Top 5 Golf Courses in Scottsdale

By Bill Herrfeldt

You'll be like a kid in a candy store if you are a golfer spending time in Scottsdale, Arizona. There are almost 100 golf courses within about 40 miles from downtown Scottsdale, most of which will both thrill and challenge your golfing skills. Below are descriptions of five of those courses that are considered by many to be among the best golfing venues in the U.S.

Legends Trail Golf Club

If you yearn for a golf course that is beautifully maintained and will dazzle you with its Arizona magnificence, you have to play Legends Trail Golf Club, rated by "Golf Digest" as one of the country's best places to play. Besides that, it was chosen by "Golf Magazine" as one of the 100 best golf courses in the U.S. This course is over 6,800 yards long from the championship tees, but it has four other tees on each hole to accommodate a less skilled golfer. It was designed by Rees Jones and has a slope rating of 135.

9462 E. Legendary Ln.
Scottsdale, AZ  85262-1139
Phone: (480) 488-7434
Fax: (480) 488-6968
www.legendtrailgc.com

Troon North Golf Club

Both golf courses at Troon North--the Pinnacle and the Monument--were designed by Tom Weiskopf, a former British Open winner and one of the best golf architects in the country. Years after designing it, Weiskopf had ideas about how the courses could play, so he completely renovated both so they will play, as he put it, "as Mother Nature intended."

"Monument" is a long course, measuring over 7,200 yards from the back. Also a par-72, "Pinnacle" plays about 300 yards shorter, but has elevation changes unlike most golf courses in the desert.

10320 E. Dynamite Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ  85262-5662
Toll Free: (888) 876-6687
Fax: (480) 585-5161
www.troonnorthgolf.com

Talking Stick Golf Club

Both the north and south courses at Talking Stick are long, but are a joy to play regardless of your skill. The two courses offer the player different experiences, with the north course more like others in the desert with its grasslands and array of bunkers, while the south course is more like those you'd find in the East with trees lining most fairways. The north course is about 7,100 yards long from the back, while the south is about 300 yards shorter, though its slope rating is four points higher at 129.

9998 E. Indian Bend Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ  85256-1201
Phone: (480) 860-2221
Fax: (480) 850-7297
http://www.talkingstickgolfclub.com

Ancala Country Club

Without question, Ancala has become one of the most prestigious country clubs in the state because of its target-style layout and it requires you to hit long yet precise shots to score low. The club's immaculately kept fairways are crisscrossed by ravines that keep you on your toes for the entire 18 holes. Ancala is almost 6,900 yards long from the back tees, yet it has four closer tees on each hole so that it is accessible to all golfers, regardless of skill. From the championship tees, it has a whopping slope rating of 152.

11700 E. Via Linda
Scottsdale, AZ  85259-4125
Phone: (480) 391-1000
Fax: (480) 451-9522
www.ancalacc.com

Desert Highlands Golf Course

You may feel surrounded by legends when you play Desert Highlands, a course designed by Jack Nicklaus that is as much a challenge as it is in one of the most spectacular settings in all of Arizona. The visual drama of this course is punctuated by large expanses of desert interspersed with the limited use of beautifully maintained fairways and green. From the back tees, the course measures almost 7,100 yards from which it has a slope rating of a huge 151. Desert Highlands opened in 1982.

10040 E. Happy Valley Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ  85255-2395
Phone: (480) 585-7444
Fax: (480) 585-7333
www.deserthighlandsscottsdale.com


About The Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.
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