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
Club West Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $15
Lookout Mountain Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $25
Tres Rios Golf Course at Estrella Mountain Park
Tee Times
Goodyear $9
Longbow Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $24
Los Caballeros Golf Club
Tee Times
Wickenburg $12
The Duke at Rancho El Dorado
Tee Times
Maricopa $12
TPC Scottsdale - The Stadium Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $59.5
Foothills Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $12
Verrado Golf Club - Founders Course
Tee Times
Buckeye $21
Mountain Shadows Golf Course
Tee Times
Paradise Valley $12
The Boulders Golf Club - South Course
Tee Times
Carefree $37
Hillcrest Golf Club at Sun City West
Tee Times
Sun City West $12
Canoa Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Green Valley $12
Crooked Tree Golf Course
Tee Times
Tucson $15
Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch
Tee Times
Gilbert $13
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain - Wild Burro/Saguaro
Tee Times
Marana $18
San Pedro Golf Course
Tee Times
Benson $12
Ahwatukee Country Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $12
Western Skies Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $9
Starfire Golf Club - Hawk/King
Tee Times
Scottsdale $14
SaddleBrooke Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Oracle $12
Wigwam Golf Club - Gold Course
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $15
Whirlwind Golf Club - Devil's Claw
Tee Times
Chandler $26
Tubac Golf Resort - Rancho/Otero
Tee Times
Tubac $23
Poston Butte Golf Club
Tee Times
Florence $15
El Conquistador - Conquistdor Course
Tee Times
Tucson $12
The Preserve Golf Club at SaddleBrooke
Tee Times
Tucson $15
Whirlwind Golf Club - Cattail
Tee Times
Chandler $22
Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia
Tee Times
Peoria $12
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club
Tee Times
Maricopa $30
Arizona Biltmore Golf Club - Links Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $10.99
Sewailo Golf Club
Tee Times
Tucson $15
Riverview Golf Course
Tee Times
Sun City $12
Verde River Golf & Social Club
Tee Times
Rio Verde $15
Starr Pass - Roadrunner/Rattler
Tee Times
Tucson $27
MountainView Golf Club at Saddlebrooke
Tee Times
Tucson $14
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain - Saguaro/Tortolita
Tee Times
Marana $18
Coldwater Golf Club
Tee Times
Avondale $12
Starr Pass - Coyote/Roadrunner
Tee Times
Tucson $27
The Lodge at Ventana Canyon - Mountain Course
Tee Times
Tucson $25
Las Sendas Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $16
Rio Rico Golf Club
Tee Times
Rio Rico $12
San Ignacio Golf Club
Tee Times
Green Valley $12
Victory Course at Verrado Golf Club
Tee Times
Buckeye $35
Tubac Golf Resort - Anza/Rancho
Tee Times
Tubac $23
Arizona Golf Resort
Tee Times
Mesa $9
Torres Blancas Golf Club
Tee Times
Green Valley $12
Desert Canyon Golf Club
Tee Times
Fountain Hills $32
Francisco Grande Resort & Golf Club
Tee Times
Casa Grande $12
The Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $12
The Views Golf Club at Oro Valley
Tee Times
Oro Valley $17
Arizona Grand Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $15
Golf Club at Johnson Ranch
Tee Times
Queen Creek $6
The Boulders Golf Club - North Course
Tee Times
Carefree $37
Starr Pass - Rattler/Coyote
Tee Times
Tucson $27
The Lodge at Ventana Canyon - Canyon Course
Tee Times
Tucson $25
Tubac Golf Resort - Otero/Anza
Tee Times
Tubac $23
Forty-Niner Country Club
Tee Times
Tucson $12
Grand Canyon University Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $15
Golf Club of Estrella
Tee Times
Goodyear $13
El Conquistador Golf & Tennis - Canada Course
Tee Times
Tucson $12
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain - Tortolita/Wild Burro
Tee Times
Marana $18
Ken McDonald Golf Course
Tee Times
Tempe $11
Greenfield Lakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $9.99
Robson Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Eloy $13
Papago Golf Course Phoenix $14 - $36
Corte Bella Golf Club
Tee Times
Sun City West $21
