Seek Out These Five High-Value Gems
Pictured above: Gold Canyon’s Dinosaur Mountain course.
So much has been written about the glorious golf in Phoenix. Deservedly so, considering the cream of the area’s 200-plus courses have earned “best of” and “top 100” status on numerous national rankings.
That said, Phoenix’s competitive golf market dictates that virtually every course in the metro area be maintained and presented at extraordinarily high levels—including those that do not bear the marquee course design credentials of a Crenshaw/Coore, Nicklaus, Fazio, Weiskopf, Morrish or a Jones.
Where else to play? Here are five off-the-beaten-path and praiseworthy candidates for your upcoming Phoenix golf getaway:
1. Nestled in the shadow of mesmerizing Red Mountain in Mesa, Longbow Golf Club is a bona fide treasure. Breathtaking Sonoran Desert vistas, spectacular conditioning, a respected golf academy and a dynamic Ken Kavanaugh layout make this 7,005-yard stunner a worthwhile experience. Current greens fees range from $43-$80 through September, and better deals can be had by showing your OB Sports Travel Card. 480-807-5400
Above: Longbow Golf Club (credit: Ken Easley)
2. Another bona-fide favorite is Gold Canyon Resort. Its guest-pleasing attractions include luxurious accommodations, fine dining, spa, pool, Jeep tours and breathtaking desert hiking, plus 36 holes of rollicking Kavanaugh golf. The popular 6,908-yard Dinosaur Mountain course earns high marks as a multi-elevation, jaw-dropping romp exquisitely framed by Superstition Mountain panoramas. Current greens fees range from $45-$100, and even lower summer rates start June 1. 800-827-5281
Above: Gold Canyon
3. Situated among the heaving North Phoenix Mountains is Lookout Mountain Golf Course, anchor amenity for the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. Traditionally styled with tee-to-green fairways, this 6,515-yard Bill Johnson/Forest Richardson creation offers detailed conditioning, nerve-testing desert scrub and Nikon-prompting views of Lookout Mountain and Piestewa Peak. The resort further compels with premium suite accommodations, fine dining, spa, waterpark and Phoenix Mountain Preserve mountain biking and hiking. Current greens fees range from $29-$85. 602-866-7500
Above: Lookout Mountain Golf Course
4. Sometimes overlooked if not outright forgotten, Stonecreek Golf Club is a splendid, play-it-everyday test in north Phoenix’s Paradise Valley. Designed by Arthur Hills and back-dropped by towering Piestewa Peak, the 6,871-yard routing is celebrated for its central location, upscale guest services, value-added pricing and some of the region’s stronger finishing holes. Current greens fees range from $35-$55. 602-953-9111
Above: Stonecreek Golf Club
5. Sited on Phoenix’s west side in Goodyear, Palm Valley Golf Club is so appealing that five years ago it was purchased by PGA Tour legend Phil Mickelson. Today, the post-purchase customer service and course upgrades have added measurable distinction to the 7,015-yard Hills-designed Palms Course and the 4,745-yard Hale Irwin-crafted Lakes Course. Palms greens fees currently range from $22-$45, and added discounts are available through the OB Sports Travel Card. 623-935-2500
Above: Palm Valley Golf Club
A 12-year resident of Phoenix, Chris Duthie is now a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.