144 Holes in Three Days: An Epic Weekend of Golf in Phoenix
Binging on something you love is easy to do, whether it’s eating a pound of peanut M&Ms or reading the entire US Constitution in one sitting. Golfers are no strangers to a good binge, though theirs tend to require a bit more planning and commitment. An 18-hole course is nothing to scoff at, but with the right kind of attitude, it’s entirely feasible to play five or even six courses in the span of a single weekend. Such a feat is probably best attempted in a place with year-round sunshine or at least an abundance of courses. Thankfully, the Phoenix golf scene has both.
Because we’re a little crazy, we’ve compiled a guide to help you blast through more than 100 holes in a single Phoenix weekend. This one’s for intrepid golfers only, and we tip our tartan caps at you if you can accomplish even half of it.
Day 1: Phoenix
For convenience: Papago Golf Course (5595 E. Moreland St.)
Located just 15 minutes from downtown Phoenix and Sky Harbor Airport, Papago makes for a convenient start to your binge at the base of the Papago Buttes. A massive $6 million renovation in 2008 breathed new life into this course, which now features improved greens and fairways.
For speed: Encanto 9 in Encanto Park (2300 N. 17th Ave.)
Zip over to Encanto 9 in Encanto Park for a quick jaunt (or two) across the nine-hole executive course. Located just a block down from Encanto 18, this course mixes views of the Piestewa Peak with panoramas of the Phoenix skyline.
For a Midwestern feel: Raven Golf Club (3636 E. Baseline Rd.)
To create Raven Golf Club, the course’s design team—which included PGA Tour pro David Graham—transformed cotton and alfalfa fields into a gorgeous layout lined with Georgia pines. No, it’s not a desert mirage, though it’s certainly a picturesque way to end a day of golf. Or any day, really.
Day 2: Scottsdale
For spectacular views: Grayhawk Golf Club, Talon (8620 E. Thompson Peak Pkwy.)
There are worse ways to start your morning than peering up at Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountains, which dutifully watch over Grayhawk Golf Club’s Talon course. Besides the views, this course hooks golfers with a unique back nine that’s built around a series of deep-box canyons and thick groupings of Mesquite, Palo Verde, and Ironwood trees.
For two courses in one: Troon North Golf Club (10320 E. Dynamite Blvd.)
The crown jewel of Valley golf, Troon North Golf Club features a pair of acclaimed 18-hole courses on its property. Elevated, tiered, and sloping greens characterize the Pinnacle course, while the Monument course tips its proverbial cap to British Open–style golf with bump-and-run shots and quirky hole names.
Day 3: Bonus Round
For a slightly lower difficulty: Paradise Valley Golf Course (3505 E. Union Hills Dr., Phoenix)
At just 4,145 yards, Paradise Valley could make an excellent stop if you have beginners in your group or want to finish the binge on a relaxing note. Despite the abbreviated layout, the course still packs plenty of punch in the form of water hazards and sand traps.
Eddie Carroll is one of three Eddie Carrolls in his family. When he's not writing, Eddie enjoys baseball, hiking, and building blanket forts.