If you’re at all familiar with Greater Phoenix golf, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. Ever since the Cholla course opened in late 2001, and later the Saguaro course in 2006, the club has racked up local and national awards, and is a fixture at or near the top of “Best in Arizona” lists.

Hole 15 at We-Ko-Pa's Saguaro course

Hole 15 at We-Ko-Pa’s Saguaro course

Though both courses are highly lauded, the Saguaro course outshines its older sibling both in critical praise and local word-of-mouth. Both courses have jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountains and desert terrain, but Saguaro is a more player-friendly track; it allows holes to be played a number of different ways and avoids some of the blind shots found on several holes of Cholla. The clever design of some of Saguaro’s greens allows a simple change in pin placement to radically alter the way a hole is played and gives golfers intriguing risk-reward options.

The signature hole on the Saguaro course is … well, there really isn’t one. They’re all postcard-worthy, with panoramic views around every corner. No houses, no roads, no anything to distract golfers from the landscape. There’s not a dull shot on the course.

Saguaro, designed by the highly respected team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, is one of the few desert golf courses that was designed to be walked, and We-Ko-Pa is one of a very few high-end desert courses to offer manual push carts to golfers looking to forego a cart and trek across the links.


Take aim at Red Mountain on the horizon at We-Ko-Pa Saguaro's 6th hole

Take aim at Red Mountain on the horizon at We-Ko-Pa Saguaro’s 6th hole

We-Ko-Pa’s peak-season rates reflect the course’s high-end status, but there are very good rates to be had year-round, especially for locals. Summer rates dip to $45 for Arizona residents and go up to $115 during peak season, which is still as low or lower than several less-acclaimed tracks.

18200 East Toh Vee Circle
Fort McDowell, AZ 85264

For more courses in Greater Phoenix, click here.