Arizona Getaways: We-Ko-Pa

Visiting Coloradans can’t get enough of We-Ko-Pa’s two courses

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club Cholla Course #2, Courtesy We-Ko-Pa Golf Club


Tucked in the northeast corner of the Valley of the Sun lie two courses that Coloradans love to visit to escape the grey of winter – Cholla and Saguaro, the 18-hole tracks of the We-Ko-Pa Golf Club. Like two wolves raised together since birth, they make for a gorgeous pair even when you know they have claws. They lure in the unsuspecting with immaculate conditions and genuinely unique desert surroundings. There are no home developments nearby – just the companion resort hotel and casino. So the mountain-scapes are gorgeous.

Operated as part of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Enterprises, the courses are a great destination in their own right. But put them up against the beautiful backdrop of the Mazatzal and Superstition mountain ranges, the courses give visitors an experience of wonder even as they work to stay close to par. The complex has long been a Colorado winter vacation favorite and the courses are ranked near the top of the lists of publicArizona courses.

The facility gets its name, ‘We-Ko-Pa’ from the Yavapai pronunciation of Four Peaks Mountain, which looms on the horizon. About 30 miles northeast of Phoenix, the courses are a mandatory destination for any golf omnivore grazing across the state of Arizona for great courses.

The Courses

WeKoPa Golf Club Cholla Course, #8 Courtesy We-Ko-Pa Golf Club

The Cholla Course. This is the one that will have you fitting in extra range sessions before your trip. It’s playable for everyone, but it rewards precision so much that it is irresistible to not want to get better at dropping your ball exactly where you can off the tees.

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club Saguaro Course #14 Courtesy We-Ko-Pa Golf Club

The Saguaro Course. The success of the Cholla course led the developers to double-down in 2005 and hire the design team of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore to design Saguaro. (This is the same team that is working on the Rodeo Dunes development in northeast Colorado.) This is a course designed for the pushcart mafia; they encourage walking and designed it to have challenging holes close to each other. This highly rated course – often the No. 1 rated public course in Arizona – has a variety of desert-golf challenges.

Saguaro Course hole 11 Courtesy We-Ko-Pa Golf Club

Where to Stay

The more than 240-room resort and convention center includes the We-Ko-Pa Casino. The courses are close to Phoenix and Scottsdale, but staying here opens up stay-and-play deals that put both courses in range for a weekend getaway.

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