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
Arizona Biltmore Golf Club - Links Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $19.29
The Lodge at Ventana Canyon - Canyon Course
Tee Times
Tucson $32
Ahwatukee Country Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $10
Golf Club at Johnson Ranch
Tee Times
Queen Creek $12
Golf Club of Estrella
Tee Times
Goodyear $13
Francisco Grande Resort & Golf Club
Tee Times
Casa Grande $12
The Preserve Golf Club at SaddleBrooke
Tee Times
Tucson $18
Mountain Shadows Golf Course
Tee Times
Paradise Valley $10
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain - Wild Burro/Saguaro
Tee Times
Marana $16
The Lodge at Ventana Canyon - Mountain Course
Tee Times
Tucson $32
Club West Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $15
Coldwater Golf Club
Tee Times
Avondale $10
Desert Canyon Golf Club
Tee Times
Fountain Hills $13
Verrado Golf Club - Founder's Course
Tee Times
Buckeye $16
Crooked Tree Golf Course
Tee Times
Tucson $11
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain - Saguaro/Tortolita
Tee Times
Marana $16
Forty Niner Country Club
Tee Times
Tucson $10
Longbow Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $24
The Boulders Golf Club - North Course
Tee Times
Carefree $38
Las Sendas Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $16
Arizona Grand Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $17
Starr Pass - Rattler/Coyote
Tee Times
Tucson $25
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain - Tortolita/Wild Burro
Tee Times
Marana $16
Rio Rico Golf Club
Tee Times
Rio Rico $10
Grand Canyon University Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $12
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club
Tee Times
Maricopa $32
Western Skies Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $10
Starfire Golf Club - King
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19.99
Sewailo Golf Club
Tee Times
Tucson $19
The Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $14
Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch
Tee Times
Gilbert $13
Foothills Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $10
Tubac Golf Resort - Rancho/Otero
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
Poston Butte Golf Club
Tee Times
Florence $15
Los Caballeros Golf Club
Tee Times
Wickenburg $22
TPC Scottsdale - The Stadium Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $69
Tres Rios Golf Course at Estrella Mountain Park
Tee Times
Goodyear $10
Lookout Mountain Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $18
Wigwam Golf Club - Gold Course
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $16
MountainView Golf Club at Saddlebrooke
Tee Times
Tucson $12
El Conquistador Golf & Tennis - Canada Course
Tee Times
Tucson $20
Arizona Golf Resort
Tee Times
Mesa $11
Starr Pass - Roadrunner/Rattler
Tee Times
Tucson $25
San Ignacio Golf Club
Tee Times
Green Valley $10
SaddleBrooke Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Oracle $11
The Boulders Golf Club - South Course
Tee Times
Carefree $38
Tubac Golf Resort - Otero/Anza
Tee Times
Tubac $24
Starr Pass - Coyote/Roadrunner
Tee Times
Tucson $25
Victory Course at Verrado Golf Club
Tee Times
Buckeye $16
Tubac Golf Resort - Anza/Rancho
Tee Times
Tubac $24
Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Cave Creek $19
Riverview Golf Course
Tee Times
Sun City $10
The Duke at Rancho El Dorado
Tee Times
Maricopa $11.25
El Conquistador - Conquistador Course
Tee Times
Tucson $20
Sundance Golf Club
Tee Times
Buckeye $10
Desert Sands Golf Course
Tee Times
Mesa $8
Encanto Park 9-hole Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $8
Tonto Verde Golf Club - Ranch Course
Tee Times
Rio Verde $12
Arizona Traditions Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $8
Ocotillo Golf Resort - White/Gold
Tee Times
Chandler $25
West Course at Sun City Lakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Sun City $11.99
The Links at Queen Creek
Tee Times
San Tan Valley $15
Palm Valley Golf Club - The Lakes Course Goodyear $23 - $46
Raven Golf Club - Phoenix Phoenix $55 - $109
Corte Bella Golf Club
Tee Times
Sun City West $22
