There aren’t many places in the country where you can find fantastic golf courses and beautiful weather year-round. With over 200 golf courses in or near Phoenix, Arizona, including PGA Tour destinations and award-winning resorts, vacationers constantly head out to Phoenix for golf. It is an especially great destination in the winter months, though the summertime is a fun time of year to play as well.

Courses in the Phoenix area take advantage of the beautiful scenery of the mountains and the cactus-filled deserts, making it one of the most unique golf experiences in the country. Here are some of the best public courses you should look into when travelling to the Phoenix area.

Most Beautiful Golf Courses In Phoenix

1. TPC Scottsdale

TPC Scottsdale offers two different courses, the Championship Course and the Stadium Course. The Stadium Course is one of the big bucket list golf destinations for players, and is the host of the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour. It’s known for the 16th hole, a par three that has grandstands surrounding it, giving the Stadium Course its name. Golfers often interact with fans by throwing signed golf balls and other memorabilia into the crowd, while fans often make as much noise as possible while golfers tee off as an exception to the typical crowd rules you see on the PGA Tour. Tiger Woods hit a hole in one at the tournament in 1997, one of the loudest, most exhilarating moments in golf history.

TPC Scottsdale is not the most beautiful golf course in Phoenix, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting and unique experiences a golfer can have. There is plenty of desert and cactus scenery throughout the course, and oddly-shaped fairways that provide a fun experience for golfers of all skill levels.

The Stadium Course is much more expensive than more affordable Champions Course, but if you have a little extra money to spend on your vacation, The Stadium Course is worth it. Expect to spend $299 to play or take advantage of the $243 twilight rate which is ideal in the heat of summer. The Champions Course is less expensive, charging $157 for non-residents with $114 twilight rate.

2. Troon North Golf Club

Troon North is one of the most beautiful golf courses not just in the southwest, but in all of the United States. It is an absolute must-play location for golfers traveling to the Phoenix area. This golf club is home to two courses, Pinnacle Peak and The Monument course.

The courses go through the beautiful natural ravine and foothills near the iconic Pinnacle Peak, and provide beautiful scenery with the desert landscape. The Monument course plays at 7,070 yards and Pinnacle Peak at 7,025, but both have six different tee boxes allowing for a wide range of skill levels to play.

Rates for both courses run between $190 and $270 with discounted rates if you want to play both courses on the same day.

3. Southern Dunes Golf Club

Southern Dunes Golf Club is located on the AK-Chin Indian Reservation in Maricopa. It is another beautiful southwestern desert course where golfers can get a feeling of privacy without any residential areas on the 320 acre property.

Skilled golfers can be tested from the back tees at over 7,500 yards, but alternate tee options make the course suitable for golfers of any skill. Big hitters love this course, because they can hit driver on every hole with the open layout. However, players’ approach game should be on point in order to hit the small, well-manicured greens.

One of the reasons that Southern Dunes is popular in the golf community is because the rate is much more affordable than many of the courses in the area. This makes it perfect for vacationers looking to spend a little less. Rates run from $49-$179.

4. Talking Stick Golf Course

Talking Stick is home to two golf courses, the North Course and the South Course. Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Talking Stick offers flatter fairways differing from typical valley courses in the region, and has amazing views of the mountains and some of the most uniquely-designed sand bunkers in Arizona.

The North Course is a longer, more challenging link-style course that navigates through grasslands with more bunkers, while the South Course is more traditional with plenty of trees lining the fairways.

The North Course runs at over 7,100 yards and is a par-70 while the South Course plays at just over 6,300 yards and is a par-71. Both course offer five sets of tees to accommodate golfers of all skill levels. Rates run between $110-$175.

5 & 6. Gold Canyon Courses

Gold Canyon features two magnificent desert golf courses in Dinosaur Mountain and Sidewinder. Dinosaur Mountain is certainly the must-play option, and is rated one of Arizona’s top courses with its beautiful mountain scenery and fun elevation trends throughout the round.

Both courses are known for their nice, gentle fairways and pristine greens. Sidewinder is more of a desert layout, and is challenging for golfers of all skill levels, requiring tight shots around plenty of doglegs.

Golfers of all handicaps can enjoy Dinosaur Mountain and Sidewinder at Gold Canyon, with eight different tee box options, diverse yardages and short par-5 holes that skilled golfers can reach in two. Rates run from $70-$210 at Dinosaur Mountain depending on season and $50-$105 at Sidewinder.

This article was written by Cameron Lafontaine.