“Whether you play the award-winning Cholla Course or the newer Saguaro Course, you’re in for a desert golf experience unlike any other in Arizona.” That’s what they say at We-Ko-Pa. Is it true? I think it very well might be, but you’ll need to judge for yourself. The We-Ko-Pa Golf Club in Ft McDowell, AZ, some thirty-five miles from Phoenix via Route 87, does indeed feature two of the state’s top-rated public golf courses: the Cholla (Scott Miller) and the Saguaro (Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw). These two stunning 18-hole desert layouts were designed by two of the great names in golf.
Both tracts are tough and challenging, but play within your game (which means choosing the tee boxes to suit your skill level) and you’ll be able to card a good score. The We-Ko-Pa complex was developed by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, and includes a world-class practice facility, a full service pros shop, and a clubhouse that features some breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains – the McDowell Mountains, Red Mountain, Four Peaks and the Superstitions – and, of course, the beautiful Sonoran Desert.
These two public golf courses at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club are rated numbers 2 and 3 on Golf Digests Best Public Golf Courses in Arizona
Designed by Scott Miller, the Cholla golf course plays a tough 7,225 yards from the back tees for a par of 72 with a course rating of 73 and a slope of 136. The course features 4 sets of tees to make play enjoyable for golfers of all skill levels.
“Dramatic on-site features including a variety of lush vegetation, natural drainage corridors, and unique topographic conditions make the site ideally suited for a spectacular golf venue. The site's location offers pristine panoramic vistas, including the McDowell Mountains, Red Mountain, the Verde River and the Matazal Mountains, which are highlighted by the prominence of the often snow-capped Four Peaks formation, further enhancing the natural beauty of the site.” So said Scott Miller about Cholla
The Saguaro course was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The 18-hole layout plays a little shorter, though no less tough, at 6,966 yards from the tips for a par of 71, a course rating of 72.4 and a slope of 138. And the course features 4 sets of tees to make play enjoyable for golfers of all skill levels.
“This piece of land has some very interesting natural movement to it. I think this golf course will be pretty unique for the desert. People will be induced to play different shots and find solutions to new challenges when playing this course.” So said Ben Crenshaw about Saguaro
Green Fees: 18 holes - $100 to $170, depending upon the time of day, the day of the week, and the month. Tee times can be booked in advance: visit the We-Ko-Pa Golf Website or call the number listed below. Even better, get your Annual Pass here; it will save you a lot of money.
The We-Ko-Pa Experience:
They talk a lot about “The Experience” at We-Ko-Pa, “From the moment you arrive until the time you leave us, you will receive the kind of customer service that has helped make the We-Ko-Pa Experience so special for every one of our guests. Whether you are a “local,” or in the valley on business or pleasure, our staff is here to help make your visit memorable.”
We-Ko-Pa is unlike other Arizona golf courses because there are ”no homes, condos or townhomes lining these fairways.” This is not a resort complex. Golf is what We-Ko-Pa is all about. As close as it is to Phoenix and its airport (it’s only 20 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport), and indeed the great and grand golf resorts in the area, it would be a shame not to take advantage of its proximity to all that is golf in Arizona and play the pesky thing. You won’t be disappointed.
WekoPa Golf Club, Ft, McDowell AZ, 480-836-9000. Or you can visit the We-Ko-Pa Golf Website
Where to Stay
· Golf Travel’s Scottsdale Hotel & Resort Guide
How to Get There
We-ko-pa Golf Club is located just to the east of Scottsdale. The closest airport is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (20 minutes). The airport is served by Delta, American Airlines, US Air, United, Northwest and several others.