Scottsdale Golf Trip


My friends family has been taking an annual golf trip to Scottsdale, AZ for the past few years. I managed to hop in with some friends last year for the first time. They like playing Scottsdale in the summer because the summer rates are exceptionally cheap and if you can withstand the heat the public golf is amazing. (Granted they aren’t #Woke) but the courses are incredible compared to what we usually play.

Last year some of the highlights were Boulders, Troon North, Wi-ko-pa, and Grey Hawk.

I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on food/courses in the Scottsdale area. We just booked a cheap hotel that could fit us all, but are there any reasonably priced hotels that have course access? I know Scottsdale is no comparison, but one of my favorite parts about listening to the Pinehurst, Streamsong, Bandon podcasts is hearing how they all screw around on the practice facilities after their rounds.

Any recommendations and suggestions are appreciated. They basically have it down to a science but I just wanted to make sure we aren’t missing any must do’s.


Must play Mountain Shadows, it’s such a cool golf experience. It’s an 18 hole par 3 set under the Camelback Mt running through a little Scottsdale neighborhood full of charming little ramblers. You take a 4 person cart as well.


Thanks for the advice. That hits exactly what I was looking for. I forgot to request any good par 3s to play because I think some of us want to sneak in a round before we fly home and a fun par 3 would be perfect.


That’s actually what we did, we played in the morning before our 2 PM flight back home, took about two hours, you could probably play in 1.5 hours if you wanted.

SunRidge Canyon isn’t far from Scottsdale either, full length course, I really enjoyed it. Probably not best for the high cappers though.


This won’t help you at all but I just played We-ko-pa a couple weeks ago and it was amazing. Played cholla and saguaro. Some of the most fun golf I’ve played in while.


Saguaro is incredible. I’d say I can’t go back without playing it again but I feel the same about a lot of courses in Scottsdale.


I’d recommend Phil’s Grill at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale. Great food and service and lots of cool Phil memorabilia. Also 2 really good courses that might be worth considering with summer prices.


First time, long time here from a Scottsdale resident. There’s no secrets to Scottsdale golf at this point - would definitely second playing Mountain Shadows. I work a few miles away and play it a few times a month after work.

That said, it is a fun experience to play TPC if you can. It’s easily accessible right off the freeway in North Scottsdale and it’s fun to play a tour stop and play the holes you see on tv every year. The Champions course on the property is a ton of fun too and a bit cheaper. Just call ahead and make sure they haven’t punched the greens.

The food situation in Scottsdale/Phoenix is tremendous. Old Town has a lot of options but Citizen Public House is one of the best around. There’s a lot of nightclubs if you’re in to that thing but I have an eight month old so wouldn’t be much use there. POMO Pizzeria is a few miles north of Old Town and is great authentic Italian pizza with a ridiculous brick pizza oven. Also Postino in Old Town is fun. La Fonda del Sol at Scottsdale Rd/Shea Blvd is good Mexican.

It’s worth driving to downtown PHX for food and drink now too. Nook is really good and it’s close to a couple fun bars. Seamus McCaffery’s is a great wee Irish Pub, Cornish Pasty is a fun English pub and Valley Bar nearby is down an alley and underground. Sounds pretentious but it’s not.


Having recently played TPC - Stadium course - that one is a hard pass for me. I’m sure you can find better elsewhere. Just not the same as it is during tourney week…although the green on #17 was definitely a trip, almost putted into that bunker in the back…


played the stadium course on the same trip as We-ko-pa, not one person in our 12 man group enjoyed Stadium anywhere close to as much as Wekopa. And it costs a hell of a lot more.


My group has played it before I joined the trip, but that was kind of the overall response I got from everyone. Cool to play to say you’ve played the TV course, but without the grand stands its underwhelming for the price. I remember them being the only ones that wouldn’t give us a group discount in the middle of July too. Still would like to play it at least once.


I’d agree with all of the above. Definitely a “destination” but nothing spectacular. Wekopa is my favorite in town with Grayhawk a close second.


just had a buddies trip to Scottsdale a few weekends ago and Sunridge Canyon kicked my ass but wow was that a beautiful place to play golf. We played Talking Stick-O’Odham the next day and the wide fairways were a lot easier on the high handicappers in our group (including myself)


What are your thoughts on talking stick compared to the other courses in the area? I’m drawn to it because its a coore crenshaw, but I’ve heard some people think its flat and boring. Bill makes an interesting case for why that may be the best course they’ve ever built on the Fried Egg pod, but for those same reasons make me skeptical of playing.


It was my first Coore/Crenshaw experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m from Minnesota, so with the long winter we had this year, this trip to Arizona was our first rounds of the year. Because of that, my shortgame was not in midseason form and my scoring struggled with all the tightly mown aprons around greens that would run out, which helped make the course still a good test though since the wide fairways were so forgiving, which was nice also for not having the driver in midseason form. That trip was my only Arizona golf experience, so the only course I can compare it to was Sunridge Canyon which we played the day before. That one was much tighter and impossible to play the ball if it rolled into waste/desert areas because of all the rocks and cacti (and warnings about rattlesnakes). For a high handicapper like myself, Talking Stick was more enjoyable due to its forgiving nature off the tees, but maybe better players would prefer the challenge of Sunridge, especially when you factor in scenery, which Sunridge wins hands down. But I don’t know, if you subscribe to the “width and angles” school of thought that Coore and Crenshaw seem to be about, maybe better players would prefer the strategy that Talking Stick can provide. I think the other guys in our group preferred Sunridge more mostly because of the scenery, but I had more fun at Talking Stick. Would love to play the other Talking Stick course sometime if we do this again.


I enjoyed a really nice post-round lunch at Phil’s Grill last Memorial Day. Unfortunately all of the TVs were showing the breaking news of Tiger’s DUI and it was almost uncomfortable around all the Phil gear haha.

As far as Scottsdale food, SumoMaya is one of my favorites… Al Pastor Pad Thai is a game changer.


I played both courses there in March and liked them a lot. I think Talking Stick is kind of underrated in terms of a starting or end point for a Scottsdale golf trip. The resort is only 20 minutes from the airport, has a casino and is next door to Top Golf. I thought the Piipaash Course was the better of the two.


If you have a car and are willing to make a long drive and spend a day, it’s worth your time to get up to Wickenburg and play Wickenburg Ranch.

They have a full 18 hole golf course there which is as good as anything in Scottsdale other than WeKoPa. Great greens, dramatic shots. Not really a ton of width and angles, but fun golf, which is really all you can ask for out here in the desert. Better yet, they have a fantastic par 3 course called Lil Wick. Finish up your round on the big course, head over there and just spend the rest of the day playing there. Some great holes, fun shots, a nice bar area. It’s really fantastic.


Thanks for all the suggestions and tips. I think we have the general schedule planned and there are rumors about a Whispering Rock connection.

Adding this as a suggestion to anybody planning to take a Scottsdale trip, bring a couple oh shit clubs. I like to take a rusty old wedge and 2 iron to really be able to get the most out of my rocky desert punch outs.


Definitely play Whisper Rock, either course, if you get the chance. And if you do, know in advance it’s the kind of place that expects you to take your hat off in any facility, not be wearing flip flops through the bar or clubhouse, and certainly have your phone on silent or off. Oh and you’ll probably see a pro or two and your caddie will likely be a grinder on some kind of mini tour, so just listen to their reads!