Top 10 Public Golf Courses in Arizona

Golfer Teeing off at Troon North
Tony Roberts/Getty Images

If hitting the links is your idea of a dream vacation, then finding the right course is a top concern when planning where to go. For those don't have an inside connection to grab a tee time at a private club, there are fantastic choices in Arizona for public courses that will provide a challenging and beautifully designed 18-hole excursion.

Pinnacle Course at Troon North Golf Club

Located in Scottsdale the club has two 18-hole courses that wind through Arizona’s Sonoran Desert and features a backdrop of foothills, ravines and granite boulders with the nearby Pinnacle Peak overlooking each green.

Troon North Golf Club, 10320 E Dynamite Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85262. Phone: 480.585.7700.

Saguaro Course We-Ko-Pa Golf Club

The Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed course is engineered to be friendly for duffers that eschew riding in a cart and prefer to walk the grounds. Each tee is located just a few feet away from the previous putting green making it easy to jump to the next hole.

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, 18200 East Toh Vee Circle Fort McDowell, AZ 85264. Phone: 480.836.9000

Cholla Course at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club

If you are a golfer with a wicked slice, the 7,225-yard layout designed by Scott Miller will be ideal. The 18-hole course is free of homes or other developments surrounding play so an errant ball won't break a window—just drift into the shadow of Superstition Mountain.

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, 18200 East Toh Vee Circle Fort McDowell, AZ 85264. Phone: 480.836.9000

Monument Course at Troon North Golf Club

Originally designed in 1989 by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish the 7,039-yard course is considered by many to the signature course at Troon North. The lush setting and well-groomed greens make the Monument a favorite for both locals and visitors. As a bonus challenge, the namesake par-5 "Monument" hole requires players to circumvent a gigantic boulder in the middle of the fairway when driving from the tee.

Troon North Golf Club, 10320 E Dynamite Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85262. Phone: 480.585.7700.

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club

The 320-acre course is a collaboration between golf titan Fred Couple and Schmidt-Curley Design, Inc. and favors players that can drive the distance. Almost every hole sits between 5,100 yards to more than 7,500 yards from the tee, meaning those that can hit the long ball will be better poised to make par.

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, 48456 AZ-238, Maricopa, AZ 85139. Phone: (480) 367-8949

Talon Course at Grayhawk Golf Club

Northern Scottsdale is the setting for the 6,973-yard course that was masterminded by architect Gary Panks and U.S. Open and PGA Champion David Graham. Players will find the key challenge to be the multi-tiered greens with pins positions that change daily, making the course worthy of repeat visits.

Grayhawk Golf Club, 8620 East Thompson Peak Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ 85255. Phone: 480.502.1800

Quintero Golf Club

An oasis within the desert, the Quintero hosts plenty of water hazards to keep players on their toes. Master course architect Rees Jones is behind the design of the 72-par 18-hole course that is located conveniently just north of Phoenix and Scottdale.

Quintero Golf Club, 16752 W State Route 74 Peoria, Arizona 85383. Phone: (928) 501-1500.

Saguaro and Tortolita Courses at The Club at Dove Mountain

While there are 27 holes at the Club, the Saguaro and Tortolita courses are the standouts. The integration of the natural setting with rolling fairways creates a front and back nine that will put even the most seasoned veteran to the test. Designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, the club hosted the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship for many years.

The Club at Dove Mountain, 6501 Boulder Bridge Pass Marana, AZ 85658. Phone: 520-572-3500.

Dinosaur Mountain Course at Gold Canyon Golf Resort & Spa

This 18-hole 6653-yard course slinks around the Dinosaur Mountain giving players a panoramic view of the surrounding desert from nearly every tee box. For those that are on a tighter budget, the club offers "Dynamic" pricing based on demand so players that book early or are flexible on timing can save big.

Gold Canyon Golf Resort & Spa, 6100 S Kings Ranch Rd, Gold Canyon, AZ 85118. Phone: (480) 982-9449.

The South Course at Boulders Resort & Spa

For players a bit unsure on how best to play a lie, the South course at Boulders offers a great option to get some pro advice. The club created a "Caddiemaster" program pairing a player with a seasoned caddie to help navigate the tricky Jay Morrish-designed course.

Boulders Resort & Spa, 34631 North Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree, AZ 85377. Phone: (480) 488-9009