5 Best Public Golf Courses In Arizona

Arizona is a golfer's paradise, boasting some of the finest public courses in the country.

In this article, we'll reveal the top five public golf courses in Arizona: We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (Saguaro Course), Troon North Golf Club (Pinnacle Course), Grayhawk Golf Club (Raptor Course), Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, and Quintero Golf Club.

Keep reading for a detailed explanation of what makes each of these courses stand out.

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (Saguaro Course) – Fort McDowell

Nestled in the picturesque Sonoran Desert, the We-Ko-Pa Golf Club's Saguaro Course is a gem in Arizona's golfing landscape.

Designed by the renowned duo Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, this course is celebrated for its seamless integration with the natural desert environment and its minimalistic, yet challenging, layout.

Course Highlights

The Saguaro Course at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club is a testament to the design prowess of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.

Their design philosophy emphasizes the natural beauty of the desert, creating a golfing experience that feels organic and unforced.

The course features a minimalistic design, which means there are few artificial elements to distract from the stunning surroundings.

Golfers can expect to navigate through fairways lined with native vegetation, including cacti and mesquite trees, which add to the course's beauty and challenge.

One of the standout features of the Saguaro Course is its thoughtful layout.

The course presents a fair challenge to golfers of all skill levels, with strategic bunkering, undulating greens, and a variety of hole lengths.

Players will encounter everything from long, demanding par-4s to shorter, more tactical holes that require precision over power.

The elevation changes throughout the course offer not only a physical challenge but also breathtaking views of the surrounding McDowell Mountains and the Sonoran Desert.

Green Fees

Playing a round at the Saguaro Course is a premium experience, with green fees reflecting the quality and prestige of the course.

Depending on the season, golfers can expect to pay between $150 and $225.

Peak season, typically during the cooler months, sees higher rates, while off-peak times offer more affordable options.

It's advisable to book in advance, especially during peak periods, to secure a tee time.

Unique Features

One of the most distinctive aspects of the Saguaro Course is its setting.

Unlike many golf courses that are part of residential developments, the Saguaro Course is free from such distractions.

There are no homes lining the fairways, allowing for uninterrupted views of the pristine desert landscape.

This absence of residential development creates a sense of solitude and immersion in nature, enhancing the overall golfing experience.

The untouched desert scenery is another hallmark of the Saguaro Course.

Golfers are treated to panoramic views of the McDowell Mountains and the surrounding desert, with its diverse flora and fauna.

This setting not only provides a beautiful backdrop but also creates unique challenges, as the natural terrain influences play.


The Saguaro Course has earned its place among the top public golf courses in Arizona through consistent recognition from prestigious publications and the golfing community.

It is frequently ranked highly by Golf Digest and other notable golf magazines, thanks to its exceptional design, condition, and overall experience.

Testimonials from golfers often highlight the course's natural beauty, challenging layout, and the sense of tranquility it offers.

Troon North Golf Club (Pinnacle Course) – Scottsdale

Located in the heart of Scottsdale, the Pinnacle Course at Troon North Golf Club offers an unparalleled desert golfing experience.

Designed by Tom Weiskopf, this course is renowned for its stunning scenery and challenging play, making it a must-visit for any avid golfer.

Course Highlights

The Pinnacle Course, crafted by the legendary Tom Weiskopf, is a showcase of Arizona's natural beauty and a testament to top-notch golf course design.

The course is characterized by its dramatic desert vistas, with sweeping views of the surrounding landscape and striking elevation changes that add both beauty and difficulty to each round.

Golfers will find themselves navigating through a rugged desert terrain adorned with towering saguaro cacti and various indigenous plants, creating a truly immersive experience.

One of the most striking features of the Pinnacle Course is its rock formations, which add a unique visual appeal and strategic challenge.

These natural formations are integrated seamlessly into the course design, requiring precise shots and strategic thinking.

The course is meticulously maintained, ensuring that the fairways and greens are in pristine condition year-round.

Golfers can expect a fair but demanding layout, with each hole offering a distinct challenge that tests both skill and strategy.

Green Fees

The Pinnacle Course offers a premium golfing experience, reflected in its green fees, which vary by season.

During peak season, typically in the cooler months, green fees range from $175 to $250.

Off-peak seasons may offer reduced rates, making it a bit more accessible.

Due to the high demand, particularly in the winter and early spring, it is advisable to book tee times well in advance to secure a spot.

Unique Features

A round at the Pinnacle Course provides a quintessential desert golf experience.

