The Best Golf Courses in Scottsdale According to Us

Scottsdale is an amazing place if you love golf, and within, we identify the golf courses we think are the best in the area.

The Sonoran Desert and Scottsdale, in particular, are amazing for many reasons, and if you love golf, its golf courses have to rank among the top. The area boasts some of the most amazing golf courses in the world, and there really is something for everyone. There are courses suitable for beginners, courses that will challenge advanced players, and if you are new to the area, courses that are unlike any you have ever seen before. Scottsdale and its neighboring communities boast more than 200 courses that feature stunning landscapes, and better yet, we average 330 days of sunshine a year!

Dr. Jeffrey D. Clark and his entire team at Scottsdale Dental Excellence are committed to providing the most innovative dental care and best patient experience possible. But we love golf too, and the articles we write are not just limited to dental topics. This blog post is an opportunity to share our favorite golf courses in the area with you. Read about each course and check out the pictures we took. As you can see, there are many! Then, book your tee time and experience the round of a lifetime!

Troon North Golf Club
10320 E Dynamite Blvd
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
(480) 585-5300
https://www.troonnorthgolf.com/

Golf Magazine recently selected the Pinnacle course at Troon North as number 25 for its list of top 100 public golf courses in the United States. Some have called the Troon North Golf Club the epitome of the desert golf experience, and we agree. The Pinnacle, as well as the Monument Course in Scottsdale, travel along the ravines and foothills of the Sonoran Desert and in the shadows of Pinnacle Peak. The landscape is rugged at times, but the backdrop always serene. Both courses are immaculately manicured at all times, and the club has earned a reputation for personalized guest member experiences that really set it apart. While Troon North can offer great challenges due to hidden fairways, large bunkers, and sloped terrain, the sheer splendor should put it at the top of every golfer’s must-play list.


Grayhawk Golf Club
8620 E Thompson Peak Pkwy
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 502-1800
https://grayhawkgolf.com

Grayhawk Golf Club needs no introduction among many golfers since it is the first public desert golf course built anywhere in the world. The course is regularly recognized as one of the best courses in the state by leading golf publications like Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, and Golfweek, and it is one of only two courses in Arizona that host a modern PGA Tour event. Grayhawk features two courses—Talon and Raptor—that accommodate players of all skill levels. Both courses provide incredible views of the Scottsdale skyline and McDowell Mountains and are decorated by Saguaro cacti as well as ironwood, mesquite, and palo verde trees. Talon is distinct in how its skirts the box canyons and offers multitiered greens, whereas Raptor is a bit more traditional with generous fairways and crowned greens.


Desert Mountain Golf Club
37700 N Desert Mountain Pkwy
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
(480) 595-4000
https://desertmountain.com/golf/

Desert Mountain is the only private golf club in the world that features seven Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses: Renegade, Cochise, Apache, Geronimo, Chiricahua, Outlaw, and No. 7. The club is located in Northern Scottsdale high in the Sonoran Desert on about 8,000 acres. Not only are all of the courses quite distinct, but all 126 holes manage to stand apart from all other desert courses in the region, which is quite an accomplishment. There are challenges for beginners and pros alike, and there is simply no other collection of courses like it anywhere in the world, which is why Desert Mountain is one of the top-ranked private golf courses in the world. It is home to the PGA Schwab Cup, and the on-site Performance Center is among the most sophisticated golf practice and education facilities anywhere.


Estancia Club
27998 N 99th Pl
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
(480) 473-4400
https://www.estanciaclub.com/

Estancia has been recognized by both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine for delivering a great golf experience no matter your skill level, which is something many golf courses cannot claim. Golf Digest even selected Estancia as the best course in Arizona for the 2019-20 season. The course was designed by Tom Fazio over 640 acres within a gated community situated on Pinnacle Peak’s northern slope. Fazio designed the course with the goal of preserving the natural landscape. You can expect breathtaking vistas, spectacular scenery, bent grass greens, and a course framed by cacti and boulders. The efforts to preserve the landscape resulted in holes of various lengths and challenges as well as some holes that are just stunningly unique. There are two in particular that impressively integrate natural streams.


Desert Highlands Golf Club
10040 E Happy Valley Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 585-7444
https://www.deserthighlandsscottsdale.com/golf

Desert Highlands is a draw for many golfers because it is designed by the legend himself—Jack Nicklaus. But even without that name attached to it, Desert Highlands would be an acclaimed course. It features a target golf design, which the landscape demands of it. Some have described it as a soft-flowing green carpet draped over the desert with fairways and greens like islands dotting an ocean of desert. A dramatically elevated tee box sets the tone for the course in a way few first holes do, and the majestic backdrop includes Pinnacle Peak with the Valley spreading out from it as far as the eye can see.