Willowcreek Golf Course
Tee Times
Sun City $12
Mission Royale Golf Club
Tee Times
Casa Grande $10
Kino Springs Golf Course
Tee Times
Nogales $12
Falcon Golf Club
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $20
Coronado Golf Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $7.99
Painted Mountain Golf Resort
Tee Times
Mesa $10
The Views Golf Club at Oro Valley
Tee Times
Oro Valley $18
Moon Valley Country Club Phoenix $69
Sun City Country Club
Tee Times
Sun City $27
Whirlwind Golf Club - Devil's Claw
Tee Times
Chandler $19
Stonecreek Golf Club Phoenix $65 - $115
Glen Lakes Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Glendale $7
Desert Mirage Golf Course
Tee Times
Glendale $9
Palm Valley Golf Club - The Palms Course Goodyear $20 - $53
Legend Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $4
Talking Stick Golf Club - O'odham Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $29
Starfire Golf Club - Mulligan 9
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19.99
McCormich Ranch Golf Club - Palm Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $16
Continental Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $10
Palo Verde Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $9
The Phoenician Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $24
Ken McDonald Golf Course
Tee Times
Tempe $10
Tierra Grande Country Club Casa Grande $15
Twin Lakes Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Willcox $10
Tuscany Falls at Pebble Creek - West Course Goodyear $15 - $75
Dell Urich at Randolph Golf Course
Tee Times
Tucson $30
Sun City South Golf Course
Tee Times
Sun City $10
Copper Canyon Golf Club - Vista/Lake Course
Tee Times
Buckeye $18
Viewpoint Golf Resort Executive Course
Tee Times
Mesa $9
Lone Tree Golf Club
Tee Times
Chandler $12
Ocotillo Golf Resort - Blue/White
Tee Times
Chandler $25
Tonto Verde Golf Club - Peaks Course
Tee Times
Rio Verde $12
Granite Falls Golf Club - South Course
Tee Times
Surprise $18
Quarry Pines Golf Club
Tee Times
Tucson $13
Haven Golf Course
Tee Times
Green Valley $15
Robson Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Eloy $14
Greenfield Lakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $9.99
Country Club of Green Valley
Tee Times
Green Valley $19
Ocotillo Golf Resort - Gold/Blue
Tee Times
Chandler $25
Kierland Golf Club - Ironwood/Acacia Scottsdale $69 - $179
Copper Canyon Golf Club - Mountain/Vista Course
Tee Times
Buckeye $18
Sunbird Golf Resort
Tee Times
Chandler $12
Desert Springs Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $18
Peoria Pines Golf Club
Tee Times
Peoria $10
Gold Canyon Golf Resort - Dinosaur Mountain Course
Tee Times
Gold Canyon $245
del Lago Golf Club
Tee Times
Vail $12
SunRidge Canyon Golf Club
Tee Times
Fountain Hills $20
Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort
Tee Times
Chandler $15
Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club
Tee Times
Wickenburg $17
Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia
Tee Times
Peoria $19
Troon North Golf Club - Pinnacle Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $35
Kierland Golf Club - Mesquite/Ironwood Scottsdale $69 - $179
Union Hills Country Club
Tee Times
Sun City $16
Pueblo El Mirage Golf Course
Tee Times
El Mirage $10
Palmbrook Country Club
Tee Times
Sun City $10
Rolling Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Tempe $10
Troon North Golf Club - Monument Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $35
Wildfire Golf Club - Palmer Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $30
Fred Enke Golf Course Tucson $30 - $45
McCormich Ranch Golf Club - Pine Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $16
Viewpoint Golf Resort Championship Course
Tee Times
Mesa $10
Apache Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Apache Junction $10
Canoa Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Green Valley $12
Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club - Silver Pony Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19.5
Adobe Dam Family Golf Center
Tee Times
Glendale $5.99
Orange Tree Golf Resort
Tee Times
Scottsdale $13
Wigwam Golf Club - Red Course
