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 »


Special Deals

Phoenix Golf Package
Dates: January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014
The golf course at the Arizona Grand Golf Resort & Spa in Phoenix -- which Golf Digest awarded four stars -- features panoramic views of the desert landscape, dramatic elevation changes and breathtaking mountain vistas. Package includes: Upgrade to Premier suite with golf course view, one round of golf per person, club rentals, $25 per person dining credit, Happy Hour pricing in lobby bar with scorecard, resort fee included.
Price range: $279

Courses

Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club
Tee Times
Maricopa $25
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain - Saguaro/Tortolita
Tee Times
Marana $35
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain - Wild Burro/Saguaro
Tee Times
Marana $225
The Boulders Golf Club - South Course
Tee Times
Carefree $55 - $165
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $25
Golf Club at Johnson Ranch
Tee Times
Queen Creek $20
Superstition Mountain Golf Club - Prospector Course
Tee Times
Apache Junction $120
Western Skies Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $10
Pointe Golf Club on Lookout Mtn
Tee Times
Phoenix $31
Canoa Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Green Valley $20
Superstition Mountain Golf Club - Lost Gold Course
Tee Times
Apache Junction $120
Camelback Golf Club - Padre Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $26
San Ignacio Golf Club
Tee Times
Green Valley $34.95 - $64.95
Whirlwind Golf Club - Cattail
Tee Times
Chandler $35
Arizona Grand Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $15
Las Sendas Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $25
Riverview Golf Course
Tee Times
Sun City $14.75 - $36.00
Club West Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $15
Bear Creek Golf Complex - Bear Course
Tee Times
Chandler $17
MountainView Golf Club at Saddlebrooke
Tee Times
Tucson $13
Starfire Golf Club - Squire/Hawk
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19
Torres Blancas Golf Club
Tee Times
Green Valley $20
Whirlwind Golf Club - Devil's Claw
Tee Times
Chandler $35
Desert Canyon Golf Club
Tee Times
Fountain Hills $29
The Lodge at Ventana Canyon - Mountain Course
Tee Times
Tucson $29
Los Caballeros Golf Club
Tee Times
Wickenburg $15
Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort
Tee Times
Chandler $18 - $75
Poston Butte Golf Club
Tee Times
Florence $19.99
Ahwatukee Country Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $15
The Preserve Golf Club at SaddleBrooke
Tee Times
Tucson $14
Forty-Niner Country Club
Tee Times
Tucson $17
Encanto Park Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $12
Crooked Tree Golf Course
Tee Times
Tucson $22
Starfire Golf Club - Squire/King
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19
Aguila Golf Course
Tee Times
Laveen $12
del Lago Golf Club
Tee Times
Vail $14.25
Papago Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $27
Starfire Golf Club - Hawk/King
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19
Rio Rico Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Rio Rico $12
The Golf Club at Vistoso
Tee Times
Tucson $10
Ambiente Course at Camelback Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $30
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain - Tortolita/Wild Burro
Tee Times
Marana $225
The Duke at Rancho El Dorado
Tee Times
Maricopa $15
Quarry Pines Golf Club
Tee Times
Tucson $14.99
SaddleBrooke Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Oracle $11
Verrado Golf Club
Tee Times
Buckeye $15
The Golf Club of Estrella
Tee Times
Goodyear $20
Cave Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $13
Foothills Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $15
Falcon Golf Club
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $15
The Lodge at Ventana Canyon - Canyon Course
Tee Times
Tucson $29
The Boulders Golf Club - North Course
Tee Times
Carefree $55 - $165
Tuscany Falls at Pebble Creek - Falls Nine
Tee Times
Goodyear $20
Sunbird Golf Resort
Tee Times
Chandler $16
Union Hills Country Club
Tee Times
Sun City $15
Oasis Golf Club
Tee Times
Florence $10
Haven Golf Course
Tee Times
Green Valley $15
Kino Springs Golf Course
Tee Times
Nogales $15
Willowcreek Golf Course
Tee Times
Sun City $18.75
Pebble Creek Resort - Eagle's Nest Golf Club
Tee Times
Goodyear $20
Longbow Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $20
Desert Mirage Golf Course
Tee Times
Glendale $6
Ken McDonald Golf Course
Tee Times
