Central Arizona Phoenix

Arizona Grand Golf Course

The Buzz: Originally it was called The Pointe Golf Club at South Mountain and later was known as Phantom Horse, but by any name, this picturesque layout is one memorable golf experience. Created by Forrest Richardson, a well-known Arizona architect who has a passion for design history, Arizona Grand dazzles golfers with its blend of traditional links, desert influences and strategic routing.


Due to legal challenges over a land swap between the developer and city of Phoenix, it took five years to complete the course that opened to great acclaim in 1989 and sets hard on the edge of South Mountain Park. That is no small matter. In fact, at more than 13,000 acres, it is the largest municipal park in the world and provides a spectacular setting for the course that wends its way through the natural desert preserve with arroyos, craggy, rock-covered hills and dramatic elevation changes. The hike alone is worth the price of admission, but Richardson also offers up some memorable golf holes at Arizona Grand, which plays to par-71 at a manageable 6,336 yards from the back tees. The front nine has a more classic approach and the back nine more of a desert-target feel, and it’s not particularly long but has plenty of strategically placed targets to create challenges.

With captivating surroundings, it is fitting perhaps that the two most memorable holes are nicknamed “Jailhouse Steps” and “Alcatraz.” The former is a 538-yard par-5 with a fairway that narrows in the landing area. The nickname refers to three rows of stacked bunkers that guard an elevated green, which isn’t very deep and starts just 15 yards from the crest of the hill where it rests. The approach shot requires an extra club to reach the green.

Alcatraz gets its name from the island green that concludes the round on the 362-yard, par-4 18th hole. It was created when Arizona Grand Resort underwent a $52 million re-development project in 2009 that also created a massive water park. The hole caps off an excellent finishing stretch that offers birdie opportunities with other par 4s at 353, 325 and 307 yards. Sandwiched among them is the par-3 17th at 202 yards, with a tee box perched high on a bluff that provides some of the most expansive views available of the Valley of the Sun.

The surrounding resort offers plenty more activities, including that water park, which features a 10,000-square-foot wave pool, three water slides up to 83 feet high, a lazy river with rapids, a hot tub large enough for 25 adults, an area called Wild Cat Springs dedicated to young guests, speakers throughout the park and a bar and grill serving a variety of treats and libations.

For dining, you can choose among: The Lobby Grill (with an open wood-fired grill and rotisserie kitchen); Aunt Chilada’s Mexican-style cantina; Rustler’s Rooste (with Mesquite-broiled steaks, chops and chicken and hearty chili) or Phantom Horse Sports Bar, with plenty of TVs and video games to complement the bar menu.

The course and resort have received numerous accolades from the likes of Golf Digest, AAA and the Zagat Survey.

Visit our Arizona Golf Course Reviews and enjoy our take on every golf course in Arizona. It’s just a part of “All Things, Arizona Golf” at the Arizona Golf Authority.

Northern Arizona Prescott

Antelope Hills Golf Course

Arizona Golf Courses – Arizona Golf Authority Golf Course Reviews

Located on the eastern outskirts of Arizona’s “Mile High City’’ – Prescott (5,300 feet above sea level) – Antelope Hills is where the locals play. And they’ve been playing here for quite some time.

Antelope Hills Golf Course - Arizona Golf Course Reviews from the Arizona Golf Authority
Antelope Hills - North Golf Course

The North Course was built in 1956 by one of Arizona’s architectural pioneers, Lawrence Hughes, and embodies traditional values like tight, tree-lined fairways, strategic bunkering and roller-coaster, bent-grass greens.

Avid club players consider the North Course to be an Arizona golf treasure and routinely make the 90-minute drive north from the Scottdale – Phoenix metro area to savor its long-protected and preserved aura from a time gone by.

If stately elms and old school golf is not your thing, tee it up on the Gary Panks-designed South Course, where the links-style fairways and greens are wide open and expose awe-inspiring views of the surrounding Chino Valley and surreal Granite Dells rock formations.

Before and after your round, the on-site Manzanita Grille will handle any food and beverage needs you may have. The patio overlooks the South Course and the Bradshaw Mountains beyond. It’s a full service bar and restaurant affair that’s so good, it serves just as much local traffic that’s not playing golf that day, as golfers who are.

