Golf outside of Phoenix

Updated: May 1, 2017

By Steve Turcotte, Inside Golf Editor
If you think you have to stick around the population center of Phoenix to hit the top golf courses in Arizona, think again. Just get in the rental car and start heading northwest. Not only will you see the desert landscape out your windows, you will also come across some of the best courses in the state in places like Peoria and Wickenburg.

Welcome to the Arizona road trip where the car does not stop in Phoenix or Scottsdale and winds its way through the cactus, tumbleweeds and two-lane roads. First stop, the outskirts of Peoria and Quintero Golf Club. If you didn’t see the signs to make the right hand turn, you might not even know that just off the Carefree Highway sits an award-winning golf course that winds through the desert and hilltops. The course was designed by Rees Jones and features some of the best collection of par-3 holes ever assembled on a golf course. The ninth hole is an elevated tee box with a shot to a green guarded by sand and water. The views from around the course are spectacular. Quintero also has a Stay and Play deal available with first-class condos to rent. These aren’t just any type of condo units these are spacious accommodations with every amenity you can think of.

As you leave Quintero Golf Club and think about taking a right on the Carefree Highway, it might not seem that much is in that direction except Las Vegas four hours away. But the town of Wickenburg is becoming a golf gem.

Wickenburg Ranch opened for play two years ago and, for the lack of a better word, stunning. It was a course seven years in the making and is the centerpiece of a Shea Homes Development. The championship Course is known as Big Wick and its shorter course Lil Wick opened last year. The holes are all different and spread out through the desert. One of the most scenic and challenging holes is the par-3 14th hole that plays well over 200 yards with a lake in front and on the right has a terrific desert backdrop.

The new clubhouse and other buildings make for another outstanding backdrop when heading up the 18th hole.

But that’s not all that is in Wickenburg. Rancho de los Caballeros is not only a golf course but also a destination resort complete with dude ranch and spa. This is a place that opened in 1948 as an Arizona ranch and has grown through the years. There is plenty to do for visitors including a variety of western-themed activities.

The golf course is another challenge and provides some views of the desert along with a close up view of the horse corral and its string of 100 horses. There is plenty to see when it comes to going horseback; there are over 20,000 acres of desert for a horseback trip. For those who get a little sore from too much horseback riding there is also a spa to soak away the pains. The Los Caballeros Golf Club is a popular stop for the locals and for visitors. It is another gem in the resort for people looking to mix in a variety of activities on their stay.