Tempe $13
Villa De Paz Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $13.85
Tuscany Falls at Pebble Creek - Lakes Nine
Tee Times
Goodyear $20
Adobe Dam Family Golf Center
Tee Times
Glendale $9.5
San Pedro Golf Course
Tee Times
Benson $20.95
Coronado Golf Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $7
Apache Stronghold Golf Course
Tee Times
Globe $20
Bear Creek Golf Complex - Cub Course
Tee Times
Chandler $11
Sun City South Golf Course
Tee Times
Sun City $18.5
Moon Valley Country Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $39
Springfield Golf Course
Tee Times
Chandler $15
Tuscany Falls at Pebble Creek - Palms Nine
Tee Times
Goodyear $20
Tres Rios Golf Course at Estrella Mountain Park
Tee Times
Goodyear $10
Pueblo El Mirage Golf Course
Tee Times
El Mirage $12.95
Arizona Golf Resort
Tee Times
Mesa $15
Apache Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Apache Junction $15
Southern Ridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $11
Rolling Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Tempe $8
Glen Lakes Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Glendale $8
Tonto Verde Golf Club - Peaks Course
Tee Times
Rio Verde $29
Ocotillo Golf Resort - Gold/Blue
Tee Times
Chandler $25
Peoria Pines Golf Club
Tee Times
Peoria $13.81
Twin Lakes Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Willcox $14
Maryvale Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $12
Raven Golf Club - Phoenix
Tee Times
Phoenix $20
Bison Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Show Low $22
McCormich Ranch Golf Club - Palm Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $25
Karsten GC at ASU
Tee Times
Tempe $21
Palm Valley Golf Club - The Palms Course
Tee Times
Goodyear $16
The Phoenician Resort - Desert/Canyon
Tee Times
Scottsdale $29.99
Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Cave Creek $31
TPC Scottsdale - The Stadium Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $63 - $299
Coyote Lakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $13
Wigwam Golf Club - Gold Course
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $20
Stonecreek Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $19.99
Troon North Golf Club - Pinnacle Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $39
Wigwam Golf Club - Heritage Course
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $30 - $40
Corte Bella Golf Club
Tee Times
Sun City West $25
The Links at Queen Creek
Tee Times
Queen Creek $45
Ocotillo Golf Resort - White/Gold
Tee Times
Chandler $25
Country Club of Green Valley
Tee Times
Green Valley $25
Lone Tree Golf Club
Tee Times
Chandler $19
The Legend at Arrowhead
Tee Times
Glendale $15
Tubac Golf Resort - Rancho/Otero
Tee Times
Tubac $22
Red Mountain Ranch Country Club
Tee Times
Mesa $29
Hilton El Conquistador - Pusch Ridge Course
Tee Times
Tucson $13
Eagle Mountain Golf Club
Tee Times
Fountain Hills $29
Gold Canyon Golf Resort - Dinosaur Mountain Course
Tee Times
Gold Canyon $40
Coldwater Golf Club
Tee Times
Avondale $10
Arizona Biltmore Country Club - Adobe Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $25
Dell Urich at Randolph Golf Course
Tee Times
Tucson $15
Aguila Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Laveen $8
The Views Golf Club at Oro Valley
Tee Times
Oro Valley $12
Sun City Country Club
Tee Times
Sun City $18
Wildfire Golf Club - Palmer Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $29
Robson Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Eloy $15
Tonto Verde Golf Club - Ranch Course
Tee Times
Rio Verde $29
Superstition Springs Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $18
Talking Stick Golf Club - North Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $40
Tubac Golf Resort - Anza/Rancho
Tee Times
Tubac $22
Granite Falls Golf Club - North Course
Tee Times
Surprise $18
Painted Mountain Golf Resort
Tee Times
Mesa $16
Greenfield Lakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $15.99
Troon North Golf Club - Monument Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $39
Kierland Golf Club - Acacia/Mesquite
Tee Times
Scottsdale $39
Haven Golf Course - Tortuga Par-3
Tee Times
Green Valley $7
Starr Pass - Rattler/Coyote
Tee Times
Tucson $29
Silverbell Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Tucson $16
Viewpoint Golf Resort Championship Course
Tee Times
Mesa $12
Starr Pass - Coyote/Roadrunner
Tee Times
Tucson $29
Hilton El Conquistador - Canada Course
Tee Times
Tucson $24
Canoa Hills
Tee Times
Green Valley $34.95 - $64.95
Tubac Golf Resort - Otero/Anza
Tee Times
Tubac $22
