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Ocotillo Golf Club Review – The Perfect Alternative to Desert Golf

Is Ocotillo highly rated? Is it worth the money? 

In this Ocotillo Golf Club review, we’ll break down everything you need to know about this desert oasis. After playing the course more than 100 times since 2010 – including the Chandler City Championship multiple times – I want to provide a unique insight and strategy to this golf course.  

Keep reading to learn why I think Ocotillo is one of the best golf courses in the valley and a must-play for out-of-towners. 

Ocotillo Golf Club Review

Ocotillo Golf Club is one of the most fun courses to play in Arizona, and no doubt one of the best in Chandler. The club has three 9-hole courses, and water comes into play on more than 20 of them! 

Here’s how they described the course on their website. “A traditional-style course, Ocotillo Golf Club’s lush fairways, cascading waterfalls and colorful flora offer a unique contrast to the desert landscaped courses that permeate the Valley.

Ocotillo Golf Club features three nine-hole courses played in combinations with yardages ranging from 6,782 to 7,016 from the back tees and 5,128 to 5,134 from the forward tees. The Blue-Gold combination plays as the most difficult, with a rating of 72.2 and slope of 133 from the back tees.”

Overview 

  • 27 Holes
  • Opened in 1986
  • Operated by Arcis Golf 
  • Designed by Ted Robinson  
view at Ocotillo golf club

Practice Facility

Ocotillo Golf Club is part of the Arcis golf program, which means the driving range gets a lot of use. They have a good-sized range with both grass and mats. The mats are some of the better ones in the valley and the range has plenty of targets. 

You can practice at Ocotillo golf course whether you’re playing a round or just need to get in some practice. They have a large putting green by the clubhouse that is usually in pretty good shape. Next to it is the chipping green that is also decent sized and allows you to work on shots inside 20 yards.

Sadly, there is no practice bunker at Ocotillo to work on your sand game. Overall, it’s a good facility that is worth the money. 

Course Overview + Conditions 

Ocotillo Golf Club isn’t overly long, but with some wind and all the water makes for a great challenge for all types of players. 

  • Blue Course: Par 36 – 3,497 yards
  • Gold Course: Par 36 – 3,545 yards
  • White Course: Par 35 – 3,285 yards 

My personal favorite nine holes is the blue course, which has two great par 5s, solid par 3s, and a good mix of par 4s. The white course is slightly shorter and easier, but has only one par 5 that isn’t reachable for most golfers in two shots. The gold course has water in play on almost every hole and some challenging green structures. 

Ocotillo is in pretty solid shape year around, except for July/August (like most golf courses in summer). But it’s always very well priced, even during the obnoxious winter months and always 

Ocotillo golf club big house

Noteworthy Holes at Ocotillo Golf Club

Each nine has several holes that stand out from the rest – here are our favorites.

Blue Course 

Hole 1: Par 5 – 598 yards 

The first hole on the blue course at Ocotillo golf club can play nearly 600 yards if they use the back tee box. It’s actually right next to the putting green and about 60 yards behind the next tee box. It’s rarely there (except the Chandler City Championship) but it’s an intimidating tee shot.

From the normal tee boxes you might get a chance to go for the green in two if you hit it well. But the second shot is all carry over water to a pretty small landing area. It also plays uphill and won’t roll much so make sure and take plenty of club. 

Hole 3: Par 4 395 yards 

The third hole isn’t long but requires a good tee shot to avoid trees, sand, and water that comes into play. The second shot is slightly uphill to a tricky two tiered green. 

Hole 7: Par 5 – 547 yards

This is a great par 5 that requires precision off the tee to set up a good second shot. Like a lot of tee shots at Ocotillo you’ll need to navigate water and sand to find the fairway. 

A pull or hook toward the left side will likely end up in the water. While a push shot will find a deep bunker (that’s usually not in the best of shape) or out of bounds. 

If you can find the fairway it’s a tough second shot with water left and bunker short. The back right pin is the most challenging but can use the slope to get it close. 

Gold Course

Hole 2: Par 5 – 545 yards 

The second hole requires a solid drive to navigate the bunkers on the left and right side of the fairway. A good is on the left center as the fairway slopes to the right.