Legend Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $18
Twin Lakes Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Willcox $12
Painted Mountain Golf Resort
Tee Times
Mesa $10
Haven Golf Course - Tortuga Par-3
Tee Times
Green Valley $8.99
West Course at Sun City Lakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Sun City $11.99
Coronado Golf Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $7.5
Wigwam Golf Club - Patriot Course
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $13
Viewpoint Golf Resort Executive Course
Tee Times
Mesa $8
Springfield Golf Course
Tee Times
Chandler $10
The Legend at Arrowhead
Tee Times
Glendale $12
The Golf Club at Vistoso Tucson $25 - $99
Cimarron Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $12
Peoria Pines Golf Club
Tee Times
Peoria $10
Gold Canyon Golf Resort - Sidewinder Course
Tee Times
Gold Canyon $69.99
Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort
Tee Times
Chandler $12
Trini Alvarez El Rio Municipal Golf Course Tucson $18 - $36
Karsten GC at ASU Tempe $26 - $149
Great Eagle Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $6.22
Pebble Creek Resort - Eagle's Nest Golf Club
Tee Times
Goodyear $15
Desert Sands Golf Course
Tee Times
Mesa $10.75
Union Hills Country Club
Tee Times
Sun City $12
Arizona National Golf Club Tucson $29 - $99
Quintero Golf Club
Tee Times
Peoria $25
Starfire Golf Club - Squire
Tee Times
Scottsdale $19.99
Desert Springs Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $12
The Phoenician Resort - Canyon/Oasis
Tee Times
Scottsdale $24
McDowell Mountain Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $20
Southern Ridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Phoenix $12
Sunbird Golf Resort
Tee Times
Chandler $14
Tonto Verde Golf Club - Ranch Course
Tee Times
Rio Verde $12
Sundance Golf Club
Tee Times
Buckeye $12
Sun City Country Club
Tee Times
Sun City $18
Tuscany Falls at Pebble Creek - Palms Nine
Tee Times
Goodyear $15
Desert Mirage Golf Course
Tee Times
Glendale $9
Palm Valley Golf Club - The Lakes Course Goodyear $23 - $46
Talking Stick Golf Club - Piipaash Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $21
Sun City South Golf Course
Tee Times
Sun City $12
Wildfire Golf Club - Faldo Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $21
Cobre Valle Country Club Globe $18
Falcon Golf Club
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $9
Tonto Verde Golf Club - Peaks Course
Tee Times
Rio Verde $12
Granite Falls Golf Club - South Course
Tee Times
Surprise $12
Superstition Springs Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $12
McCormich Ranch Golf Club - Palm Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $18
Copper Canyon Golf Club
Tee Times
Buckeye $15
Ambiente Course at Camelback Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $27
Tuscany Falls at Pebble Creek - Falls Nine
Tee Times
Goodyear $15
TPC Scottsdale - The Champions Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $35
Troon North Golf Club - Pinnacle Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $25
Silverbell Municipal Golf Course Tucson $20 - $37
Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club
Tee Times
Cave Creek $19
Haven Golf Course
Tee Times
Green Valley $11
Pueblo El Mirage Golf Course
Tee Times
El Mirage $8
Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club
Tee Times
Wickenburg $23
Wigwam Golf Club - Heritage Course
Tee Times
Litchfield Park $13
Bear Creek Golf Complex - Bear Course
Tee Times
Chandler $12
Kokopelli Golf Club
Tee Times
Gilbert $10
El Conquistador - Pusch Ridge Course
Tee Times
Tucson $20
Moon Valley Country Club Phoenix $65 - $120
Ironwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Chandler $15
Bellair Golf Club
Tee Times
Glendale $12
Lone Tree Golf Club
Tee Times
Chandler $12
Arizona Biltmore Golf Club - Adobe Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $10.99
Aguila Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Laveen $4.99
Willowcreek Golf Course
Tee Times
Sun City $12
Continental Golf Club
Tee Times
Scottsdale $12
Kino Springs Golf Course
Tee Times
Nogales $12
SunRidge Canyon Golf Club
Tee Times
Fountain Hills $29
The Phoenician Resort - Desert/Canyon
Tee Times
Scottsdale $24
