Sedona Golf Resort's par 71 course challenges golfers of all skill levels with 6,646 yards of mesa-trimmed greenery, earning accolades from Golf.com and Golf Digest for its awe-inspiring views. Practice on the clubhouse-side putting area before carting off across a labyrinth of tees, manicured greens, and fairways that test short and long games as well as each golfer's ability to tell a sand trap from a quicksand trap. The 10th hole invites competitors to drink in Cathedral Rock's majestic spires, piercing clouds against a backdrop of distant desert peaks and blue skies. Athletic endeavors wind down as crews converge around the 18th hole's peaceful pond, lined with stones and windsocks stitched from the recycled polos of champions. Snag a discounted online tee time with the Red Rock Card, which not only takes 20% off the Golf Shop's designer duds from brands such as Adidas and Nike, but also grants golfers reduced rates at Sedona and eight other Arizona courses.
Tucked in the shadows of the evergreen peaks of Bill Williams Mountain, Elephant Rocks Golf Course weaves through scenic terrain at an elevation of 6,000 feet or more. Elephant Rocks' alpine perch provides golfers a cooler destination than the desert or volcano-side courses typically associated with Arizona golf, but the temperate air is hardly the course's only draw. Rows of mature ponderosa pines pinch the fairways throughout the 6,695-yard, par 72 course, and water hazards come into play on seven holes, including two par-threes where tee shots must clear a pond in order to reach the green. The course draws its name from a series of large lava rocks that line the road into to the club that resemble elephants in color, size, and strident anti-mouse attitude.
A driving range and practice green share Elephant Rocks' scenic grounds, letting golfers warm up before starting their rounds. After a day at the links, guests can unwind with a drink or a snack at the club house, which was originally built by railway workers in 1932 and features local stone, a natural rock fireplace, and original timber roof beams.
Course at a Glance:
Sculpted through the desert and framed by distant mountain peaks, Wickenburg Country Club's 18-hole course roams across 6,320 yards of dazzling terrain. Fresh off an October 2011 overseeding, the course's fairways, greens, and tee boxes blanket the arid terrain with a thick carpet of immaculately mown grass stitched by palm trees, intervening waterways, and tumbleweeds that generously lead golfers to wayward balls. The course bounds over naturally undulating terrain that creates numerous uphill and downhill shots, which gives an advantage to players who trust their yardages and can handle sidehill lies. After rounds, players can continue honing their game at the driving range, check out golf apparel at the pro shop, or drink in views of the rolling, sandstone-hued tundra amid the adobe accents of the clubhouse patio, where clubbers can recapitulate memorable shots or interrogate each other's 9-irons about the veracity of their owners' scorecard.
Course at a Glance:
Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia maintains a tournament-ready facility designed by architect Gary Panks, where novices and experts alike can butter up their rusty swings. Trilogy keeps its full-service practice area manicured and pampered so that linkspeople can wow impatient IRS auditors with powerful drives, precision putts, and finessed chippery. Unlimited range balls give you a chance to exercise all of your clubs, from the strapping 1-wood to the almost useless 3-gummi. A short-game area, in contrast, provides an arena for practicing bunker shots, inappropriate slam dunks, and other diminutive essentials on a spacious putting green that stretches out languidly like a sultry UPS deliveryman of the night. A backdrop of rugged ranges and solitary saguaros adds an epic edge to the acclaimed course's emerald-green oases and tall golden grasses.
There's no perfect swing for everybody. That's why Troon North Golf Club Director of Instruction Doug Hammer tailors his teachings to each client's level, whether they're competing in professional tournaments or swinging their first nine-iron. In his 14-year career, Doug has polished his instructional technique on courses from Galena, IL to Seoul, South Korea, picking up extensive club-fitting expertise along the way. At Troon North's Callaway Performance Center—one of only nine in the country—he analyzes clients' swings with sophisticated cameras and software, helping them select clubs and other equipment to improve their game.
That extra edge may come in handy when they play either of the two 18-hole courses at Troon North Golf Club. Framed by picturesque sandstone mountains, both courses may have repeatedly made Golf Magazine's "Top 100 Courses You Can Play" list—but that's not to say that golfers will play them well. If balls stray on their way to the green, players will have to hunt them down in grisly desert sands riddled with cacti, boulders, and reptiles who do not allow mulligans. The Pinnacle Course finishes with an epic dog-leg left par 4, where long hitters will be tempted to cut the corner and leave a short approach into a green nestled behind a desert waste area. Though its rating suggests it's slightly easier than its sister course, the Monument Course features a handful of treacherous holes, including two par 4s that exceed 460 yards in length.