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7 Best Golf Courses in Scottsdale That Are Open to Public

Scottsdale golf courses are some of the best desert golf in Arizona. I’ve lived in South Scottsdale since 2012 and been lucky enough to play nearly every public course.

Whether you’re planning a golf trip or a local looking for the best courses in your backyard, I’ll help you navigate Scottsdale golf. Don’t settle when you’re in the Sonoran Desert, learn from a local to enjoy the best Scottsdale has to offer.

Discover the Best Golf Courses in Scottsdale 

Today we’ll focus on public golf courses that are considered a must play in Scottsdale.

1. TPC Scottsdale 

TPC Scottsdale is home of the WM Open (aka Waste Management Phoenix Open) – one of the greatest events ever. It’s easy to forget about the golf course when you’re watching the massive crowds on TV or partying your face off any day of the week.

But both courses in Scottsdale are solid choices for a golf destination. They’re not far from Old Town (downtown Scottsdale) and right off the 101 highway. Here’s a quick synopsis of each golf course (or read our full review of TPC Scottsdale here). 

TPC Stadium Course

The TPC Scottsdale Stadium course is the home of the PGA Tour event held annually on Super Bowl weekend. The layout is pretty straightforward but there are some strategically placed bunkers and immaculately groomed fairways (if you avoid the desert).

As noted on the TPC Scottsdale website, “The course, which was renovated in 2014, is most famous for its par-3, 16th hole that transforms into “The Coliseum” during the tournaments and provides fans with one of the most exciting settings in professional sports.

During the 51 weeks of the year when fans are not watching the sport’s top names make history, they can test their own skills on the same pristine fairways – maintained to PGA TOUR-quality standards year-round – as their favorite professionals.”

Fully tipped out it’s a beast at 7,261 yards. Prices do get pretty steep in winter months, especially near the WM Open.

TPC Champions Course 

If you take away the appeal of the WM Open I think the Champions course is a better layout than the Stadium. I played a four-day Arizona Golf (AGA) event there in June 2023 and loved it every day. There are some challenging risk-reward holes, generous landing areas, and overall a good test of golf.

From the tips this golf course is 7,113 yards and has some great holes. Some of my favorites include the 605 yard 17th and difficult 460 yard 18th hole.

17th hole at Grayhawk Golf club

2. Grayhawk Golf Club

Grayhawk is no doubt one of the best golf courses in Scottsdale.

It’s located in North Scottsdale just past the 101 and an easy drive if you live in Tempe or Phoenix. I’ve played both courses in Arizona golf tournaments and casual rounds and love them. You get great views of the surrounding mountains and Sonoran Desert too.

Grayhawk Golf Club has two golf courses; Raptor course and Talon course.

The Raptor course is my favorite as it has more challenging greens and a better layout than the Talon course. It’s also the course used for the NCAA Championship each year.

Here’s how they described the course on their website, “The Tom Fazio-designed Raptor course offers thrilling challenges that command players’ respect through a high-stakes game of risk and reward. Stretching 7,151 yards from the back tees, the par-72 course unfolds over the gentle hills and across shaded natural arroyos found in this picturesque corner of the Sonoran Desert.”

The Talon course is still a good track too at nearly 7,000 yards and one of the highest rated public golf courses in Arizona. It has some great views of the nearby McDowell mountains and a fun island green on the 17th hole.

But honestly you can’t go wrong with either. They have great practice facilities, amazing restaurants, and the course is in near perfect shape year round.

3. Camelback Golf Club

Camelback Golf Club has two golf courses and no doubt deserves to be on this list. It’s located in Central Scottsdale/Paradise Valley and kind of tucked away in a really nice area.

The two courses, Ambiente and Padre, both offer some great golf. Ambiente is probably my favorite golf course in Scottsdale but Padre has a solid layout as well. 

These great courses are always pure – no matter what time of year. Ambiente tends to be a little more money but uses the natural terrain to make it more challenging as well. Padre is a little easier but still a great course.

Read my full review of Camelback Golf Club now. 

View from Kierland golf course in Scottsdale

4. Kierland Golf Club

Kierland Golf Club is a 27-hole golf destination that is perfectly positioned in central-North Scottsdale. It’s been ranked one of the best golf courses in Scottsdale/Phoenix by Golf Advisor and definitely a must-play when visiting.

What’s great about Kierland Golf Club is the three nine hole courses. Each course (Ironwood, Acacia, and Mesquite) are pretty similar in terms of layouts but having an extra nine helps the pace of play. If you play there a lot it also breaks up the routine of playing the same 18 every time.

They also are one of the few golf courses to include a covered driving range in the summer. Unfortunately you must be playing or staying at the resort to enjoy the practice facilities.

5. Troon North Golf Club 

Troon North is located in North Scottsdale (nearly Cave Creek) and the epitome of playing golf in the desert. Also, it’s important to note that Troon North Golf Club is not to be confused with Troon Country Club which is a private golf course nearby.

The meticulously maintained fairways and greens wind through natural desert vegetation and provide some great views. With its strategic bunkers and undulating greens it’s the perfect balance between beauty and playability.

Both of these public golf courses aren’t cheap but you can count on them being in great shape year round like most Troon golf facilities. Both courses are just about 7,000 and require a ton of accuracy off the tee. 

Troon North Pinnacle Course

The Pinnacle Course is celebrated for its remarkable design by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish. This desert gem, set against the stunning backdrop of Pinnacle Peak and dramatic desert landscapes, offers a great test.  

