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Wildfire Golf Course Review – 36 Holes of Epic Golf

If you’re looking for an in-depth review of Wildfire Golf Club we got you covered. 

The golf courses have become a prominent golf destination in the region, known for its exceptional courses and facilities designed by golf legends Arnold Palmer and Nick Faldo. Both of them are great tests of golf and very fair, but do require precision with desert terrain.

Keep reading to learn more about each course, the best holes, how to play them, and what you need to know. 

Wildfire Golf Course Review  

  • Opened in 1997 
  • Owned by JW Marriott 
  • Designed by Arnold Palmer (Palmer Course) and Nick Faldo (Faldo Course)

Practice Facility

Wildfire Golf Club has one of the best practice facilities in all of Phoenix and Scottsdale. The all grass driving range is huge and typically in amazing shape. They also have several chipping greens with room to work on shots inside 40 yards and practice bunkers. 

The facility also has a huge putting green to work on all types of putts. Unfortunately, you can’t practice there unless you have a tee time or staying at the resort. It’s not like Camelback or Whirlwind Golf Club, which both have great facilities and a daily rate.

Make sure to get there early so you can get a proper warm up and start the round right. 

JW Marriott at Wildfire golf club

Course Overview + Conditions 

One of the biggest reasons I love Wildfire and recommend to any golfer is the pristine course conditions. I’ve played the course in the middle of summer and it’s still in great condition compared to others in the area. In the winter months it’s even better and worth the higher than average price tag. 

Noteworthy Holes on Wildfire – Palmer Golf Course 

The Palmer Course at Wildfire Golf Club, designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer, is a true gem in the Arizona desert. This par-72 layout features lush fairways, well-manicured greens, and strategic bunkering, providing a challenge for golfers of all skill levels. 

The Palmer Course is the longer of the two tracks at 7,145 yards from the tips. Here are some of the most notable holes on the golf course.

Hole 3: Par 5 – 605 yards 

The first par five on the Palmer course is an absolute beast at more than 600 yards from the tips. For 99% of golfers this is a three shot hole but you’ll want to get as close as you can in two shots for a short wedge for your approach. 

Hole 8: Par 3 – 225 yards 

The 8th hole is the longest par 3 on the golf course and definitely one of the most challenging. Make sure to club up and aim for the middle of the green. Luckily you have a short par 5 afterward to hopefully get one back. 

Hole 18: Par 4 – 430 yards 

The final hole on the Palmer course requires a good drive to give yourself the right angle for your second shot. The green has a myriad of bunkers to avoid and if you need to miss, do it on the left side of the green. The last few holes are pretty challenging at Palmer so make sure to stay focused so you can finish strong. 

Faldo tee marker at Wildfire

Noteworthy Holes on Wildfire – Faldo Golf Course 

The Faldo Course at Wildfire Golf Club, designed by six-time Major champion Nick Faldo, offers a different but equally compelling golfing experience. It’s a par 72 playing at 6,846 yards.

This course is known for its more dramatic elevation changes, undulating fairways, and strategic bunkers. In fact there are 108 deep pot bunkers which aren’t very common in Arizona.

Here are some of the best holes on the Faldo course. 

Hole 3: Par 3 – 156 yards 

The 3rd hole is very short but requires a solid iron to give yourself a good birdie. There is a large bunker in front of the green and anything left will roll into a penalty area. If you can find the ball you’ll have a nearly impossible chip shot so make sure to favor the right side of the green.

Hole 6: Par 4 – 341 yards

The 6th is a short hole that doesn’t require a driver or even 3-wood for most players. The right side has trouble with desert and over hanging trees so favor the left side. Just make sure you take enough club on the approach shot to get over the desert terrain in front of the green.

Hole 9: Par 5 – 527 yards 

The 9th hole is a great hole and if you hit a solid tee shot you will need to decide if you’re going for the green in two. There is a desert area and several bunkers short of the elevated green so club up. Missing long and left isn’t the worst spot if you’re going for the green in two. 

Hole 15: Par 5 – 600 yards 

The 15th is a big hole at 600 yards from the tips and in all likelihood a three shot hole. If you have to miss off the tee, do it on the right side of the hole as there is another fairway (and hittable desert area).

The second shot kind of narrows so taking less than 3W might be the best play. The green is pretty tricky too with a lot of slope. 

Hole 16: Par 4 – 308 yards 

This hole is the epitome of a risk-reward shot off the tee. You can give it a go with a driver but anything left is in the desert. But laying up isn’t much easier as there are bunkers all over. 

The green has multiple tiers as well with the back right pin behind the bunker is very challenging. Avoid left the entire hole to avoid a big number late in the round. 

FAQs About Wildfire Golf Club

Do you have more questions about playing golf at Wildfire in Phoenix? If so, keep reading through the most frequently asked questions and answers now. 

Which is better, the Faldo or Palmer course at Wildfire?

Both are great tracks and doubt you’ll be disappointed with either option. Both have some great risk reward holes that will force you to be strategic and play solid golf. 

How many bunkers are on the Wildfire Faldo course?

According to the website there are 108 pot-style bunkers! 

Can you practice at Wildfire Golf Club?

Unfortunately no – they do not have a practice pass or daily rate like other golf courses in the area. You’ll need to book a tee time or stay at the JW Marriott resort to use the golf facilities. 

Is Wildfire Golf Club private?

No, it’s a public golf course. You might get a better rate if you’re staying at the JW Marriott resort next door.

Overall Recommendation

Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona, is a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts. It’s easy to see why it made our list of best golf courses in Phoenix

With its two world-class courses, exceptional practice facility, and a variety of amenities, it offers a golf experience like few others. Whether you’re a local resident or an out-of-town visitor, Wildfire is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories of desert golf at its finest. 

So, book your tee time, pack your clubs, and get ready to experience golfing excellence in the heart of the Sonoran Desert.

Which course do you like more at Wildfire Golf Club? 

Let me know in the comments below. 

Also, don’t forget to check out our picks for the best golf courses in Scottsdale. 

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