SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The original course at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, the Cholla opened in 2001 and celebrated its 15th anniversary with a summer facelift.
The Scott Miller design received new greens, bunkers and irrigation system. The par-5 eighth hole was also slightly redesigned, removing the desert wash that came into play on the second shot.
Although many panelists put the Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw-designed Saguaro Course higher than the Cholla, these days We-Ko-Pa officials say the Cholla averages a few more rounds each year.
There's a lot to like about We-Ko-Pa's original course, and it's still a slam-dunk pick among the destination's best public courses.
A bit like the Saguaro, the Cholla's strength is in its imaginative short par 4s and risk-reward par 5s. Unlike the Saguaro, it isn't very walkable and the round can take about 30 minutes longer. Its finishing holes on each nine play downhill with great views rather than uphill at Saguaro, and for that reason may be a little more memorable to the average player.
The Saguaro and Cholla Courses share a huge driving range and practice facility, as well as an understated but comfortable clubhouse. The golf facility is right across the street from the We-Ko-Pa Resort, which has its own spa and adjacent casino. It would be silly to play one We-Ko-Pa course and not the other on your Scottsdale golf vacation.