The Copper State is synonymous with awe-inspiring desert landscapes and a climate that makes golfing in the winter a common pastime. Arizona is home to more than 300 golf courses, many of which are dotted around the Greater Phoenix Area. The colder months are a great time to explore the renowned resorts and clubs of the Valley of the Sun.
Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa
The Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa in Litchfield Park has been an oasis for avid golfers since 1929. Located 20 minutes from downtown Phoenix, it's Arizona's only 54-hole golf resort, comprising a trio of 18-hole championship courses.
Here, tee time comes with views of scenic canals, rivers, and lush greenery that covers the landscape. There's something for every skill level and even an academy for individual or group lessons on-site. The fine restaurants and two-story spa, not to mention, are perfect for après golf revelry, too.
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa is a AAA Four Diamond resort that has its own 27-hole course. At this Golf Club, it's all about giving the centuries-old sport modern spunk. Golfboards, golf bikes, Segways, and its very own Kierland TurfRider are more contemporary ways to travel around this Sonoran landscape than the traditional cart. Additionally, the resort embraces the sport's Scottish roots with a special heritage experience, which is played in a kilt, of course.
Gold Canyon Golf Resort & Spa
The Gold Canyon Golf Resort & Spa is located about 40 miles east of downtown Phoenix in Arizona's Superstition Mountains. This rugged range is imbued with legends—such as the Lost Dutchman—and majestic desert scenery that draws hikers and other recreationists to the region year-round. It also provides a picturesque backdrop for Gold Canyon's two golf courses, Dinosaur Mountain and Sidewinder, both providing unmatched views of the surrounding mountain vistas, especially from the former's fourth and fifth holes.
The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort
The Phoenician in Scottsdale not only has an 18-hole golf course, but also nine swimming pools and a tennis garden with 11 lighted courts. In a city that's famous for its spas, this resort balances massage treatments with ample outdoor recreation, even curating customized tours, day trips to the Grand Canyon, visits to authentic Western ghost towns, hikes through the pine-covered mountains of Flagstaff, and more. After putting in the shadow of Camelback Mountain, golfers can wind down with a beer at the end-of-the-course grill, 19th Hole.
Legacy Golf Resort
The Legacy Golf Resort is located on what was once Dwight B. Heard's 7,500-acre ranch. Designers had this in mind when planning the structures and monuments that now give the property its signature look. Throughout the 18-hole championship golf course, little features remind players of the estate's rich heritage. Spanish mission-style guest suites give the resort that quintessential Southwestern look.
JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
This JW Marriott outpost is conveniently located on the outskirts of Old Town Scottsdale, but the tranquil mystique here makes it nearly impossible to detect a city just outside its gates. The darling casitas at JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, each adorned with its own picture-perfect patio, are perfectly suited for family vacations. Its 36-hole golf course provides athletic entertainment for golfers and newbies alike.
Boulders Resort & Spa
Scottsdale's Boulders Resort & Spa is named after nearby rock formations that are the result of a cataclysmic geological upheaval that happened more than 12 million years ago (which ultimately led to the creation of the Grand Canyon, in fact). Needless to say, playing a round on one of its two golf courses promises the kind of scenery that you won't find anywhere but the spectacular Southwest.
Searching for a wayward drive here is an adventure. The rugged terrain, tight fairways, and natural hazards make for a challenging course, but one that’s more fun than punishing, rest assured.
Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass
The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler has a golf course that pulls from Native American influences. The architecture, art, and legends of the Pima and Maricopa tribes are a major feature of this resort. Visitors can stay in one of 500 culturally-themed rooms and fill their days with visits to the full-service spa, the riverside swimming pool, or the Whirlwind Golf Club.
These two championship 18-hole golf courses—Cattail and Devil’s Claw—are home to the PGA's Nationwide Insurance Tour and the Gila River Golf Classic. They sprawl over 242 acres of rolling terrain, with 92 acres of turfed area and 150 acres of desert landscape.
Ocotillo Golf Club
Ocotillo Golf Club is a Phil Mickelson golf property that offers a country club experience. The 27-hole design has been dubbed as challenging, but is set amongst a dreamy backdrop of waterfalls, palm trees, rolling fairways, and vibrant flowerbeds (yes, even during winter). Non-golfers who are merely drawn to the beauty of this course may opt for beginner lessons on the property.
Golf Club of Estrella
Golf lovers looking for a challenge will enjoy the Jack Nicklaus Jr. layout at Goodyear's Golf Club of Estrella. Located in the 20,000-acre lakeside community that is Estrella Mountain Ranch, this upscale club is a daily-fee operation that, despite its challenging layout, is suited for golfers of all abilities. Be sure to catch the views of the Sierra Estrella Mountains at its elevated tees.