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Troon North Courses is considered to be one of Phoenix's top-ranked courses. In 2002, Golf Magazine ranked it No. 21 in the country.

Photo/Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North


Phoenix, A Golfing Oasis

Jeff Brown
Phoenix Promotions Coordinator

Golf lovers are in for a treat when they attend the 2007 USITT Conference & Stage Expo in Phoenix. The National Golf Foundation calls the Phoenix area the " Golf Capital of the World." Phoenix offers a wide range of courses to fit everyone's skill level and budget, from basic city-managed courses to some of the best resort-managed courses in the nation.

The courses below have been broken down into three categories. There are courses within seven miles of the Phoenix Hyatt Hotel, conference headquarters hotel; courses further away but considered by as the eight best in the Phoenix area; and some of the area's finest "Putt-Putt" courses for those who prefer golf at the miniature level.

For a more exhaustive list, the Arizona Office of Tourism web site provides information and links to 300 courses in Arizona.

All prices include the use of a golf cart unless noted. Tee time reservations vary from two months to five days in advance, depending on the course. Most courses are open from dawn to dusk.

Courses within seven miles of the Hyatt

Raven Golf Club; 3636 E. Baseline Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85040; 602-243-3636;
Estimated March 2007 rates: Weekdays $170; Weekends $180

The Raven, designed by David Graham and Gary Panks, features plush rolling fairways framed by thousands of mature pine trees, as well as vistas of rugged Desert Mountains and the Phoenix skyline. The golf course's playable and strategic design offers a fun golf experience for all players. The Raven earns a 4.5-star rating in Golf Digest's " Places to Play" and is rated the "Number 1 Service in North America" and "Top 10 Best Service Worldwide" by Golf Digest.

Arizona Biltmore Adobe and Links Course; 602-955-9655;
Estimated March 2007 rates: $175; after 2 p.m. $92.50

The Adobe, designed by William P. Bell is considered stately and grand, a forefather of modern design; the ideal course when you long for a relaxing yet challenging round.

The Legacy Golf Resort; 6808 S. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85042; 602-305-5550;
Estimated March 2007 rates: Monday throughThursday before 1 p.m $139, after 1 p.m. $89; Friday through Sunday before 1 p.m. $149, after 1 p.m. $99

The Legacy course was designed by renowned golf course architect Gary Panks and features lush green fairways, forgiving rough, well-placed hazards, and manicured greens that offer a challenge for golfers of all skill levels.

Papago Golf Course; 5595 E. Moreland, Phoenix, AZ 85008; 602-275-8428;
Estimated March 2007 rates: before 11 a.m. walking $16, with cart $27; after 11 a.m. walking $12, with cart $23

Papago has long been considered one of the finest municipal golf courses in the United States. An early morning arrival is recommended for the highly popular course.

Encanto Golf Course; 2775 N. 15th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85007; 602-253-3963;
Estimated March 2007 rates: before 11 a.m. walking $16, with cart $27; after 11 a.m. walking $12, with cart $23

Encanto holds the distinction of being the third oldest golf course in Arizona. Encanto is ideally suited for the average golfer. Its level fairways are wide, and it has a limited number of hazards. It sports a relaxed atmosphere enhanced by the course's abundance of mature palm and salt cedar trees with great views of downtown Phoenix.

Top-ranked courses

Raven Golf Club: see above

Sun Ridge Canyon Golf Club; 13100 N. Sunridge Dr., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268; 1-800-562-5178;
Estimated March 2007 rates: Monday through Thursday $170; Friday through Sunday $195

Sun Ridge, designed by Keith Foster, is a scenic desert links-style course that features numerous elevation changes in a canyon setting. Accuracy is foremost on this course's rolling fairways surrounded by desert with breathtaking views of the Four Peaks mountain. In 1996 Sun Ridge was ranked No. 42 in the country by Golf Magazine for "Top 100 You Can Play." It also ranked as one of "America's 100 Best Golf Shops" each year from 1997 through 2000 by Golf Operations magazine.

Eagle Mountain Golf Club; 14915 E. Eagle Mountain Pkwy., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268; 480-816-1234;

Eagle Mountain was designed by Scott Miller and winds through natural box canyons, rolling hills, and lush desert valleys. A fair challenge can be found at Eagle Mountain, with contoured fairways and immaculately maintained greens. The course earns a four-star rating in Golf Digest's "Places to Play." It was also winner of Golf Operations' Top 100 Golf Shops in 1998, 1999, 2001.

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club; 18200 E. TohVee Circle, Fountain Hills, AZ; 480-836-9001;
Estimated March 2007 rates: $195

We-Ko-Pa was designed by Scott Miller and is a desert-style course inspired by the culture of the Yavapai Indian Nation. We-Ko-Pa is the Yavapai pronunciation for "Four Peaks Mountain." We-Ko-Pa was ranked No. 38 in the country by Golf Magazine for "Top 100 You Can Play" for 2004-2005. It also ranked as one of "The 100 Best Golf Shops in America" from 2004 through 2006.

Las Sendas Golf Club; 7555 E. Eagle Crest Dr., Mesa, AZ 85207; 480-396-4000;
Estimated March 2007 rates: $120

Las Sendas, designed by Robert Trent Jones, is a high desert course with immaculate fairways. The greens are fast, large, undulating, and elevated to challenge the most experienced golfer. Las Sendas ranked as 12th most challenging and one of the top 50 courses in the nation according to two ZAGAT surveys.

Troon Golf Club, Monument Course; 10320 E. Dynamite Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85255; 480-585- 5300;
Estimated March 2007 rates: Monday through Wednesday $245; Thursday through Sunday $295

Troon Monument, designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, presents an enjoyable experience for the average golfer, with wide fairways that wind through lush desert vegetation, natural washes, and towering saguaros. Troon Monument was ranked No. 21 in the country by Golf Magazine for "Top 100 You Can Play" for 2002.

Gold Canyon, Dinosaur Mountain; 6100 S. Kings Ranch Rd., Gold Canyon, AZ 85219; 480-982-9449;
Estimated March 2007 rates: Monday through Thursday $120; Friday thought Sunday $140

Dinosaur Mountain, designed by Ken Kavanaugh, Greg Nash, and Stuart Penge, is difficult for the beginning and intermediate player. It is a target-style design with small, fast greens and narrow fairways. Dinosaur Mountain earns a 4.5-star rating in Golf Digest's "Places to Play."

Talking Stick, North Course; 9998 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85256; 480-860-2221;
Golf Rates: before 2 p.m. $170, after 2 p.m. $125

Talking Stick, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, is a links-style course with a minimalist design that features wide fairways void of any trees, strategic bunkering, native grasses, and unobstructed views. Talking Stick was ranked in the Top 100 Golf Shops in the nation by Golf World Business.

Miniature Courses

Castles N' Coasters; 9445 Metro Parkway East, Phoenix, AZ 85051; 602-997-7575;

Castles and Coasters boasts four world-class miniature golf courses where you play your way through lush landscapes, fountains, and world-famous landmarks.

Golfland Sunsplash;155 W. Hampton Ave., Mesa, AZ 85210; 480-834-8319;
Estimated March 2007 rates: $7.25; age 55 and older $6.25

Golfland has three 18-hole miniature golf courses. Search for the chalice on King Arthur's Quest. Look for knights or damsels on the Princess Path. Hunt for lost gold on the Lost Dutchman course.

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Legacy Golf Resort is located within seven miles of the Hyatt. It was designed by Gary Panks, a well-known golf course architect.

Photo/Aidan Bradley (Legacy Golf Resort)