Toka Sticks Golf Club
Tee Times
Mesa $12
Ocotillo Golf Resort - Blue/White
Tee Times
Chandler $21
Kierland Golf Club - Acacia/Mesquite Scottsdale $69 - $179
Rolling Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Tempe $4
Palmbrook Country Club
Tee Times
Sun City $12
Fred Enke Golf Course Tucson $32
Troon North Golf Club - Monument Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $25
McCormich Ranch Golf Club - Pine Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $15
Tierra Grande Country Club Casa Grande $15
Raven Golf Club - Phoenix Phoenix $55 - $135
Coyote Lakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $12
Encanto Park 9-hole Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $6.45
Orange Tree Golf Resort
Tee Times
Scottsdale $12
Country Club of Green Valley
Tee Times
Green Valley $12
Kierland Golf Club - Ironwood/Acacia Scottsdale $69 - $179
Arizona Traditions Golf Club
Tee Times
Surprise $11
Ocotillo Golf Resort - Gold/Blue
Tee Times
Chandler $21
Quarry Pines Golf Club
Tee Times
Tucson $13
Apache Stronghold Golf Course
Tee Times
Globe $12
Palm Valley Golf Club - The Palms Course Goodyear $36 - $69
Talking Stick Golf Club - O'odham Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $21
Apache Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Apache Junction $12
Rancho Manana Golf Club
Tee Times
Cave Creek $12
Highlands at Dove Mountain
Tee Times
Marana $20
The Phoenician Resort - Oasis/Desert
Tee Times
Scottsdale $24
Red Mountain Ranch Country Club
Tee Times
Mesa $12
Mission Royale Golf Club
Tee Times
Casa Grande $12
Eagle Mountain Golf Club Fountain Hills $69 - $175
Granite Falls Golf Club - North Course
Tee Times
Surprise $12
Glen Lakes Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Glendale $7
Wickenburg Country Club
Tee Times
Wickenburg $8
Bison Golf Club
Tee Times
Show Low $27
The Links at Queen Creek
Tee Times
San Tan Valley $12
Kierland Golf Club - Mesquite/Ironwood Scottsdale $69 - $179
Stonecreek Golf Club Phoenix $115
Tuscany Falls at Pebble Creek - Lakes Nine
Tee Times
Goodyear $15
Gold Canyon Golf Resort - Dinosaur Mountain Course
Tee Times
Gold Canyon $245
del Lago Golf Club
Tee Times
Vail $12
Ocotillo Golf Resort - White/Gold
Tee Times
Chandler $21
Las Colinas Golf Club
Tee Times
Queen Creek $12
Mountain Brook Golf Club
Tee Times
Gold Canyon $12
Camelback Golf Club - Padre Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $21
Silverado Golf Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $12
Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club - Silver Pony Course
Tee Times
Scottsdale $12
Villa De Paz Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $12
Palo Verde Golf Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $6.43
Wildfire Golf Club - Palmer Course
Tee Times
Phoenix $21
Viewpoint Golf Resort Championship Course
Tee Times
Mesa $8
Bear Creek Golf Complex - Cub Course
Tee Times
Chandler $12
Adobe Dam Family Golf Center
Tee Times
Glendale $5.99
Augusta Ranch Golf Club Mesa $7 - $36
Tatum Ranch Golf Club Cave Creek $80 - $90
Omni Tucson National - Sonoran Course Tucson $185
Palo Duro Creek Golf Course Nogales less than $50
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club - Saguaro Course Scottsdale $45 - $235
The First Tee of Phoenix Phoenix $5
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club - Cholla Course Scottsdale $45 - $235
Grayhawk Golf Club - Raptor Course Scottsdale $165 - $255
Randolph North at Randolph Golf Course Tucson $34 - $56
San Miguel Golf Club Eloy $40 - $50
Superstition Mountain Golf Club - Prospector Course Apache Junction $120
Canoa Hills Green Valley $34.95 - $64.95
Grayhawk Golf Club - Talon Course Scottsdale $165 - $255
Superstition Mountain Golf Club - Lost Gold Course Apache Junction $120
Encanto Park Golf Course Phoenix $16 - $43
Turquoise Valley Golf & RV Park Naco $40
Turquoise Hills Family Golf Center Benson $25 - $30
Cave Creek Golf Course Phoenix $12 - $35
Omni Tucson National - Catalina Course Tucson $185
Oasis Golf Club Florence $9 - $19
Dell Urich at Randolph Golf Course Tucson $34 - $56
Aguila Golf Course Laveen $12 - $35
Santa Rita Golf Club Corona $19
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