Destination Guide

Destination: Southern Arizona

Make the trip out to Arizona for a golf vacation, and the Phoenix area will attract you like a magnet with its legion of golf courses and resorts, all fighting over your golfing dollar. If you are overwhelmed by the choices the Valley of the Sun has to offer, head south on Interstate 10 past Tucson into spacious, affordable Southern Arizona.

Following I-10 southeast, you will come to the southern most part of Arizona and Cochise County on the Mexican border. Summer temperatures are up to 15 degrees cooler than in Phoenix. In the winter comes frosty mornings and 75 degree afternoons.

The small towns of Southern Arizona have a certain charm large cities in Arizona such as Phoenix, Tucson and Scottsdale lack. No where is this more evident than in Green Valley, just 25 minutes south of Tucson. This "retirement" town is home to a handful of challenging, affordable golf courses including Torres Blancas, San Ignacio, Canoa Hills and Canoa Ranch.

South of Green Valley are two of Southern Arizona's most talked about golf properties - the Tubac Golf Resort and Rio Rico. Tubac, home to a U.S. Open qualifier in the movie "Tin Cup," is a classic Red Lawrence-designed course that winds its way around the lush turf of the Santa Cruz River Valley. Rio Rico is a classic Robert Trent Jones Sr. layout with a $2.5 million renovation that has given the resort a modern, pristine look.

Knowing it is easier to sink an 80-foot putt than to convince the millions of golfers in Arizona to head deep into the south, central part of the state, Turquoise Valley built a 727-yard par-6 monster to attract curious, heavy hitters. The original course was built in 1908 and is a integral part of Naco history.

Most of Southern Arizona is still at a lofty elevation of 4,000 feet. This means golfers of any ability can watch their drives sail through the lighter air for an extra few yards.

Southern Arizona also attracts golfers and tourists due to its rich American history. This includes Naco, home of Buffalo Bill and the first bombing by a foreign country in the U.S. The mountains around Rio Rico also served as a refuge for American soldiers during the Apache Wars.

Southern Arizona is home to some of the state's most intriguing, scenic and affordable resort and daily-fee golf. The stories surrounding the golf courses are often as captivating as the layouts themselves. Serious golfers and weekenders alike owe it to themselves to explore this untapped region of the Grand Canyon State.

Southern Arizona Frequently Asked Questions

What sets Southern Arizona apart from the rest of Arizona golf?
The towns in southern Arizona are much smaller and sparse. Golf is not found as much as the rest of the state, but courses reward travelers who make the trek down to the southern parts with much lower greens fees. Comparable golf courses in Scottsdale are usually at least $20 more.

How do I get to Southern Arizona?
Southern Arizona is accessible from Phoenix via I-10. Take I-10 southeast past Tucson all the way to Cochise County.

How is the restaurant scene different?
Chain restaurants are much less a part of the dining landscape in Southern Arizona. Most popular places serve authentic Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, but there is no shortage of Italian and American food.

Are Southern Arizona golf courses as crowded as the rest of the state?
It's a bit of a trek to get to Southern Arizona. But those who make it past Tucson and into Cochise County will be pleasantly surprised to see many golf courses in the area can be played without a tee time even during peak season. Play Southern Arizona golf in the summer and you may be the only person on the course, even at some of its best tracks.

Can I find golf resorts in Southern Arizona too?
Southern Arizona isn't viewed as a world-class golf getaway, meaning few golf resorts exist. Very few multi-course facilities inhabit the southern part of the state. Many one-course resorts are worthy of a stay, including Tubac Golf Resort and Rio Rico.

How hot does it get?
The highest temperature ever recorded was 127 degrees in Parker in 1905. More recently, Phoenix reached 122 degrees in 1992 and 121 degrees in 1995. But many areas of Southern Arizona are actually cooler than the Phoenix area because they're at higher elevations.

How much rain does Arizona get?
Precipitation varies according to elevation. In the deserts of the Southwest corner of the state, less than 5 inches fall annually. Most precipitation occurs during winter storms in December through March and summer thunderstorms from mid-July to mid-September. Summer storms provide up to 70 percent of the precipitation in the deserts.

