quick round at some of the most affordable rates in the Valley of the Sun, this just might be your spot.

Desert Mirage is a nine-hole executive course known for having a helpful staff and a friendly atmosphere with no par-5 holes, water in play on just one hole and a few strategic bunkers. Designed by Bill Phillips, it has three sets of tees, with the longest at 2,095 yards. 18-hole yardages are 4,092, 3,852 and 3,490 yards, with a rating of 59.3 and slope of 91 from the back tees.

The longest hole on the course is the first at 346 yards, with the other par 4s measuring 309, 314 and 322. Par 3s range from 130-176 yards.

The signature hole is the ninth, which is the only one with water. The par 4 is a dogleg left that measures 322 yards from the back tee with a creek that cuts across to a lake along the left side of the green and end of the fairway.

Bellows Golf Management runs this facility, which has a grass driving range, putting green and complete pro shop with a grill that serves breakfast and lunch. The course is particularly popular with kids and is the site of a First Tee program, with an after-school league available.

It is located near Westgate City Center and the University of Phoenix Stadium, which is the home of the Arizona Cardinals football team, and also is near several spring training facilities, making it a popular place for baseball fans to squeeze in a round of golf before or after a game.

Central Arizona Glendale

Bellair Golf Club

Arizona Golf Courses – Arizona Golf Authority Golf Course Review

Bellair Golf Club offers one of the best executive golf courses in Arizona. The design is definitely head-and-shoulders above the usual pitch-and-putt affair as this Bellair features five par-4 holes, genuine strategic bunkering and several tight, tree-lined fairways.

Bellair Golf Club - Arizona Golf Course Reviews from the Arizona Golf Authority
Bellair Golf Club No. 13 - 160 Yard - Par 3

If you are adept at playing long irons and fairway metals, this course will fit your game nicely. If not, Bellair is the place to hone that part of your game. The course is an enjoyable and thorough test, throughout the bag, that will help fine tune your short game as well.

Bellair’s golf course, which opened in 1973, was sculpted by Red Lawrence, Greg Nash and Jeff Hardin, all of whom are well known for their course design work throughout Arizona, and they created a nice variety of holes with this layout. From the tips, par-4 holes range from 254 to 354 yards and par 3s vary from 121 to 217 yards.

The tips are set 3,493 yards and play to par 59. From here, the course is rated at 56.2 with a slope of 90. If there is a signature hole, it might be the 13th, which plays at 160 yards over water. Most of the greens are well protected challenging bunkers, and two water hazards come into play.

Bellair Golf Club features plenty of variety that appeals to all skill levels, and the affordable rates and friendly atmosphere also add to its good reputation. After your round, relax at the IronWorks Restaurant, which overlooks the first hole of the course and its adjoining lake. It offers good food at reasonable prices and has a full-service restaurant and lounge, open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If you prefer something a little spicier, the nearby Sesame Kitchen serves up some of the best Thai food in the Valley of the Sun. For lodging, the Red Roof Inn and Comfort Inn are good budget choices and within three miles of the course.

If you’re a baseball spring training fan, this is a great place to slip in a quick round on a good course before or after a game, and there are several teams that train nearby. Seattle and San Diego are over at Peoria Sports Complex and Texas and Kansas City train at Surprise Recreation Center. Both complexes are within a 15-minute drive.

Visit the Arizona Golf Authority, it’s “All Things Arizona Golf.”

Click Friends Hole Back-to-Back Aces at Bellair Golf Club’s 12th and 13th for a great hole-in-one story.

Our all Arizona Golf Courses Reviews and Guide List directory has an AZGA Player’s Arizona golf course review for every golf course in Arizona, click