A town that can make your head spin in the best possible way.
In this desert oasis, you can find yourself perusing the art galleries and eating your way through the restaurants that line the city’s Old Town, explore stunning parks and ancient nature preserves, and catch a major sporting event — all in a single day.
But for those who are driven by the lure of the links, Scottsdale can also be described as a golfing mecca. Its lush, green fairways spring up seemingly out of nowhere on the hard-scrabble desert landscape—a juxtaposition that constantly reminds you that you’re in a unique golfing destination.
With so many courses in the Scottsdale area, it deserves to be a top candidate to host your next golf buddies’ trip. And who better to guide you through that experience than Arizona State University legend, Scottsdale resident, and Team TaylorMade athlete Jon Rahm.
We enlisted Rahmbo to help map out your next Scottsdale golf excursion on the latest Team TaylorMade Podcast, and he didn’t disappoint. Here are his top places to play and eat in Scottsdale.
At the top of Rahm’s list on courses to play in the area stands an obvious choice — TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course.
Rahm recommends grabbing a coveted tee time on the Stadium Course while it’s gearing up to host the PGA TOUR’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. Grandstands go up around the course as early November in preparation for golf’s wildest party, giving those who tee it up on the grounds the feeling of being in a Tour-like environment.
The excitement will build throughout your round, and things really get going when you emerge from under the bleachers like a gladiator to do battle with the fully-enclosed par-3 16th hole.
“You gotta go play (the Stadium Course) just because the last few holes are great,” Rahm said.
After splurging on a round at TPC, keep the day going with a meal at Dominick’s Steakhouse, Rahm’s favorite restaurant in Scottsdale. The upscale steakhouse boasts an impressive food and drink menu, and it has a rooftop pool area with a view.
If a steakhouse isn’t your style, less than two miles from TPC Scottsdale is Scottsdale Quarter, an outdoor shopping mall packed with food, shopping, and entertainment options. Rahm suggests this could serve as home base for your group when deciding on where to eat.
Depending on how many days you have for the trip, Rahm advises packing as many of his favorite public tracks into your stay as possible.
As a former Sun Devil, pegging it at ASU Karsten Golf Course, a public, Pete Dye-designed track, is a must for Rahm. The course is located on campus at ASU.
Rahm described the William Bell-designed Papago Golf Course in nearby Phoenix as a “really good design, and a really tough golf course.” If your group is looking for a test, play Papago from the tips, which measure a stout 7,333 yards from the black tees.
If you and your buddies are planning to hit up the Scottsdale nightlife, Rahm’s got the perfect pre-game dinner spot. He recommends you hit up Lush Burger, a burger joint that has a huge menu filled with specialty burgers and sides, as well as a full-service bar. It’s the perfect spot to get some delicious base layer of food in your stomach before a big night.
“That place is my favorite burger in town. I highly recommend it. Especially if you’re going to go drinking, you’re probably going to want to go there (first),” Rahm said with a laugh.
If you’re lucky enough to earn a tee time at some of these premier private courses, Rahm says you’re in for a treat.
Whisper Rock Golf Club boasts two courses designed by big-time names. The Upper Course was created by famed architect Tom Fazio, while the Lower Course was designed by Phil Mickelson and Gary Stephenson.
Silverleaf Club, a Tom Weiskopf design, and Grayhawk Golf Club, a 36-hole layout that will serve as the site of the 2020 NCAA Golf Championships, round out Rahm’s favorite private courses in the area.
Rahm’s tips on where to play and eat are a great jumping off point when planning your trip to Scottsdale. But like any good golf trip, customizing it to fit the needs and budget of the group will help make it unique and memorable. Just know that in Scottsdale, there’s plenty to do.
Looking to book a trip elsewhere? Why not give Sin City a shot? Check out this helpful Las Vegas Golf Course Guide to get started.
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