See also

Ritz-Carlton GC: Saguaro #9

Destination: Tucson

Savvy Arizona golfers are quick to remind anyone who asks that the Valley of the Sun is like the Old Pueblo on steroids when it comes to fairways available for public consumption. But since the early 1990s, Tucson has made a respectable run in the realm of high-end resort and daily-fee golf. What's more, Tucson is not nearly as inundated with players as Phoenix or Scottsdale, and the Old Pueblo's lack of serious traffic issues will enable you to get from one course to another in a much more expedient fashion than in grid-locked Phoenix.
... full article »

Stoneridge #14

Destination: Prescott

Outside of Arizona, Prescott largely remains a mystery, its charming old-time downtown streets and its ancient Victorian homes almost as undiscovered by tourists now as Arizona was in general back before the gold rush boom of the mid 19th century. Not surprisingly, it's a few club-toting, birdie-seekers who are starting to change that. Prescott is emerging as a golf destination, a quality, lower-priced alternative to the crowded meccas of Phoenix and Scottsdale.
... full article »

Sedona Golf Resort

Destination: Northern Arizona

Northern Arizona will never be mistaken for the Valley of the Sun when it comes to golf, and therein lies the beauty. At elevations ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 feet above sea level, the northern part of the state presents golfers with a completely different set of challenges, landscapes, and (for the budget minded) price points.
... full article »

Biltmore Adobe: #14

Destination: Phoenix

In Phoenix, golfers can play fantastic golf courses and without having to shell out nearly as much money as they would to play one of north Scottsdale's finest. In fact, rates at some of Phoenix's best courses can be had for as low as $50 in the winter and $20 in the hot summer months. Top plays include Raven Golf Club, The Phoenician, the Adobe Course at the Arizona Biltmore, and the Arizona Grand.
... full article »

Champions @ TPC Scottsdale: #16

Destination: Scottsdale

There's no other way to say it: Scottsdale -- and in particular north Scottsdale -- is a golfing Mecca. Nearly 200 public golf courses have been built in the Valley, and it seems like 198 of them are in six-mile square radius in north Scottsdale.
... full article »


