Welcome to GOLF’s Travel Mailbag, a weekly, interactiveseries in which members of our staff field your course and travel-related queries. This week, resident Arizonan Jessica Marksbury tackles the best bang-for-your-buck courses in Phoenix and Scottsdale area during the area’s high season.
What are the best value-for-dollar courses in Phoenix under $150? —Andrew Bazilewich, via Facebook
Great question, Andrew. Prices vary wildly here in the Valley of the Sun, depending on the season. It’s not uncommon for a course that charges hundreds of dollars in the winter to be playable for under $50 in the summer. The winter is of course a fantastic time to visit Arizona, when average daytime temperatures range from the high 60s to the high 70s. But the perfect weather (in addition to the Waste Management Phoenix Open and MLB spring training) also attracts a lot of visitors eager to get a dose of sunshine, so playing golf during the high season also means you’ll be paying some high prices.
Tee times at renowned courses like Troon North, Phoenix Open host TPC Scottsdale, and Grayhawk soar into the $200-$300+ range in February and March — two of the best months of the year to play. Unfortunately, those prices add up quickly if you’re looking to play multiple rounds during your visit.
The good news? There are still plenty of public-golf bargains to be found, even during the most desirable time of the year. Here are the five best high-season, value-for-dollar courses in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area.
Lookout Mountain offers gorgeous views of the surrounding Phoenix North Mountain Preserve, and you can also book stay-and-play packages with the onsite Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. The best part? Morning tee times can be booked for under $100 in February.
Offering both a full-length 18-hole course designed by Arnold Palmer (the King) and a nine-hole short course (the Mulligan), Starfire has something for everyone, including a convenient Scottsdale location and views of the McDowell Mountains. February rates start at $115.99 for 18 holes, and $45.99 for the short course.
Boasting two great tracks, Padre and Ambiente, Camelback Golf Club offers beautiful views of its namesake, Camelback Mountain, which you can see in the photo above. Both courses are very in-demand, especially during the high season, but a tee time under $150 is possible if you book an afternoon round at 1:30 p.m. or later.
There are two courses to choose from at McCormick Ranch: the Palm, where water holes abound, and the Pine, which annually hosts the regional qualifier for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Both can be played in the morning for only $109 in February.
This par-70, 18-hole course is always beautifully maintained, and features an ultra-fun finishing hole: a par-3 surrounded by water and bunkers, with the beautiful Mummy Mountains providing a stellar backdrop. February tee times start at $129.
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