The wide fairways give golfers some breathing room off the tee, but the real challenge lies in the course's greens.

Known for their complexity and speed, the greens at Troon North demand precision and a keen eye for reading breaks.

The desert setting not only provides visual splendor but also introduces natural hazards such as arroyos and desert vegetation, which add to the course's difficulty.

The Pinnacle Course also boasts impeccable conditions, with groundskeepers maintaining the course to the highest standards.

This commitment to quality ensures that golfers enjoy a top-tier playing surface, with consistent greens and well-kept fairways.

The course's strategic layout, combined with its natural beauty, offers a golfing experience that is both enjoyable and challenging.


The Pinnacle Course has garnered significant acclaim within the golfing community, frequently earning high rankings from Golf Magazine and GolfPass.

These accolades are a testament to the course's exceptional design, condition, and overall experience.

Golfers often praise the course for its stunning scenery, challenging play, and the sense of accomplishment felt after completing a round.

Player reviews highlight the course's unique combination of beauty and difficulty, with many noting the memorable experience of playing amidst the natural rock formations and desert landscape.

The Pinnacle Course's reputation for excellence makes it a standout destination for golfers visiting Arizona.

Grayhawk Golf Club (Raptor Course) – Scottsdale

Grayhawk Golf Club's Raptor Course in Scottsdale is a renowned golfing destination designed by the legendary Tom Fazio.

This course offers a mix of strategic challenges and scenic beauty, making it a favorite among both amateur and professional golfers.

Course Highlights

Designed by Tom Fazio, the Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club is a masterful blend of challenging play and stunning desert scenery.

Fazio's design incorporates a variety of par 4s and par 5s, each offering unique challenges and strategic options.

Golfers will find themselves navigating through meticulously crafted fairways and greens, with each hole presenting a new set of obstacles and opportunities.

The course is particularly noted for its strategic design, which requires players to think carefully about their shots.

The 18th hole is especially noteworthy, featuring a risk-reward layout that circles around a picturesque lake.

This closing hole demands both precision and nerve, providing a memorable end to the round.

The course's layout is designed to test golfers of all skill levels, with a mix of long and short holes that require a variety of shot-making skills.

Green Fees

Playing at the Raptor Course offers a tour-quality experience, and the green fees reflect this premium.

Throughout the year, golfers can expect to pay between $175 and $300, depending on the season.

Peak times, particularly during the winter months, tend to be more expensive due to high demand.

Booking in advance is recommended to secure a tee time, especially during the busy season.

Unique Features

One of the standout features of the Raptor Course is its history of hosting PGA Tour events.

This pedigree gives the course a professional feel, with conditions maintained to the highest standards.

Golfers can expect tour-quality playing surfaces, from the tee boxes to the greens, providing an experience akin to that of professional tournaments.

The course's layout and conditions make it a favorite among serious golfers looking for a true test of their skills.

The fairways are wide but require careful placement to set up the best approach shots, while the greens are fast and undulating, demanding precise putting.

The course's strategic bunkering and water hazards add to the challenge, making each round an engaging test of skill and strategy.


The Raptor Course has consistently earned high ratings for its design and condition, frequently appearing on lists of the top public courses in Arizona.

Its inclusion in such rankings speaks to the quality of the golfing experience it offers.

Golfers often praise the course for its challenging layout, excellent maintenance, and the overall experience it provides.

Reviews from players highlight the course's beauty and difficulty, noting the satisfaction of playing a course that is both fair and demanding.

The accolades and positive feedback reinforce the Raptor Course's reputation as a top-tier golfing destination in Scottsdale.

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club – Maricopa

Located in the heart of Maricopa, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club offers a unique blend of Scottish links-style elements and classic desert golf.

Designed by the team of Schmidt-Curley with input from Fred Couples, this course provides a challenging and enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels.

Course Highlights

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club is a testament to the collaborative design efforts of Schmidt-Curley and golf legend Fred Couples.

The course expertly combines the strategic elements of Scottish links golf with the natural beauty and challenges of desert golf.

This fusion creates a distinctive playing environment that is both visually stunning and technically demanding.

One of the defining features of the course is its extensive and strategically placed bunkers.

These bunkers not only add to the aesthetic appeal of the course but also require thoughtful shot placement and strategy.

The green complexes are equally impressive, featuring undulating surfaces that test a golfer’s putting skills.

The layout of the course encourages players to think creatively about their approach shots and adapt to the varying conditions of each hole.