Trini Alvarez El Rio Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Tucson $15
Omni Tucson National - Catalina Course
Tee Times
Tucson $22
Lakes At Ahwatukee
Tee Times
Phoenix N/A
Legend Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $25
Wildfire Golf Club - Faldo Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $29
Kierland Golf Club - Mesquite/Ironwood
Tee Times
Scottsdale $39
Arizona Biltmore Country Club - Links Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $50
Copper Canyon Golf Club
Tee Times
Buckeye $22
McDowell Mountain Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $25
Gold Canyon Golf Resort - Sidewinder Course
Tee Times
Gold Canyon $27
Toka Sticks Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $19
Vistal Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $13.85
The Phoenician Resort - Oasis/Desert
Tee Times
Scottsdale $29.99
Silverado Golf Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $17.5
Tatum Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Cave Creek $30
Palo Verde Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $10
Sundance Golf Club
Tee Times
Buckeye $9
Great Eagle Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $8
Fred Enke Golf Course
Tee Times
Tucson $15
Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club - Silver Pony Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $10
Orange Tree Golf Resort
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19.95
Highlands at Dove Mountain
Tee Times
Marana $19
The Phoenician Resort - Canyon/Oasis
Tee Times
Scottsdale $29.99
Palmbrook Country Club
Tee Times
Sun City $15
Wigwam Golf Club - Patriot Course
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $20
Ironwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Chandler $40
Rancho Manana Golf Club
Tee Times
Cave Creek $25
Mountain Shadows Resort and Golf Club
Tee Times
Paradise Valley $12.5
Kokopelli Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $10
Arizona National Golf Club
Tee Times
Tucson $23.75
Francisco Grande Resort & Golf Club
Tee Times
Casa Grande $2
Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch
Tee Times
Gilbert $20
Kierland Golf Club - Ironwood/Acacia
Tee Times
Scottsdale $39
Talking Stick Golf Club - South Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $40
Sewailo Golf Club
Tee Times
Tucson $32
Arizona Traditions Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $9.49
Hillcrest Golf Club at Sun City West
Tee Times
Sun City West $29 - $39
Tegavah Golf Club
Tee Times
Rio Verde $30
Continental Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $9.99
SunRidge Canyon Golf Club
Tee Times
Fountain Hills $100 - $150
Hilton El Conquistador - Conquistdor Course
Tee Times
Tucson $24
TPC Scottsdale - The Champions Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $39
Bellair Golf Club
Tee Times
Glendale $18
Mission Royale Golf Club
Tee Times
Casa Grande $14
Desert Sands Golf Course
Tee Times
Mesa $13
Encanto Park 9-hole Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $10
Omni Tucson National - Sonoran Course
Tee Times
Tucson $22
Las Colinas Golf Club
Tee Times
Queen Creek $18
McCormich Ranch Golf Club - Pine Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $25
Randolph North at Randolph Golf Course
Tee Times
Tucson $15
Palm Valley Golf Club - The Lakes Course
Tee Times
Goodyear $14
Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia
Tee Times
Peoria $20
Cimarron Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $18
Starr Pass - Roadrunner/Rattler
Tee Times
Tucson $29
Granite Falls Golf Club - South Course
Tee Times
Surprise $18
Quintero Golf Club
Tee Times
Peoria $59
Ocotillo Golf Resort - Blue/White
Tee Times
Chandler $25
Turquoise Valley Golf & RV Park Naco $40
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club - Saguaro Course Scottsdale $45 - $225
The First Tee of Phoenix Phoenix $5
Grayhawk Golf Club - Talon Course Scottsdale $125
Palo Duro Creek Golf Course Nogales less than $50
Augusta Ranch Golf Club Mesa $7 - $36
Turquoise Hills Family Golf Center Benson $25 - $30
Riverview Golf Course Mesa $15 - $17
San Miguel Golf Club Eloy $40 - $50
Sun City Lakes West Sun City $52
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club - Cholla Course Scottsdale $45 - $225
Desert Springs Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $18
Tierra Grande Country Club Casa Grande $15 - $19
Grayhawk Golf Club - Raptor Course Scottsdale $110 - $190
Santa Rita Golf Club Corona $19
Mountain Brook Golf Club Gold Canyon $52 - $79
Viewpoint Golf Resort Executive Course Mesa $14 - $22
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