2019 Golfer’s Guide to Arizona Spring Training: Central Valley

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club

Five teams, including our Colorado Rockies, play their home games in Arizona’s Central Valley. That’s one-fifth of the Cactus League. The populous and popular cultural hub abounds in golf courses, golf resorts and golf communities.

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Where the Pitchers Play

Thirty minutes south of Sky Harbor, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club covers all the bases with golfers.

Kyle Freeland, the Rockies’ best starting pitcher last season, is also the team’s best golfer. Other courses are more convenient to Salt River Fields, but Freeland and his teammates often head to Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa. Ranked by Golf magazine as the No. 84 Best Course You Can Play in the United States, this 5,055-to-7,546-yard Curley/Schmidt/Couples layout can accommodate rookies and all-stars. Ak-Chin will host a U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier May 8 and the World Long-Drive “Smash in the Sun” April 12-16. akchinsoutherndunes.com

Grayhawk Golf Club

Grayhawk Golf Club turns 25 this year. Its Talon and Raptor Courses have hosted PGA TOUR events, and, from 2020 to 2022, the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Championships. Quill Creek Cafe, Isabella’s Kitchen and Phil’s Grill all rate high for dining. experiencescottsdale.com

Talking Stick Golf Club

With the Rockies playing home games at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, lodging and golf doesn’t get more convenient than nearby Talking Stick Resort and the 36 Coore-Crenshaw-designed holes at the adjoining Talking Stick Golf Clubexperiencescottsdale.com

Colorado Rockies, Salt River Flats


A Mountain of Fun

Adding a new 18-hole par-3 course to its portfolio of six Jack Nicklaus Signature layouts confirms Desert Mountain’s status as the region’s ultimate private golf community.

Tucked into the rolling hills and dramatic scenery of north Scottsdale, Desert Mountain’s 8,000 acres encompass 35 “villages” containing a stunning range of homesites, homes, activities and amenities—including a spa, miles of on-property trails and Tennis Complex with the only stadium grass court in Arizona (as well as five clay and three hard courts). In addition, there are five state-of-the-art clay (har-tru) courts and three fast-playing hard courts. This year, the development will debut Seven, a 90-acre enclave with its own par-3 course, to complement its six championship layouts. Like each of those courses, Seven will have its own clubhouse, but this one will feature family-friendly outdoor areas with a lighted putting green, music and bocce. desertmountain.com

Desert Mountain, Scottsdale
Desert Mountain

Check It Out

The 5th Avenue arts district from Scottsdale Road to Goldwater Boulevard combines the ambience of Old Town with dozens of Arizona’s best restaurants, unique shops, galleries and nightlife. experiencescottsdale.com

Old Town Scottsdale’s famous Bronze Horse
Old Town Scottsdale’s famous Bronze Horse

Savor the award-winning American cuisine with Asian accents presented by Food Network star and chef Beau MacMillan at elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa. sanctuaryoncamelback.com

Drink in the region’s craft-brew scene. Follow the Scottsdale Ale Trail to Bottled Blonde, Brat Haüs, Craft 64, Goldwater Brewing, Scapegoat Bar, Sip Coffee and Beer, Two Brothers Tap House and Vines & Hops.experiencescottsdale.com

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Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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