Green Fees

The green fees at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club reflect its status as a top-tier public course.

Depending on the season, golfers can expect to pay between $135 and $210.

The peak season, typically during the cooler winter months, sees higher fees, while the summer months offer more affordable rates.

Advanced booking is recommended to ensure a tee time, especially during the high-demand winter season.

Unique Features

One of the unique aspects of Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is its firm and fast playing conditions.

The course is meticulously maintained to provide a playing surface that encourages a true roll of the ball, making for a more challenging and rewarding experience.

This firm setup mimics the conditions found on traditional links courses, requiring golfers to adapt their game and embrace a variety of shot types.

The strategic layout of the course is another highlight.

Each hole presents a distinct challenge, with varying lengths, bunker placements, and green shapes.

This design encourages players to think strategically and make calculated decisions throughout their round.

The combination of challenging bunkers, fast greens, and thoughtful hole design makes for a stimulating and enjoyable golfing experience.


Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club has received numerous accolades from the golfing community.

It is frequently cited by GolfPass and other golf enthusiasts as one of the best public courses in Arizona.

The course’s design, condition, and overall experience have earned it a place on many top course lists.

Reviews from golfers often highlight the course's challenging yet fair layout, its pristine condition, and the enjoyable experience it provides.

Many players appreciate the unique blend of links and desert golf elements, noting that it offers a distinctive and memorable round of golf.

The positive feedback and high ratings are a testament to the quality of the golfing experience at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes.

Quintero Golf Club – Peoria

Quintero Golf Club in Peoria is often hailed as one of the best public golf courses in Arizona, thanks to its stunning design by Rees Jones and the breathtaking natural beauty of its setting.

This course offers an unparalleled golfing experience, combining challenging play with serene, isolated holes nestled in scenic valleys.

Course Highlights

Designed by the acclaimed Rees Jones, Quintero Golf Club is a masterpiece of golf course architecture.

The course is situated in the rolling hills and valleys of the Sonoran Desert, providing a sense of seclusion and tranquility that enhances the golfing experience.

Each hole is carefully integrated into the natural landscape, offering players a series of isolated and picturesque challenges.

The elevation changes throughout the course add a dynamic element to the game, requiring golfers to carefully consider their club selection and shot strategy.

The layout of Quintero is both challenging and rewarding, with a variety of holes that test different aspects of a golfer's skill set.

From long, demanding par-5s to short, strategic par-3s, the course requires a mix of power and precision.

The design makes excellent use of the natural terrain, with dramatic elevation changes, rock outcroppings, and desert flora creating a visually stunning and technically demanding round of golf.

Green Fees

Quintero Golf Club offers a premium golfing experience, and its green fees reflect this quality.

The general pricing range for a round of golf at Quintero is between $150 and $200, depending on the season.

Peak times, such as during the cooler winter months, tend to be more expensive, while the summer season offers more affordable rates.

Given the popularity of the course, especially during peak season, it is advisable to book tee times well in advance to ensure availability.

Unique Features

One of the standout features of Quintero Golf Club is its immaculate bentgrass greens.

Maintained to the highest standards, these greens provide a smooth, consistent putting surface that enhances the overall playing experience.

The quality of the greens is a major draw for golfers who appreciate the difference that well-maintained putting surfaces can make.

Strategic bunkering is another key element of Quintero's design.

The course features numerous bunkers that are thoughtfully placed to challenge players and encourage strategic thinking.

These bunkers are not only visually striking but also play a critical role in the course's layout, often requiring precise shot placement to avoid them and set up favorable positions for subsequent shots.


Quintero Golf Club has received widespread acclaim from both golf publications and players alike.

It consistently ranks highly in lists of top public golf courses by Golf Digest and other prestigious outlets.

These high rankings are a testament to the course's exceptional design, condition, and overall experience.

Praise for Quintero often focuses on its stunning design and the beauty of its surroundings.

Golfers frequently commend the course for its challenging yet fair layout, its pristine condition, and the breathtaking views from many of its holes.

The combination of these elements makes Quintero a favorite among both local and visiting golfers.


Arizona's top public golf courses offer an unmatched combination of challenging play and stunning natural beauty.

From the scenic vistas of We-Ko-Pa's Saguaro Course to the strategic design of Quintero Golf Club, each course provides a unique and memorable golfing experience.

Whether you're a local enthusiast or a visiting golfer, these courses are must-plays for anyone looking to enjoy the best of Arizona golf.