Arizona Golf's Memorable Holes

Arizona is full of golf courses worth playing, but among them, there are particular holes that are talked about long after the scorecards are lost to time. Here are a few to see on your next golf trip to the Grand Canyon State:

Greater Phoenix

The state’s most famous hole, the par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course, has two lives: first during the Waste Management Phoenix Open when it’s surrounded by thousands of vociferous fans (the grandstands are up a few weeks before and after the tournament, so you can get the “coliseum-like” experience without the judgment of spectators), and then during non-tournament time, when the quiet can be unnerving but you can at least see the McDowell Mountain in the distance beyond the green.

A crowds, in stadium seating, surround professional golfers on the 16th hole at the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Phoenix, AZ

The 16th hole at the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open

The finishing hole on the Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale has it all: length (the par 5 is 521 yards from the tips), challenge (the fairway slopes from left to right) and a hazard (water is in play down the right side on the final half of the hole).

Golfers on the 18th hole of Grayhawk Golf Club's Raptor Course which features sloping greens and a water hazard

Grayhawk Golf Club's Raptor Course, Scottsdale, AZ

A touch of old school golf course architecture can be found at the par-3 fourth hole on The Short Course at Mountain Shadows. Designer and Phoenix resident Forrest Richardson built a green there known as a “Biarritz” (named after a hole on a course in the French town of the same name), with a deep swale dividing the front and back portions. Definitely find out the hole location on this green before you tee off!

Northern Arizona

The Red Rocks draw visitors from around the world, so it’s no surprise that one of those local landmarks elevates the par 3 10th hole at Sedona Golf Resort into the must-see category. Looming in the distance to the north behind the green is the stunning Cathedral Rock. It’s a breathtaking view no matter your score on this hole.

Golfers on the 10th hole of the Sedona Golf Resort with Catheral Rock in the backgound

Sedona Golf Resort, Sedona, AZ (Credit: Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau)

You can’t go wrong with an elevated tee in Red Rocks country, and the par-3 fifth hole at Seven Canyons Golf Club in Sedona is a perfect example. The green is 65 feet below the tee while the views of the surrounding Coconino National Forest are endless. One catch – you have to stay at the nearby Enchantment Resort, or be a member at a Troon Privé-managed course, to play this course.

Southern Arizona

The fourth hole on the Rancho Course at Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, located 45 minutes south of Tucson, is more than just a long challenging par 5. It’s also the location for a scene from the 1996 movie “Tin Cup” was filmed. You could lay up on your second shot like Don Johnson’s character wanted to, or you could pull a Roy McAvoy (played by Kevin Costner) and go for the green.

Short holes are not always easier than long ones. Case in point: The 107-yard par 3 third hole that Tom Fazio fit in on the Mountain Course at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon in Tucson.

Golfers on the third hole which overlooks the green at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

It’s been a photo op since the course opened in 1984; just try to avoid the cacti and enormous boulders that surround it, and not get distracted by the views of the Santa Catalina Mountains looming overhead.

How about one memorable green shared by two holes? Home to the University of Arizona Women’s and Men’s golf teams, Sewailo Golf Club at Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson features a rare double green connecting the first and eighth holes. The massive 29,000-square-foot surface is full of undulations that create some very tricky and potentially very long putts. Be alert to shots approaching the other nearby hole!

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About the Author

Tom Mackin

Tom Mackin is a New Jersey native who moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in 2013. A former Senior Editor at GOLF Magazine in New York City, he is a contributor to PHOENIX Magazine, AZ Golf Insider, and the Waste Management Phoenix Open program, among other regional and national publications. He is also a Contributing Editor for Troon Magazine.

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