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Longbow Golf Course Review – Nearly Perfect Desert Golf

Today, I’ll review Longbow Golf Club and see what makes it a must-visit for both locals and out of town golfers. There’s a reason it’s number one on the list of best public golf courses in Mesa, AZ

Nestled amidst the stunning desert landscapes of Mesa, Arizona, Longbow Golf Club has earned its reputation as one of the premier golf destinations in the area. This 18-hole championship golf course offers an unforgettable golfing experience in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. It’s desert golf but very fair with great prices, and a lot more pros than cons. 

In this comprehensive review, we’ll explore the course layout, signature holes, practice facilities, and everything you need to know before booking at Longbow. 

Longbow Golf Course Review  

  • Operated by Troon Golf
  • Par 71 – 7,050 from the tips 
  • Opened in 1997 – redesigned in 2003 

Practice Facility

Longbow has one of the better practice facilities in the Mesa area and one I’ll go to even if I’m not playing at. They have a Toptracer driving range (more on that below) with grass or mats depending on the day/time of year. 

They also have a large chipping green that is tough to beat. You can work on all types of shots and they have a great bunker area too. Unfortunately the putting green isn’t the best but overall it warrants the higher price tag for range balls if you use the chipping green. 

Toptracer Driving Range

One of the biggest perks of Longbow is the Toptracer driving range. Here’s how they described it on their website.

“Longbow Toptracer Range delivers the same ball-tracking technology that traces the shots of the best players in golf on TV. Longbow Toptracer Range will redefine your driving range experience – from a functional training day to an exciting experience for even the occasional golfer. Players will hit Titleist golf balls off of real, fairway turf offering true course like conditions.” 

To take advantage of this feature you’ll need to download the Toptracer Range mobile app and follow the prompts. The only downside is that range balls are not cheap at this type of facility. 

  • Small basket = $12 (30 balls)
  • Medium basket = $20 (70 balls) 
  • Large basket = $27 (100 balls)

Yikes, that’s not cheap! 

Course Overview + Conditions 

Designed by the talented Ken Kavanaugh, Longbow Golf Club’s par-71 layout is a masterful blend of strategic challenges and scenic beauty. The course makes the most of the natural desert terrain, offering a diverse and captivating experience. With multiple tee options, it caters to players of all levels, from beginners to seasoned veterans.

From the tips it’s more than 7,000 yards with a lot of desert coming into play on tee shots. But if you can find your ball it’s more playable than some courses like Troon North or others with heavy desert terrain.

Longbow’s fairways are well-maintained and framed by native desert flora, providing a quintessential Arizona golfing experience. The subtle undulations in the fairways and greens add a layer of complexity to the course, requiring players to exercise precision and strategic thinking throughout their rounds.

Most of the time the course is in good shape. I’ve played it in the summer months before a US Amateur qualifying and it has seen better days. But in the winter, spring, and fall it’s worth the tee time and not overly expensive. 

Noteworthy Holes on Longbow Golf Course 

Longbow is desert golf but it’s quite fair compared to other courses in the area. It’s mostly flat with no blind shots but there are some challenging elevated greens. It’s not a course I’d recommend walking as there is no shade and minimal drinking stations. 

Hole 1: Par 5 – 626 yards 

The first hole is a monster at more than 600 yards so make sure you get a good warm up. The hole is big dogleg left with desert coming into play on the left. You’ll want to aim left of the tree on the right side of the fairway.

Most golfers can’t get home in two and will need to miss the fairway bunker on the right side of the hole. The green is pretty tricky too with two distinct ridges so make sure to plan your approach shot carefully. A birdie is always a good start but this is a tough hole so par isn’t the end of the world. 

Hole 4: Par 4 – 429 yards 

The 4th hole isn’t overly long but is the hardest handicap hole on the golf course. The tee shot is somewhat tricky and anything left can end up in the water. While the right side is guarded by a large fairway bunker.

The second shot is equally difficult with a slender green that is more than 30 yards long. Anything left will end up in the water and right isn’t great with two bunkers where you’ll hit back toward the water. Par is a great score on this hole. 

Hole 8: Par 4 – 338 yards 

The 8th hole is a risk-reward hole where you might get a chance to drive the green if it’s downwind. The back tee box is hard to find (watch out for rattlesnakes as I’ve seen one on the back box) and doesn’t provide the best visuals for the green. If you do go for the green make sure to miss left as desert is right and it’s a nearly impossible shot if you can find your ball.

Laying up is a good play for most golfers but don’t miss long on your approach either as it will roll into the desert. For only 338 yards you have to do a lot of thinking on this short par four. 

Hole 11: Par 3 – 193 yards 

The 11th hole is another challenge as it’s long and has a very tricky green. Anything left of the green will hit the hill and roll into the desert for an awkward chip shot. The right bunker is tough as you’ll be chipping on a downhill shot.

If you have to miss anywhere it’s short and right of the green. Overall this is another hole where par is a great score. 

Hole 14: Par 4 – 448 yards 

13 and 14 are tough golf holes but 14 is one of the longer par 4s on the course. The fairway is decently wide but trouble is everywhere with a bunker right and desert left. Even if you find the short grass, the second shot is the most challenging part of the hole.

The green is elevated and very deep with a big left to right slope. Anything left ends up in a large bunker that isn’t an easy up and down. While anything long can hit and roll off the green.

Aim for the middle of the green and hope for a two putt. 

Hole 18: Par 5 – 556 yards 

The final hole at Longbow Golf Club is a great finisher but far from an easy birdie. The tee shot is pretty wide and it’s better to miss left than right which is thick desert terrain.

If you hit a good drive you’ll need to consider going for the green or laying up between more fairway bunkers. Missing left is okay but will leave a tricky third shot as the green slopes front to back. 

Michael Leonard at Longbow golf club


Do you have more questions about Longbow Golf Club? If so, keep reading through the most commonly asked questions and answers now. 

Does Longbow Golf Club have a men’s league?

Yes, it’s one of the better options in the area as they have regular tournaments, skins games, and more. 

Are there rental clubs available at Longbow Golf Club?

Yes, Longbow offers rental clubs, both men’s and women’s, for those who prefer not to travel with their own.

Does Longbow have dining options or a clubhouse?

Yes, Longbow Golf Club has a clubhouse with a dining area and bar. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy a meal or a drink after your round.

Are there any stay and play packages available for out-of-town visitors?

Longbow offers a variety of stay and play packages in collaboration with nearby hotels and resorts. These packages often include golf, accommodations, and other amenities.

Desert golf at Longbow

Overall Recommendation

Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona, stands as a true gem in the desert, offering a top-tier golfing experience with its well-designed course, scenic beauty, and excellent practice facilities. Whether you’re a local resident or an out-of-town visitor, Longbow Golf Club should be on your golfing bucket list. 

Book your tee time and prepare for an unforgettable round of golf in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, where natural beauty meets golfing excellence. Also, make sure to spend time at the restaurant as it’s a great outdoor experience. Enjoy great food, drinks, and games at their outdoor patio. 

If you’re looking for nearby golf courses are here are some of our favorites:

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