Whisper Rock Golf Club
32002 N Old Bridge Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85266
Phone: (480) 575-8700
https://grayhawkdevelopment.com/projects/whisper-rock-golf-club/

Perhaps no Arizona golf course has as much mystique associated with it as Whisper Rock. This private golf club was designed with the goal of delivering a traditional golf experience, and its private member and practice facilities are regarded as some of the best in the world. The club features two courses: Upper and Lower. The Lower Course is the first course ever designed by Phil Mickelson, and it features a design theme that Mickelson and architect Gary Stephenson call “down in the desert.” The Upper Course was designed later by Tom Fazio. It is distinct in that it reflects the uplands upon which it was built. It boasts challenging angles and diagonal fairways but also ample landing and chipping areas. Golf Digest ranks both the Upper and Lower courses in its top five for the state of Arizona.


Legend Trail Golf Club
9462 E. Legendary Ln
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
(480) 488-3445
https://www.legendtrailgc.com/

Legend Trail is a celebrated golf course. Golf Digest rates it four stars. Golf Magazine rates it 4.5 stars and includes it in its Top 100 list, and Golf for Women recognizes it as one of the most women-friendly courses around. The course is situated 2,500 feet above sea level and rambles through Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert. The panoramic views are magnificent thanks to close proximity to both Pinnacle Peak and Lone Mountain, and features include broad fairways, small bunkers, and tees positioned on islands. The course provides many challenges that are memorable and will put a smile on your face, and there always seems to be multiple options, which help accommodate players of all skill levels.


Silverleaf Country Club
18701 N Silverleaf Dr
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 515-3200
https://www.silverleafclub.com/club/scripts/section/section.asp?NS=PGOL

Silverleaf was built on a large area of land at the center of North Scottsdale. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve surrounds it, and the canyons of McDowell Mountains define its layout. The designers went to great lengths to build the course within the natural contours of the terrain. Silverleaf is more of a traditional course than many desert courses, and the contrast between the rolling greens and the desert landscape is stunning. The course is designed for all skill levels, but it can be quite challenging at times because the subtle contours can make the greens difficult to read. There are also elevated trees and sprawling bunkers, but all of this is balanced out thanks to generous landings and clear sight lines.


The Country Club at DC Ranch
9290 E Thompson Peak Pkwy #1
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 342-7200
https://www.ccdcranch.com/golf

The McDowell Mountains are home to the Country Club at the DC Ranch, which is situated at the foot of the mountains and provides spectacular views of both Scottsdale and Phoenix. This is a quintessential desert course with a strong desert aesthetic, flat fairways, and heaving greens. The layout is suitable for beginners, but advanced players who seek to master the course will be challenged by the overall length of the course, subtle breaks on the greens, and deep bunkers. The bunkers and water hazards are purposely placed to make achieving low scores difficult. The signature hole at the Country Club is the 13th, which is quite recognizable for how the designers carved it out of the mountainside.


Pinnacle Peak Country Club
8701 E Pinnacle Peak Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 585-6992
https://www.pp-cc.org/Golf.aspx

The McDowell Mountain Range is also home to the Pinnacle Peak Country Club in Scottsdale. Pinnacle Peak is a traditional parkland-style golf course that offers amazing views thanks to its setting. The fairways are tree-lined, which is not a usual characteristic for Arizona golf courses. The greens are elevated, and there are noteworthy water hazards at two of the holes. One of these is the ninth hole, which defines Pinnacle Peak. Despite being the shortest par three on the course, this is a famously challenging hole due to water that runs to your right and a pond hidden by the tree box. Pinnacle Peak is also notable in that it offers a large driving range, manicured putting, and a chipping facility.


Mirabel Golf Club
37100 N Mirabel Club Dr
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
(480) 437-1500
https://www.mirabel.com/

The Tom Fazio-designed golf course at Mirabel Golf Club is a championship course that boasts the trademark characteristics of its designer, such as high-skill challenges but with a deemphasis on signature holes and an overall course design that complements rather than defines the landscape and environment. The course is 3,000 feet above sea level and spreads out over 700 acres. Every hole here is both enjoyable and memorable, and the views provided by the Sonoran Desert are striking. The course does have elevation changes but has a reputation for its pleasant walk, and Mirabel offers its famous caddie program, which makes it one of the more prestigious golf clubs in the region.


TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course
17020 N Hayden Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Phone: (480) 585-4334
https://tpc.com/scottsdale/stadium-course/

TPC Scottsdale will need no introduction for most golfers. It is home to the iconic Phoenix Open and rated as one of the best public courses in the state by Golf Digest. Among the coolest aspects of the Stadium Course is that it lets the average golfer play on a PGA Tour course around the year. The PGA Tour only uses the course for one week, but the course is maintained up to tour standards year-round. The course is also made special by the way that it has been woven into the McDowell Mountains. The landscape and views are incredible, and the fairways are more forgiving than you might expect.


TPC Scottsdale Champions Course
8243 E Bell Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 585-4334 ext. 4
https://tpc.com/scottsdale/champions-course/

The Champions Course is the sister course to the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale. This not a PGA Tour course and was built by Randy Heckenkemper to accentuate the features that golfers associate with desert golf courses. That is not something that can be said about the Stadium Course. In fact, many golfers who love desert golf prefer this course to its more famous sister, and it is usually more affordable to play there as well. The Champions Course is set within the McDowell Mountains and so weaves through foothills and natural ravines, and its most notable features include pristine greens, Bermuda fairways, and challenging bunkers.


The Westin Kierland Golf Club
15636 N Clubgate Dr
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(480) 922-9283
https://www.kierlandgolf.com/

The Kierland Golf Club is located at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, which is just an amazing place to experience desert golf. Golf Digest placed Kierland in its top 10 for its list of the most cheerful golf courses in the United States. Kierland features 27 holes, and all of them are memorable and fun thanks to what Golf Digest calls “roller-coaster topography.” What else makes it cheerful? In addition to climate-controlled golf carts, you can operate Segways, GolfBoards, and even golf bikes. But it also offers stunning skies, picturesque mountains, and challenging holes. A good challenge for all skill levels is what makes this course a must-play and the reason Golf Advisor selected it as one of the best courses in the state.


The Phoenician Golf Club
6000 E Camelback Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 423-2449
https://www.thephoenician.com/golf/

The Phoenician Golf Course is among Scottsdale’s most popular golf destinations, and it recently underwent a 10-month golf redesign. That redesign touched all 27 holes over all three courses: Desert Nine, Oasis Nine, and Canyon Nine. The course was rerouted in order to develop new holes and make better use of the available landscape and environment. The designers pride themselves on challenging golfers of all skill levels but not with blind hazards and surprise bunkers. Everything is in front of you and really lets you enjoy all that makes Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert so special, including breathtaking desert and city views, the southern slope of Camelback Mountain, and serene water features.


Camelback Golf Club
7847 N Mockingbird Ln
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
(480) 596-7050
https://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-information/golf-courses/phxcb-jw-marriott-scottsdale-camelback-inn-resort-and-spa/

The Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale is home not just to one but two 18-hole championship golf courses: the Padre Course and the Straka-designed Ambiente Course. Both are 72-par courses but are otherwise quite distinct from each other. The Padre Course is notable for a strategic layout, challenging water holes, towering trees, and large, deep bunkers. The Ambiente, on the other hand, is among the most acclaimed golf courses in the region because it challenges the player on practically every hole and really rewards optimal strategy and familiarity with the course. Notable features include noticeable elevation changes with significant drop-offs as well as rolling fairways.

Experience the Excellence of Scottsdale’s Golf Courses

These are our favorite golf courses in the Greater Scottsdale area. If you are visiting the area, we hope that you have amazing experiences playing at courses like Troon North, Grayhawk, and Desert Mountain. If you live in the region, we’d love to hear about your golf experiences and perhaps any courses you think we may have left out. The entire team at Scottsdale Dental Excellence also invites you to visit us for any dental care ranging from regular checkups to comprehensive smile makeovers.

Jeffrey D. Clark, DDS, is among the leading cosmetic dentists in Arizona. He has more than 20 years of experience serving the Scottsdale community and embraces an ongoing dental education. Scottsdale Dental Excellence is a state-of-the-art dental office that is conveniently located at the southwest corner of Bell Road and the 101 Freeway. Dr. Clark, his oral hygienists, and the rest of his support staff work very hard to create an environment that is welcoming, relaxing, and comfortable for all. The office is outfitted with the latest dental technologies, and treatments extend to teeth-whitening, same-day crowns, porcelain veneers, dental implants, sleep apnea, bruxism, and much more. Call us today at 480 585 1853 with any questions you may have and to schedule an appointment.

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