Troon North Monument Course

The Troon North Monument Course is named after the stunning monument boulder at the third hole, and has its own unique character and challenges. This course offers a diverse range of holes, from risk-reward par-5s to strategic par-3s, providing a great test of your game. Good luck with the 13th hole (222 yard par 3) and 17th hole (495 yard par 4). 

Talking stick golf course view

6. Talking Stick Golf Club 

Talking Stick Golf Club is one of the best locations in the valley right off the 101. It’s a great place to stay as TopGolf is a driver distance away, a huge casino, restaurants, and a mile from Popstroke (Tiger Woods new outdoor putting experience). 

Both Talking Stick golf courses are pretty solid in terms of conditions and pretty busy year around. They also have the PDF (Player Development Program) which is a decent option if you’re looking for a grass driving range. 

They have two golf courses; Piipaash and O’odham. Both are priced the same and one isn’t busier than the other in general. 

Piipaash Golf Course (South Course) 

The Piipaash Golf Course is my favorite of the two tracks, as I think it has a little more character to it than the North course. It’s quite a bit shorter than O’odham and a par 71. 

O’odham Course (North Course) 

I might be in the minority here, but I’m not a huge fan of this golf course. It feels like you’re playing the same hole over and over again. It’s a par 70 with only two par fives… one of which has out of bounds a few feet away from the green. Seriously, I’ve seen players chip out of bounds from right next to the green. 

But there are some good holes including the final four as 15-18 are challenging but fair. Somehow I got paired up with Patrick Peterson (when he played for the Arizona Cardinals) which made for quite a day. Even though I slapped it around, I was able to get him by one stroke… just saying! 

7. Boulders Golf Club 

Boulders Resort is another golf destination that has two courses and is located in North Scottsdale.

We did a staycation at the resort for my birthday and were overall disappointed with the experience. The resort is a cluster the way it’s designed and way too fancy for our tastes. But if you’re a bit bougie, no doubt you’ll like it.

However, the golf courses are pretty solid if you don’t mind desert golf. As mentioned on their website, “The Boulders Club, a semi-private country club for members, resort guests, and daily fee players, features a 6,959 yard, par 72, championship North Course and a 6,917 yard, par 71 championship South Course, both designed by Jay Morrish.”

The North Course is the older of the two courses and built right into the foothills. You’ll get some amazing views of the Sonoran Desert sunsets and likely see some wildlife too.

The South Course is the newer course and offers a very similar layout to the original. You will get to see “Boulder Pile” and “Rosie’s rock” which are two of the most notable recognized rock formations.

Both are still considered public golf courses even though they are semi-private. Usually members are one course and public on the other. 

Close to Scottsdale – We Ko Pa Golf Club, Fountain Hills

We-Ko-pa golf club has the Cholla golf course and Saguaro golf course. The two courses are in the Scottsdale area (Fort McDowell, Fountain Hills) and some of the best golf in the valley.

The We-Ko-Pa Cholla golf course is much more traditional desert golf with smaller landing areas.

While the We-Ko-Pa Saguaro golf course is more of a traditional course with generous landing areas. It’s not nearly as penalizing if you mishit it but still a good challenge.

Close to Scottsdale – Quintero Golf Club, Peoria

Quintero Golf Club is technically in Peoria not Scottsdale but is an excellent course and worth the drive. The course has a ton of natural beauty and one of the more challenging layouts. The 9th hole is one of the best holes in Arizona and won’t disappoint.

9th hole at Quintero

Top Questions About Arizona Desert Golf

Do you have more questions about playing golf in Scottsdale? If so, keep reading through the top questions and answers now. 

Where do the pros play golf in Scottsdale?

The PGA Tour plays the WM Open at TPC Scottsdale Stadium course. Depending on what time of year you play at TPC Scottsdale, you might get some of the grandstands set up. If you play right after the tournament, you’ll get the true coliseum view, too. But be prepared to spend Pebble Beach type of green fees for the experience. 

Is TPC Scottsdale worth it? Should you play TPC Scottsdale?

TPC Scottsdale has two solid courses, but the prices are a bit steep. In the peak season (November-March) rates are very high ($300+), especially at the Stadium course. But in the summer, prices drop a lot, making them some of the better Scottsdale golf courses to play.

How many golf courses in Scottsdale? 

Golf Digest has said there are more than 200 golf courses in the Scottsdale area. This includes other metros like Phoenix, Peoria, Fountain Hills, and Tempe too.

Is Cholla or Saguaro better?

I like each golf course, but it depends on what you’re looking for in terms of layout and design. Cholla is more desert golf with target style lading areas. While the Saguaro golf course has a more traditional style layout.

What’s the best place to stay in Scottsdale for a golf trip?

If you’re planning to play any of these courses in Scottsdale, it’s hard to beat Talking Stick resort. You’re close to TopGolf, PopStroke, and all the courses above. Not to mention not far from North Scottsdale and close to Old Town if you want a good nightlife scene.

Closing Thoughts on the Best Public Golf Courses in Scottsdale

Scottsdale and the Sonoran Desert have no shortage of golf courses and tons of activities year round. From gambling, Top Golf, hiking surrounding mountains, shopping, spring training, and more.

If you’re outside the Scottsdale area, here are a couple other golf courses to check out:

Also, don’t forget to check out the best golf courses in Phoenix, too. 

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