Arizona is a competitive state for golf, particularly in Phoenix-Scottsdale, where there are 200-odd courses to choose from in all shapes and sizes.
Also unique to most of Arizona is that the experience is incredibly dynamic from season-to-season. From January through April, courses are expected to be in prime condition for snowbirds, and green fees are at their peak. In the summertime, courses transition back to Bermuda grass and do their best to keep the grass alive while also dropping rates to lure golfers willing to endure 18 holes in 110-degree heat. In the fall shoulder season, courses often close for weeks to overseed and then grapple with the challenge of both growing new rye grass and keeping golfers happy, with wet fairways, cart path-only and all.
No season is off limits in the 2014 Top 25 Courses in Arizona ranking. Golfers reviewed their experience year round, not just in primetime. And these 25 courses were the ones that managed a consistently exceptional experience versus its peers year round as rated by vacationers and locals alike.
Checking in at No. 1 is Quintero Golf Club, a course in the northwest corner of the Valley of the Sun. While far from the epicenter of Scottsdale, Quintero lures golfers to their location with a most unique setting and course, a competitive green fee and conditions.
User Dianab, a Top 100 contributor on GolfAdvisor and hailing from British Columbia, rated it five stars.
"Spectacular golf course and very demanding in the shot making department, he wrote. "Add in the elevation changes and the numerous bunkers and you have a true test of golf. This course should be on your 'must play' list."
Top 25 Courses in Arizona in 2014
1. Quintero Golf Club, Peoria
2. Copper Canyon Golf Club, Buckeye
3. Sewailo Golf Club, Tucson
4. Troon North Golf Club Pinnacle and Monument*, Scottsdale
5. Ventana Canyon (Mountain and Canyon)*, Tucson
6. The Boulders Resort Golf Club (North and South)*, Scottsdale
7. Peaks and Ranch at Tonto Verde Golf Club*, Rio Verde
8. Starr Pass Golf Club (27 holes), Tucson
9. Verrado Golf Club, Buckeye
10. Oakcreek Country Club, Sedona
11. Omni Tucson National Golf Resort & Spa*, Tucson
12. Desert Springs Golf Club, Surprise
13. Ocotillo Golf Resort (27 holes), Chandler
14. Faldo Course at Wildfire Golf Club, Phoenix
15. Sidewinder Course at Gold Canyon Golf Resort, Gold Canyon
16. Palmer Course at Wildfire Golf Club, Phoenix
17. The Highlands at Dove Mountain, Marana
18. Dinosaur Mountain at Gold Canyon Golf Resort, Gold Canyon
19. Poston Butte Golf Club, Florence
20. The Legacy Golf Club, Phoenix
21. Elephant Rocks at Williams, Williams
22. Cimarron Golf Club, Surprise
23. Golf Club of Estrella, Goodyear
24. Las Sendas Golf Club, Mesa
25. Arizona National Golf Club, Tucson
*Denotes 36-hole facility rated as one course.
**Denotes 27-hole course.
Minimum 20 reviews needed in 2014 to qualify.