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $13
Apache Stronghold Golf Course
Tee Times
Globe $10
Bellair Golf Club
Tee Times
Glendale $10
Copper Canyon Golf Club - Lake/Mountain Course
Tee Times
Buckeye $18
Wildfire Golf Club - Faldo Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $16
Gold Canyon Golf Resort - Sidewinder Course
Tee Times
Gold Canyon $69.99
Granite Falls Golf Club - North Course
Tee Times
Surprise $18
Las Colinas Golf Club
Tee Times
Queen Creek $10
Highlands at Dove Mountain
Tee Times
Marana $20
Tuscany Falls at Pebble Creek - East Course
Tee Times
Goodyear $15
Mountain Brook Golf Club
Tee Times
Gold Canyon $10
Cobre Valle Country Club Globe $18
Whirlwind Golf Club - Cattail
Tee Times
Chandler $34
Superstition Springs Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $10
Wigwam Golf Club - Blue Course
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $13
Rancho Manana Golf Club
Tee Times
Cave Creek $12
Camelback Golf Club - Padre Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $20
McDowell Mountain Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $37
Haven Golf Course - Tortuga Par-3
Tee Times
Green Valley $15
Wickenburg Country Club
Tee Times
Wickenburg $13
Silverado Golf Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19.5
Arizona Biltmore Golf Club - Adobe Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $25
Aguila Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Laveen $5
Bear Creek Golf Complex - Cub Course
Tee Times
Chandler $10
Ironwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Chandler $15
Silverbell Municipal Golf Course Tucson $20 - $37
Bear Creek Golf Complex - Bear Course
Tee Times
Chandler $15
Ambiente Course at Camelback Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $35
Torres Blancas Golf Club
Tee Times
Green Valley $10
Red Mountain Ranch Country Club
Tee Times
Mesa $11
Coyote Lakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $12
El Conquistador - Pusch X9 Course
Tee Times
Tucson $20
Papago Golf Course Phoenix $44 - $88
Kokopelli Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $10
El Rio Golf Course Tucson $38 - $47
Bison Golf Club
Tee Times
Show Low $28
Cimarron Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $14
Great Eagle Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $5.5
Springfield Golf Course
Tee Times
Chandler $10
Arizona National Golf Club Tucson $25 - $90
Toka Sticks Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $15
Kierland Golf Club - Acacia/Mesquite Scottsdale $69 - $179
Talking Stick Golf Club - Piipaash Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $29
TPC Scottsdale - The Champions Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $41
Quintero Golf Club
Tee Times
Peoria $25
Eagle Mountain Golf Club Fountain Hills $69 - $175
Southern Ridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $9
Pebble Creek Resort - Eagle's Nest Golf Club
Tee Times
Goodyear $15
Karsten GC at ASU Tempe $26 - $149
The Legend at Arrowhead
Tee Times
Glendale $15
Augusta Ranch Golf Club Mesa $7 - $36
Superstition Mountain Golf Club - Prospector Course Apache Junction $120
Encanto Golf Course Phoenix $24 - $32
Aguila Golf Course Laveen $14 - $19
Omni Tucson National - Catalina Course Tucson $40 - $200
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club - Cholla Course Scottsdale $45 - $235
Turquoise Valley Golf & RV Park Naco $40
Cave Creek Golf Course Phoenix $26 - $34
Tatum Ranch Golf Club Cave Creek $80 - $90
The First Tee of Phoenix Phoenix $5
Randolph North at Randolph Golf Course Tucson $34 - $56
Verde River Golf & Social Club
Tee Times
Rio Verde $15
Grayhawk Golf Club - Raptor Course Scottsdale $125 - $288
Superstition Mountain Golf Club - Lost Gold Course Apache Junction $120
Oasis Golf Club Florence $9 - $19
Omni Tucson National - Sonoran Course Tucson $40 - $200
Grayhawk Golf Club - Talon Course Scottsdale $146 - $271
Turquoise Hills Family Golf Center Benson $25 - $30
Canoa Hills Green Valley $34.95 - $64.95
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club - Saguaro Course Scottsdale $45 - $235
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