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Courses

Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Cave Creek Golf Course Phoenix $26 - $34
Longbow Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $24
Tubac Golf Resort - Anza/Rancho
Tee Times
Tubac $24
San Pedro Golf Course
Tee Times
Benson $12
Hillcrest Golf Club at Sun City West
Tee Times
Sun City West $10
Springfield Golf Course
Tee Times
Chandler $10
Las Colinas Golf Club
Tee Times
Queen Creek $10
Encanto Golf Course Phoenix $24 - $32
El Conquistador - Conquistador Course
Tee Times
Tucson $20
Tubac Golf Resort - Rancho/Otero
Tee Times
Tubac $24
The Lodge at Ventana Canyon - Mountain Course
Tee Times
Tucson $32
San Ignacio Golf Club
Tee Times
Green Valley $10
Starfire Golf Club - King
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19.99
Arizona Golf Resort
Tee Times
Mesa $11
Tubac Golf Resort - Otero/Anza
Tee Times
Tubac $24
Robson Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Eloy $14
Red Mountain Ranch Country Club
Tee Times
Mesa $11
Haven Golf Course
Tee Times
Green Valley $15
Golf Club at Johnson Ranch
Tee Times
Queen Creek $12
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain - Tortolita/Wild Burro
Tee Times
Marana $16
Palmbrook Country Club
Tee Times
Sun City $10
Arizona Grand Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $17
The Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $14
Painted Mountain Golf Resort
Tee Times
Mesa $10
Western Skies Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $10
SaddleBrooke Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Oracle $11
Apache Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Apache Junction $10
Coldwater Golf Club
Tee Times
Avondale $10
Riverview Golf Course
Tee Times
Sun City $10
TPC Scottsdale - The Stadium Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $69
Poston Butte Golf Club
Tee Times
Florence $15
Las Sendas Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $16
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain - Saguaro/Tortolita
Tee Times
Marana $16
Aguila Golf Course Laveen $14 - $19
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain - Wild Burro/Saguaro
Tee Times
Marana $16
The Lodge at Ventana Canyon - Canyon Course
Tee Times
Tucson $32
TPC Scottsdale - The Champions Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $41
Raven Golf Club - Phoenix Phoenix $55 - $109
Rancho Manana Golf Club
Tee Times
Cave Creek $12
Arizona Biltmore Golf Club - Adobe Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $25
Starr Pass - Roadrunner/Rattler
Tee Times
Tucson $25
Cimarron Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $14
Stonecreek Golf Club Phoenix $20 - $30
The Preserve Golf Club at SaddleBrooke
Tee Times
Tucson $18
SunRidge Canyon Golf Club
Tee Times
Fountain Hills $20
Troon North Golf Club - Pinnacle Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $35
Torres Blancas Golf Club
Tee Times
Green Valley $10
Wickenburg Country Club
Tee Times
Wickenburg $13
Orange Tree Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $13
Viewpoint Golf Resort Executive Course
Tee Times
Mesa $9
Toka Sticks Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $15
El Conquistador Golf & Tennis - Canada Course
Tee Times
Tucson $32 - $68
Los Caballeros Golf Club
Tee Times
Wickenburg $22
Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club
Tee Times
Wickenburg $17
Silverbell Municipal Golf Course Tucson $24 - $41
Arizona National Golf Club Tucson $25 - $90
Talking Stick Golf Club - Piipaash Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $29
Sundance Golf Club
Tee Times
Buckeye $10
Coronado Golf Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $7.99
Coyote Lakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $12
McDowell Mountain Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $37
del Lago Golf Club
Tee Times
Vail $12
Continental Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $10
Verrado Golf Club - Founder's Course
Tee Times
Buckeye $16
Rolling Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Tempe $10
Starr Pass - Rattler/Coyote
Tee Times
Tucson $25
Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort
Tee Times
Chandler $15
Bear Creek Golf Complex - Bear Course
Tee Times
Chandler $15
Wildfire Golf Club - Palmer Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $30
Ahwatukee Country Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $10
Ocotillo Golf Resort - Gold/Blue
Tee Times
Chandler $25
Copper Canyon Golf Club - Vista/Lake Course
Tee Times
Buckeye $18
Great Eagle Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $5.5
Sewailo Golf Club
Tee Times
Tucson $19
Quarry Pines Golf Club
Tee Times
Tucson $13
Grand Canyon University Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $12
Kierland Golf Club - Acacia/Mesquite Scottsdale $69 - $179
Pueblo El Mirage Golf Course
Tee Times
El Mirage $10
Bellair Golf Club
Tee Times
Glendale $10
Highlands at Dove Mountain
Tee Times
Marana $20
Victory Course at Verrado Golf Club
Tee Times
Buckeye $16
Willowcreek Golf Course
Tee Times
Sun City $12
Aguila Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Laveen $5
Whirlwind Golf Club - Devil's Claw
Tee Times
Chandler $19
Ken McDonald Golf Course
Tee Times
Tempe $10
The Views Golf Club at Oro Valley
Tee Times
Oro Valley $18
Bison Golf Club
Tee Times
Show Low $28
Ironwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Chandler $15
Dell Urich at Randolph Golf Course
Tee Times
Tucson $30
Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Cave Creek $19
The Legend at Arrowhead
Tee Times
Glendale $15
Palo Verde Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $9
Sunbird Golf Resort
Tee Times
Chandler $12
Tuscany Falls at Pebble Creek - West Course
Tee Times
Goodyear $15 - $75
Forty Niner Country Club
Tee Times
Tucson $10
Desert Canyon Golf Club
Tee Times
Fountain Hills $13
Starfire Golf Club - Mulligan 9
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19.99
Eagle Mountain Golf Club
Tee Times
Fountain Hills $33
Sun City South Golf Course
Tee Times
Sun City $10
The Boulders Golf Club - South Course
Tee Times
Carefree $38
Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia
Tee Times
Peoria $19
Union Hills Country Club
Tee Times
Sun City $16
West Course at Sun City Lakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Sun City $11.99
Power Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $13
Arizona Traditions Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $8
Legend Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $4
Ocotillo Golf Resort - White/Gold
Tee Times
Chandler $25
Desert Sands Golf Course
Tee Times
Mesa $8
Lookout Mountain Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $18
Fred Enke Golf Course Tucson $28 - $46
Copper Canyon Golf Club - Mountain/Vista Course
Tee Times
Buckeye $18
Kokopelli Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $10
Encanto Park 9-hole Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $8
Ambiente Course at Camelback Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $35
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club
Tee Times
Maricopa $32
Wigwam Golf Club - Red Course
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $13
El Conquistador - Pusch X9 Course
Tee Times
Tucson $20
Desert Mirage Golf Course
Tee Times
Glendale $9
Wigwam Golf Club - Gold Course
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $16
MountainView Golf Club at Saddlebrooke
Tee Times
Tucson $12
Verde River Golf & Social Club
Tee Times
Rio Verde $15
McCormich Ranch Golf Club - Palm Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $16
Tonto Verde Golf Club - Peaks Course
Tee Times
Rio Verde $12
Bear Creek Golf Complex - Cub Course
Tee Times
Chandler $10
McCormich Ranch Golf Club - Pine Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $16
Wildfire Golf Club - Faldo Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $16
Superstition Springs Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $10
Wigwam Golf Club - Blue Course
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $13
Granite Falls Golf Club - South Course
Tee Times
Surprise $18
The Boulders Golf Club - North Course
Tee Times
Carefree $38
The Phoenician Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $24
El Rio Golf Course Tucson $38 - $47
Foothills Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $10
Tuscany Falls at Pebble Creek - East Course
Tee Times
Goodyear $15
Francisco Grande Hotel & Golf Resort
Tee Times
Casa Grande $12
Kino Springs Golf Course
Tee Times
Nogales $12
Viewpoint Golf Resort Championship Course
Tee Times
Mesa $10
Palm Valley Golf Club - North/South Goodyear $20 - $53
Silverado Golf Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19.5
Papago Golf Course Phoenix $60 - $110
Canoa Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Green Valley $12
Tonto Verde Golf Club - Ranch Course
Tee Times
Rio Verde $12
Whirlwind Golf Club - Cattail
Tee Times
Chandler $34
Copper Canyon Golf Club - Lake/Mountain Course
Tee Times
Buckeye $18
Kierland Golf Club - Ironwood/Acacia Scottsdale $69 - $179
Randolph North at Randolph Golf Course Tucson $34 - $56
Omni Tucson National - Catalina Course
Tee Times
Tucson $40 - $200
Troon North Golf Club - Monument Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $35
Pebble Creek Resort - Eagle's Nest Golf Club
Tee Times
Goodyear $15
Haven Golf Course - Tortuga Par-3
Tee Times
Green Valley $15
Arizona Biltmore Golf Club - Links Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $19.29
Mission Royale Golf Club
Tee Times
Casa Grande $10
Crooked Tree Golf Course
Tee Times
Tucson $11
Peoria Pines Golf Club
Tee Times
Peoria $10
Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club - Silver Pony Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19.5
Mountain Shadows Golf Course
Tee Times
Paradise Valley $10
The Duke at Rancho El Dorado
Tee Times
Maricopa $11.25
Sun City Country Club
Tee Times
Sun City $27
Mountain Brook Golf Club
Tee Times
Gold Canyon $10
Desert Springs Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $18
Omni Tucson National - Sonoran Course
Tee Times
Tucson $40 - $200
Lone Tree Golf Club
Tee Times
Chandler $12
Ocotillo Golf Resort - Blue/White
Tee Times
Chandler $25
Corte Bella Golf Club
Tee Times
Sun City West $22
Palm Valley Golf Club - North/West
Tee Times
Goodyear $27
Kierland Golf Club - Mesquite/Ironwood Scottsdale $69 - $179
Camelback Golf Club - Padre Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $20
Quintero Golf Club
Tee Times
Peoria $25
Granite Falls Golf Club - North Course
Tee Times
Surprise $18
Starr Pass - Coyote/Roadrunner
Tee Times
Tucson $25
Golf Club of Estrella
Tee Times
Goodyear $13
Country Club of Green Valley
Tee Times
Green Valley $19
Moon Valley Country Club Phoenix $39 - $49
Canoa Hills Green Valley $34.95 - $64.95
Grayhawk Golf Club - Talon Course Scottsdale $79 - $114
Tatum Ranch Golf Club Cave Creek $80 - $90
Gold Canyon Golf Resort - Dinosaur Mountain Course
Tee Times
Gold Canyon $245
Gold Canyon Golf Resort - Sidewinder Course
Tee Times
Gold Canyon $69.99
Tierra Grande Country Club Casa Grande $10
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club - Saguaro Course Scottsdale $75 - $190
Cobre Valle Country Club Globe $18
The First Tee of Phoenix Phoenix $5
Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club - Prospector Course Gold Canyon $120
Greenfield Lakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $9.99
Talking Stick Golf Club - O'odham Course Scottsdale $59 - $165
Twin Lakes Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Willcox $10
Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club - Lost Gold Course Gold Canyon $120
Southern Ridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $9
Grayhawk Golf Club - Raptor Course Scottsdale $80 - $115
Oasis Golf Club Florence $9 - $19
Palm Valley Golf Club - South/West
Tee Times
Goodyear $27
Tres Rios Golf Course at Estrella Mountain Park
Tee Times
Goodyear $10
Turquoise Hills Family Golf Center Benson $25 - $30
The Links at Queen Creek
Tee Times
San Tan Valley $15
Falcon Golf Club
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $20
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club - Cholla Course Scottsdale $75 - $190
Augusta Ranch Golf Club Mesa $20.25- $62.75
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