Golf Fountain Hills

Every self-respecting golfer knows that Scottsdale, Arizona is home to great golf, and lots of it, but not many know about Scottsdale’s little brother located just minutes to the east. Fountain Hills is more known for its lofty local, 500-foot fountain and dramatic Sonoran Desert than its golf, but as it turns out, it also boasts several golf courses that are every bit as spectacular as those in nearby Scottsdale.

Desert Canyon Golf Club

Desert Canyon Golf Club first opened to the public in 1971 with its risk-reward challenges and stunning beauty leading the way Fast-forward almost 40 years, add an artfully done renovation, and this I Fountain Hills first-comer now offers a much-improved, par-71, desert-style golf experience that stretches to nearly 6,500. yards from the championship tees.

Desert Canyon Golf Club

This John Allen design is punctuated by dramatic elevation changes with many of its greens and tees placed on a pedestal, literally. The golf course’s age accounts for the numerous mature cottonwood, mesquite and flowering bushes that adorn the facility - the fruits of 35 years of growth, and care, by an environmentally sensitive staff of groundskeepers.

Starting on the front side, 6, 7 and 8, two par 4s and a par 3, provide a little variety, if not relief, from the up-and-down challenges that predominate. In fact, they are three of just a few relatively flat holes on the entire layout.

Moving to the back, many of the surrounding mountain peaks act as aesthetically appealing navigational aids. Given three well struck shots, golfers who take aim at Red Mountain on the 10th tee, Four Peaks on the 11th and Red Mountain again on the 12th will find the fairways. Both par 5s on this nine appear to be on the short side per their yardages, but they play uphill revealing a useful bit of local knowledge: when in doubt, swing the bigger stick.

As the ideal golfer’s auxiliary, the clubhouse at Desert Canyon boasts an impressive array of golf equipment and apparel. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; plus, a Fountain Hills favorite, The Steakhouse, has rightfully earned the reputation as the place to enjoy a mouth-watering cut of prime beef while enjoying dramatic mountain views. To book a tee time or for more information call 480.837.1173 or visit DesertCanyonGolf.com.

Eagle Mountain Golf Club

The 18-hole, par-71 Eagle Mountain Golf Club pitches and rolls with the dramatic topography of the property. The golf course weaves its way around these craggy mountain peaks and through shady desert arroyos loaded with Mesquites, Palo Verdes and Saguaros making Eagle Mountain the quintessential Sonoran Desert track. The views from the golf course are stunning with the entire southeastern Valley of the Sun on display.

Golf course architect Scott Miller designed Eagle Mountain to include equal parts aesthetic charm and strategic intrigue. The par-5, 4th is a good example. Standing on the tee box, golfers are struck by sweeping views; but to succeed, they’d better snap out of the aesthetically-induced trance and execute.

Eagle Mountain Golf Club

The experience heats up on the backside, starting with No. 10, an impressive downhill par 5. The 11th plays as a brutish par 4, and the par-5 12th hole climbs back up to a lofty position where the next few holes are precariously perched in and around a deep desert arroyo. And finally, the experience ends with the spectacular 18th hole that plunges steeply down to the fairway and green below.

The Eagle Mountain Grille recently unveiled a new look along with a multipurpose event and banquet pavilion. The views from the dining room have to be seen to be believed making Eagle Mountain a truly special place to host a golf event, wedding reception or just a quiet lunch for two.

Professionally managed by OB Sports, Eagle Mountain has earned numerous awards including “Best New Public Golf Course” from the Arizona Republic; 4 ½ Stars out of 5 from Golf Digest and “Top 50 Public Courses in the Country” by Golf World. But with the winning combination of dramatic views, great golf and attentive service, there’s bound to be more.

To book a tee time or for more information about Eagle Mountain Golf Club call 480.816.1234 or visit EagleMtn.com.

SunRidge Canyon Golf Club

Golfers begin the SunRidge Canyon adventure at the upper mouth of the course’s namesake, a sweeping Sonoran Desert canyon, which descends switchback style to the canyon’s floor. It is this subtle, but unmistakable, elevation change that lies at the heart of the dramatic golf experience at SunRidge Canyon Golf Club.

SunRidge Canyon Golf Club

The 6,823-yard, par-71 Keith Foster-designed track unfolds among the desert ridges and canyons that, strategically speaking, challenge the golfer to consider the risk and reward of each shot. Along the way, they’ll also discover that SunRidge Canyon wasn’t so much carved out by a bulldozer as it was created over eons by the relentless pressure of wind and water. Foster had the good sense to follow Mother Nature’s lead, and in the end, the beauty and challenge of SunRidge Canyon is unlike any other desert golf course in the Valley. Although the first and third handicapped holes are on the front nine, the home holes run back up the canyon with Nos. 13, 15, 16 and 18 comprising the core of what might arguably be the most difficult and picturesque back nines in the Valley.

SunRidge Canyon Golf Club is one of the most highly-rated clubs in the state. It was selected No. 42 on Golf Magazine’s list of the “Top 100 You Can Play in the U.S.” and was chosen by Arizona tournament players as the top daily-fee golf club in the state.

The club’s Spanish hacienda clubhouse provides an awe-inspiring setting for weddings, receptions, awards banquets or any type of special event. Guests are treated to stunning views of Four Peaks and Superstition Mountains in the background as well as babbling water features and stylish Sonoran Desert in 'the foreground.

To book a tee time or for more information about SunRidge Canyon Golf Club call 480.837.5100, visit sunridgegolf.com.

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club

Artfully integrated into an amazing stretch of the Sonoran Desert wilderness, with no real-estate development to impede the panoramic views, We Ko Pa Golf Club’s award-winning golf courses - Cholla and Saguaro - offer two distinctively exceptional and natural golf experiences.

Since opening in 2001, the Cholla course immediately earned an enduring spot on the discriminating golfer’s must-play list, a list that includes golf media. In fact, the Scott Miller-designed course was honored by Sports Illustrated as one the “Top Ten Best New Courses in the World” and by ZAGAT Survey as one of the “50 Most Popular Golf Courses in the US, ” just to name a few.

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club

In December of 2006 Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw unveiled the Saguaro course, their latest collaboration. This popular design tandem incorporated elements not commonly seen in a traditional desert, target-golf layout giving Saguaro a classic feel: sweeping fairways; a walkable routing scheme and green complexes that are open in the front to allow for old-school, run-up shots. Like Cholla, Saguaro has garnered awards from a national audience. Golf magazine chose Saguaro as " one of the “Top 10 New Courses You can Play” and Golfweek cited Saguaro as one of the “Best New Courses in 2007.” They also chose Saguaro as the number one public access course in Arizona, Cholla earned number two in 2008.

All that said, one may ask, which course is better? With their strong similarities in terms of quality of play coupled with their stark differences in design style, that’s a tough question to answer. It’s best to tee it up on both courses and choose for yourself. Despite this, one thing is for certain; both Cholla and Saguaro provide a desert golf experience unlike any other in Arizona.

To book a tee time call 480.836.9000, or visit WeKoPa.com.

As the years have passed since Scottsdale burst onto the world’s golf scene, it certainly has become the go-to golf destination for golfers looking to escape the grip of winter. And in that time, an exceptional destination within that destination has risen to prominence. Scottsdale’s little brother to the east has certainly earned a seat at the table, with a delectable display of delicious golf as the main course.
 

 

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