If you can, try to go for the green in two shots for a possible eagle opportunity. Anything short will likely roll down the hill a little, but still leave an easy chip. 

Hole 5: Par 3 – 212 yards 

This long par 3 demands your attention as water and sand are in play on the left. My strategy is to always aim for the middle of the green and play the center distance – regardless of pin. The best miss to save par on the hole is short and right. 

Hole 9: Par 4 – 408 yards 

The final hole is pretty long from the tips but rarely played from the back tee box due to overhanging trees. Most golfers try to navigate the fairway between bunkers, but I actually like to play down the first hole fairway instead. This gives a good look at the green and takes water or sand out of play.

The green is elevated with several tiers and a lot of slope. Don’t miss long as it’s a tough downhill chip even for the best of players. 

White Course 

Hole 3 Par 3 – 168 yards 

This is a great par 3 that brings water and sand into play on your tee shot. The green is sloped heavily from back to front and typically plays into the wind. The middle of the green is a great spot and don’t suggest attacking a back left pin over the bunker. 

Hole 4: Par 4 – 340 yards

The 4th hole at Ocotillo is the one you’ll see driving in and is a good test for such a short hole. Driver isn’t needed (I’ve tried to get on the green in scrambles but it’s more than 300+ with a very small landing area) and instead need a hybrid or fairway wood.

Hit the wide fairway – arguably the widest on the course – and wedge it on the two tier green. Be careful of the front pin, as balls can hit and spin back off the green near the water. 

Hole 9: Par 4 – 480 yards 

The final hole on the white course is a beast, especially if it’s the 18th hole of the day. From the tips, it’s the longest par 4 on the course and requires a great tee shot to set up a good second shot.

Regardless of what tees you’re playing, the second shot is tough as it’s slightly uphill and all carry over water. There is a bunker short right that catches any errant shots, but anything well right or short of the trap is in the drink. 

Plus, it’s a tricky green with three tiers, although the back section is rarely used as it’s very small. A par on this hole is a great way to end the round!

Hole 4 ocotillo golf club

FAQs 

Is Ocotillo golf club private?

No, Ocotillo is a public golf course in Chandler, Arizona. It’s part of the Arcis program where you can get discounts on rates and advanced tee times. But it’s also open to public play year round and one of the best deals in the valley. 

Can you practice at Ocotillo golf club? 

Yes, even if you don’t have a tee time, you can practice at Ocotillo golf club. They have a large driving range (with grass and mats), putting green, and chipping green. 

How is Ocotillo golf club rated?

We think it’s a must-play in the valley and give it a 9/10. It’s a great layout, doesn’t have any desert, and very fair priced throughout the year. The conditions are normally very consistent, but not always the best in summer months (like most golf courses in Arizona). 

Does Ocotillo have golf tournaments?

Yes, Ocotillo has a ton of public golf tournaments, including a 2-man monthly scramble. They also have a nine-hole twilight summer league and host the Chandler City Championship each year in June. 

The Chandler City is a great 3-day event that tests some of the best golfers in Arizona and highly recommend playing it. I’ve played it in each year since 2020 and it’s one of the best values and ran very well for players. 

Which is the best nine holes at Ocotillo golf club? 

Ocotillo is one of the few golf courses that offers 27 hotels of golf. Each nine is pretty similar in terms of length and layout, but the white course is a par 35 while the blue and gold are par 36. I think the blue nine is the best, with a good mix of challenging and fun holes. 

Overall Recommendation – 9/10 

Ocotillo Golf Club will not disappoint.

Whether you’re a local AZ resident or just visiting, it’s definitely worth playing. This is my go-to course anytime of year as I love the challenge and views. It doesn’t get much more picturesque than playing a round at Ocotillo.

If you’re tired of desert golf, this is a great alternative, with no cactus and brush in sight. Instead, just tons of water, generous landing areas, and a great 27-hole layout. 

It’s also one of the most affordable golf courses year round. If you join the Arcis membership, it’s an even better deal too. But if you just want to stop in any time of year, it definitely won’t break the bank. 

What is your favorite nine holes at Ocotillo golf club?

Let me know in the comments below. 

Also, check out these lists to find more golf courses that are worth your money.

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