Arizona Golf Authority AZGA “Local Hang” – If you plan to stay in town a few days, just make sure you “camp out’’ downtown at the 100-year-old Hassayampa Inn, just a pitching wedge away from Prescott’s infamous saloons on Whiskey Row.

Who knows? A couple of shots at the Palace Bar or Cadillac Saloon and perhaps you’ll see the Hassayampa Inn’s notorious ghost, fondly named “Faith,’’ who keeps an eye on things around the hotel. You wouldn’t be the first to say you did!

Central Arizona Mesa

Alta Mesa Golf Club

Arizona Golf Courses – Alta Mesa Golf Club
Built in 1985 in the shadows of scenic Red Mountain, this is an equity-owned private club for true golf lovers. Yes, it has an impressive clubhouse befitting its membership, but you won’t find tennis courts and other facilities common at many country clubs.

Alta Mesa GC was built for golfers, it’s operated and maintained by golfers, and it shows.

Along with equity, it offers non-equity, junior and senior memberships and one-time-only seasonal memberships, giving prospective members a chance to take the club for a one-year test run.

Alta Mesa features a traditional design created by architect Dick Phelps with tree-lined fairways and six lakes that bring water into play on eight holes. The par-72 layout has five sets of tees ranging from 5,498 to 7,093 yards with a rating of 73.9 and slope of 132 from the tips.

While it presents an open feel, water hazards, trees and strategic bunkers add up to a formidable challenge, and then there are the well-kept mini-verde greens, which roll smooth but are extremely fast. If you’re going to play it from the tips, take ample time to loosen up because Alta Mesa hits you right out of the gate with a 556-yard par 5, 424-yard par 4, 204-yard par 3 and a 442-yard par 4.

The par-4 ninth is among the most memorable holes at 425 yards with water running down both sides and bunkers along the right edge. Phelps also created an impressive finishing stretch, starting at the par-4 15th hole. It is 405 yards from the back tees with an open fairway but bunkers come into play on both sides of a green with three tiers, and with the speed of these greens, three-putts most definitely are lurking.

No. 16 is a 247-yard par 3 from the back tees that plays into a prevailing wind with little margin for error because desert hugs the left side of the green and trees and shrubs guard the right.

After the par-4 17th (428 yards) comes a daunting finish; the 18th is the longest par 5 on the course at 564 yards. Your tee shot toward the clubhouse needs to avoid a lake along the right side that runs all the way to the green, with bunkers guarding the left side and a narrow neck to the undulating surface, which slopes toward the water.

Many of the holes feature picturesque backdrops provided by Red Mountain and Superstition Mountains in the distance. The overall quality is evidenced by the fact that Alta Mesa has hosted several U.S. Golf Association and mini-tour events, as well as tournaments sanctioned by the Arizona Golf Association and Southwest Section of the PGA.

The 160-acre property also has expansive practice facilities, which cover 10 acres and include two driving ranges, two putting greens, chipping green and practice bunkers. The clubhouse grill and restaurant render fine dining in a scenic setting overlooking two lakes, and the club offers dining memberships for non-golfers.

Visit our Arizona Golf Course Reviews and read the AZGA Player’s Review for every golf course in Arizona at

It’s “All Things Arizona Golf” from the Arizona Golf Authority.

Alpine Northern Arizona

Alpine Country Club

Alpine Country Club – Arizona Golf Courses
With no irrigation system, conditioning here depends largely on Mother Nature, and when she cooperates, it is a fun little track with plenty of charm in the high country. Located in the White Mountains at 8,500 feet above sea level, Alpine Country Club is the highest course in the Southwest and resides in an area known as the “Alps of Arizona.”

alpine-country-club-arizona-photographWhat golfers find here is an entertaining nine-holer with plenty of birdie opportunities, fairways surrounded by dense groves of aspen trees, blue spruce and ponderosa pines in temperatures much cooler than those served up by Arizona’s big cities. They also find abundant wildlife, most notably the spectacular elk that still consider the fairways their stomping grounds.

