Poston Butte: Jewel in the Arizona offers terrific desert golf – and an island green

Updated: February 1, 2017

There are plenty of choices when heading south for a winter golf trip to the Arizona desert. In and around the city of Phoenix, you can have your choice of just about any kind of course.

But a little ways out of town, on the highway to the southeast of Phoenix sits the town of Florence. Not a big town, but right before you get there a housing development has popped from the desert floor. And part of the development is Poston Butte Golf Club, a course that is about as desert as you will find anywhere in the area. If you close your eyes and picture Arizona desert golf, this is the place for you. Not many trees, desert lined fairways and some red sand along the way in the desert areas gets your attention too.

Poston Butte might seem a bit out of the way, but this is a course which needs to be on the list of courses to play in Arizona. It can play long – stretching over 7,000 yards or can play more manageable. The fairways are wide, seemingly making for easy tee shots, but trust me, nothing is easy. Wide fairways sometimes aren’t even enough for my game. The greens are large and undulating.

As you putt out on the par-4 16th hole and make your way to the 17th tee, you see some water. And a bridge. And then more water. There is an island green on this par-3, which seems large from the tee box but when you stand there with an iron in your hand, the green starts shrinking. It might seem relatively easy to hit this green, but think again.

Architect Gary Panks did it right with this design – having this memorable hole come at the end of a round.

There are many reasons that Poston Butte is ranked 14th Best Course in Arizona by Golf Advisor – the island green being near or at the top of the list. And off the course, there is more to like. A new restaurant opened and was awarded the 2016 Best New Public Restaurant Golden Fork Award by Golf Inc. Magazine.