STADIUM COURSE at TPC SCOTTSDALE
Designers: Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish
Distinguishing characteristics: Impeccable conditions, top-notch service, state-of-the-art clubhouse, spacious practice facility, and most importantly PGA Tour–level golf. The finishing stretch of holes offers multiple high-risk/high-reward scoreable holes, such as the short, par-5, 15th over-water hole, as well as the drivable, par-4 17th.
Why now: Every year at the beginning of February, the PGA travels to Scottsdale for The Waste Management Phoenix Open, also known as “The Greatest Show on Grass.” The tournament, which is sometimes overshadowed by the wild party that surrounds it, is the highest-attended golf tournament worldwide, with more than 700,000 fans yearly. tpc.com
MONUMENT COURSE at TROON NORTH
Designer: Tom Weiskopf
Distinguishing characteristics: Troon North’s signature course is a par-72 track stretching out to 7,039 yards. It winds through dramatic arroyos, massive saguaros, natural washes, and stunning boulder formations. Many of the tees are perched well above the wide, perfectly manicured fairways and greens, offering elevation changes throughout the championship 18-hole course. Why now: The course recently underwent a huge renovation of the bunkers and greens in an effort to reestablish Weiskopf’s original plans. troonnorthgolf.com
RAPTOR COURSE at GRAYHAWK GOLF CLUB
Designer: Tom Fazio
Distinguishing characteristics: The course provides a spectacular panorama overlooking the McDowell Mountains and vistas of the mesmerizing surrounding natural desert. With large undulating fairways, the par-72 course, measuring just over 7,100 yards, will lead you to believe that it will be an easy day with its generous landing areas. Don’t be fooled: The real challenge at Grayhawk comes with your approach shots. The majority of the greens are surrounded by deep, strategically placed bunkers that will call for your best shots if you want to hit the greens in regulation.
Why now: Fazio’s team freshened up his masterpiece a few years ago, and with its impressive conditions and layout it’s no surprise that the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships chose Grayhawk for its site from 2020 to 2022. grayhawkgolf.com
BOULDERS GOLF COURSES
Designer: Jay Morrish
Distinguishing characteristics: The two courses are laid out in a setting that you will not find anywhere else on the globe, winding through massive, multimillion-year-old boulders that sit directly on the courses as well as perched in jaw-dropping formations in the surrounding Sonoran Desert. Why now: The Boulders’ newly launched program, called Birdies, Birds, and Beyond, offers a combination of golf instruction and a nature journey to allow you to spot indigenous birds while picking up some golf tips from highly trained PGA pros. bouldersclub.com
THE PHOENICIAN GOLF CLUB
Designer: Phil Smith
Completed: Redesign completed 2018
Distinguishing characteristics: Managed by Troon Golf, The Phoenician Golf Club has received many top awards. Defined by lush, perfectly manicured fairways and greens, the front nine differs from most desert golf courses as it is more of a traditional, tree-lined course with several water features. The back-nine holes head up to the foothills and feature dramatic elevation changes and sweeping views of Scottsdale and Phoenix in the background. With several different tee boxes, the club caters to every level of golfer and truly extends the opportunity to play one of America’s finest resort golf courses.
Why now: A lengthy redesign has just been completed, transforming previously existing fairway corridors to reroute the course and turn the previous 27 holes into a perfectly laid out 18. thephoenician.com