6 Reasons to Go Play the Grand Canyon State Now
One day you’re chipping onto the green, the next, you’re chipping ice off your car. Welcome to winter in Colorado.
Why not head to a place where the weather’s a bit less, uh, unpredictable?
In nearby Arizona, hundreds of premier golf courses await.
Where to play? Check out these six sensational recommendations:
1. Golf Digest magazine’s top 20 golf courses in Arizona are all private except one: Quintero Golf Club, the sumptuous Rees Jones design that not long ago was a gated playground. Located just northwest of Phoenix in burgeoning Peoria, the 7,200-yard course compels challengers with saguaro-punctuated excitement that climbs and plunges with breathtaking, par-busting drama.
2. Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is a former members-only retreat that is also renowned as a pure-golf pleasure—no homes or commercial buildings mar the course’s sumptuous 18-hole routing that was intentionally made to look and play like a classic Australian sandhills course. Recently reworked by original architect Brian Curley, this from-the-tips 7,500-yard monster is located just southeast of Phoenix in Maricopa.
3. Immediately east of Scottsdale are We-Ko-Pa Golf Club and its 36 holes of walkable, jaw-dropping golf. In addition to the Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw-designed Saguaro Course, the must-play property offers a second riveting experience, the Cholla Course, orchestrated by Arizona’s own Scott Miller.
Photo: We-Ko-Pa, © Chris Duthie
4. Just north of Phoenix in chic Carefree, The Boulders’ spectacular guest experience is underscored by 36 holes of world-class golf fashioned by Jay Morrish. Routed through natural high-desert chutes created by space shuttle-sized granite boulders, The twin courses are five-star affirmations to Morrish’s ability to create timeless golf.
Photo: The Boulders, © Chris Duthie
5. Less than two hours south of Phoenix, Tucson’s newest course, Sewailo Golf Club at Casino Del Sol Resort, creatively blends the native landscape with picturesque lakes and streams. Notah Begay designed the highly regarded 7,400-yard course, which translates to “flower world” in the Pascua Yaqui language.
6. Tom Watson and fellow Champions Tour legends make a triumphant return to the historic and luxurious Omni Tucson National Resort to play the Tucson Conquistadores Classic, scheduled March 20-23. In addition to the tournament-hosting Catalina Course, routed by Robert Von Hagge and Bruce Devlin, the resort offers a second superb design, the Sonoran Course, crafted by Tom Lehman.
Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.