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What’s New with Scottsdale’s Golf Scene?

Properties are rolling out upgrades ahead of the spring golf season

by Jeff Wallach

March 21, 2024

Grayhawk Golf Club / Photo: Courtesy of Bill Hornstein

Visitors to Scottsdale—long a top destination for spring golf—will be rewarded by recent upgrades and innovations to both golf and hotel offerings. Position yourself at the five-star Phoenician resort for easy access to all that’s great here. On the hotel side, all guest rooms, lobby, lounges, pools, spa, athletic club and restaurants have been newly updated. The previously uninspired 27-hole golf course was rerouted into a perky, painterly 18-hole layout. Bunkers and tees were rebuilt and repositioned to create a more natural flow and better views, and clever putting surfaces toughen its otherwise easygoing nature. The back nine wraps around Camelback Mountain, which influences many shots. New highly efficient irrigation and other changes have reduced turf by 40 acres, making the course eco-friendlier.

Fans of the raucous Phoenix Open already loved the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course. A few years back Tom Weiskopf renovated the classic desert layout, relocating four greens, resurfacing all of the putting surfaces, regrassing tees and reshaping bunker complexes—all of which has left this playable tournament venue more aesthetically pleasing. From the correct tees this pure-golf layout is both fair and fun—especially the par-three 16th, where you can imagine crowds cheering (or booing) your tee shot, like on TV.

TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course / Photo: Courtesy of D Squared Productions

Perfect for family golf, spousal harmony or a second round, The Short Course at Mountain Shadows offers 18 well-crafted par threes that can be played in 2.5 hours. Originally designed in 1961 by Arthur Jack Snyder, the course was home to an unofficial money game among tour players. Snyder disciple Forrest Richardson recently redesigned the original. The walkable new course features rugged slopes, meticulous shaping, a burbling stream and holes ranging from 75 to 193 yards.

Grayhawk Golf Club—featuring Tom Fazio’s Raptor Course—is one of America’s premier public layouts. While saguaro, paloverde, ironwood and mesquite trees may offer sun protection, if you’re under them you’ve likely hit an errant shot. Fairways are generous—the sadism is built around the large greens, which loom above deep bunkers and are further protected by misanthropic collection areas requiring deft short-game wizardry. Grayhawk recently brought Fazio back to redesign the final three holes, both for playability’s sake and to make room for a boutique lodge. Holes 15 and 16 are new, and the tees on the par-four 17th were shortened to make it a risk/reward challenge reachable off the tee.