Designed by Lawrence and Ernie Gay, the course opened in 1963 near the New Mexico border and is well off the beaten path, the nearest town with a stoplight is some 30 miles away. The course plays at 2,650 yards for men, with a rating of 65 and slope of 109 for 18 holes. Ladies’ tees are at 2,305 with a rating and slope of 65.7 and 118.

The par-34 layout starts with a pair of drivable par 4s, and keep in mind that at this elevation, you’ll be gaining plenty of distance on your shots. The first hole, called “Grip ‘N Rip,” is just 267 yards and tempts you to blast away, but it features a tight fairway that narrows to just 40 feet at the entrance to the green. Next up is an even shorter par 4 at 250 yards but there are 100-foot-high ponderosas in the middle of the fairway, 180 yards out, that your tee shot must clear to reach the green, which is heavily sloped from back to front.

And so it goes on this quaint little course that keeps you on your toes with its combination of doglegs, forestry and elevation changes. The eighth hole, a 139-yard par 3 that plays downhill to a green surrounded by 80-foot aspens, offers one of the most beautiful settings on the course and has been the site of several weddings.

Alpine, along the eastern edge of the White Mountains, is in an area known for its gentle rolling mountains and the largest stand of ponderosa pine in the world, with the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and the Gila National Forest providing over 2 million acres of public land. Every direction offers a wonder of nature.

To the north stands Escudilla Mountain at 10,877 feet. The Blue Primitive Area, one of the most remote areas in the western U.S., lies to the south. Off to the west is the Black River with its premium fly fishing and over 50 lakes within an hour’s drive. Due east lies Luna, N.M., and the gorgeous San Francisco River Valley.

This is a very special area of Arizona that you won’t soon forget, and if you’re looking for lodging to complement the golf experience, try the Hannigan Meadow Lodge, the Ta-Wi-Wi Lodge or the Alpine Inn Bed and Breakfast.

Click Arizona Golf Course Reviews for our take on every golf course in Arizona. It’s just a part of “All Things, Arizona Golf” from the Arizona Golf Authority.

Central Arizona Glendale

Adobe Dam Golf Course

Adobe Dam Golf Course
This place bills itself as the “Best Little Golf Course by a Dam Site” and hey, who’s to argue? It’s not a golf course where you are going to spend your day, but one where you can spend an enjoyable part of a day while you take in the surroundings and activities of this area northwest of Phoenix.

Arizona’s “Best Little Golf Course by a Dam Site”

This nine-hole executive course is located at the southern end of the Adobe Mountain Recreation Area, which is managed by Maricopa County Parks and Recreation and offers a host of family activities. The course, which most golfers walk, plays at 1,756 yards with one par-5 hole, two par 4’s and six par 3’s, which range in length from 97 to 168 yards. Played twice, it measures 3,512 yards at par 62 with a rating of 58.1 and slope of 87. It’s a good place for newcomers to learn the game and experienced players to work on their short game in a relaxed atmosphere but one that respects the traditions of the game and stresses etiquette.

Designed by Les Gullickson and head pro Pete Julsrud, it opened in 1993 and features arroyos and desert areas that can add to the challenge along with deep rough and small greens, and finishes with a tricky water hazard. The finishing par-3 holes, at 168 and 144 yards, both are testing and can make or break your round. Other amenities include a lighted, grass driving range, putting green, pitching green complete with bunkers, and the Phoenix Golf School. This facility is known for having a quality junior program.

Green fees are about as low as you can find in the Phoenix metro area at around 15 bucks or less. Because you can move around this course quickly, it leaves plenty of time for other activities and you will find lots of them in the nearby park that sets at the base of the Hedgepeth Hills and spans 1,526 acres.

Among other things, it is home to the Arizona Model Pilots Society, Maricopa Live Streamers and Arizona Model Railroading Society, two go-cart racing clubs and the Fort Adobe Paintball Complex. The Maricopa Live Steamers Railroad Heritage Preservation Society operates out of the park and offers free train rides on Sundays (excluding June-August).

There also are numerous athletic fields, hiking trails and the highly popular Wet ‘N Wild waterpark. It is also close to Cactus League spring training baseball complexes and the home arenas of the NFL Arizona Cardinals football team and NHL Phoenix Coyotes hockey club.