By Melissa Larsen
BEST 19TH HOLE AND BEST GOLF CLOTHING & SHOPPING: Apache Clubhouse, Desert Mountain
A beautiful blend of Southwestern adobe fort and Grand Canyon lodge, the Apache Clubhouse at Desert Mountain is home to the Apache restaurant—where golfers like to hang for a casual after-round drink or a top-notch meal. The clubhouse also offers a one-stop golf shop that meets the clothing and accessory needs of community golfers—all within a high-end boutique setting. desertmountain.com.
BEST GOLF INSTRUCTOR: Rich Prange
Rich Prange comes to Desert Mountain via the famed Medinah Country Club, where he was director of instruction for six seasons. Prange turned professional in 1983 and has been a Class A member of the PGA since 1991, coaching all skill levels. He brings more than 30 years of experience to the community’s Jim Flick Golf Performance Center. desertmountain.com.
MOST CHALLENGING COURSE: The Gold Course, The Wigwam
Known as the “Arizona Monster” due to its length and difficulty, the 18-hole, par-72 Gold Course at The Wigwam was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The Gold Course opened in 1965 and features a challenging parkland layout with beautiful tree-lined fairways, lakes and mature trees. wigwamgolf.com. Also a 2016 winner!
BEST GOLF COMMUNITY AND BEST PRIVATE CLUB: DC Ranch and The Country Club at DC Ranch
When the DC Ranch golf course and The Country Club at DC Ranch opened in the late 90’s, they quickly became among the best in the Southwest. The Country Club at DC Ranch provides the ultimate home away from home for every member of the family, with amenities including tennis courts, pools, a children’s recreation area, a fully appointed fitness area, lounges and locker rooms, dining opportunities and much more. The clubhouse also has a stellar golf shop to equip members to take on the 18-hole Tom Lehman/John Fought-redesigned golf course. dcranch.com; ccdcranch.com.
BEST PUBLIC COURSE: Quintero Golf Club
Located in Peoria, the Rees Jones-designed Quintero Golf Club offers 18 holes of mountain golf and has received accolades from Golf Digest, Golf Weekly Magazine and Golf Advisor. The course is surrounded by desert landscape in varying elevations, with plenty of native cacti and tree. Plus, Quintero offers four Stay & Play condos on the property for those who want to settle in between rounds on the green. quinterogolf.com. Also a 2016 winner!
BEST CLUBHOUSE SPA: Alvea Spa & Wellness, Encanterra
Open to the public as well as members at Encanterra, A Trilogy Resort Community, in San Tan Valley, Alvea Spa & Wellness dazzles those in search of some r-n-r with this quiet desert oasis. In order to rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit, the treatments (which range from facials to massages, body treatments to manis and pedis) are inspired by holistic ancient healing rituals of the area’s native inhabitants. alveaencanterra.com. Also a 2016 winner!
MOST SCENIC COURSE: Desert Highlands
For many, the highlight of membership at Desert Highlands is the ability to play the acclaimed 18- hole, par-72 course designed by Jack Nicklaus on the same fairways and greens that golf greats and celebrities have played. Nicklaus designed this course to invite players of all levels to enjoy the challenge, while also savoring sights of Pinnacle Peak just overhead and the lights of the Valley spread across the horizon in the distance below. deserthighlandsscottsdale.com.
BEST PRO SHOP: Wigwam Golf Club
The Wigwam golf shop carries all the top brands that golfers love: Nike, Travis Mathews, Fairway & Greene, Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway and PING. Need a club rental? The golf shop can help with that request, too. wigwamgolf.com.
Buy your copy of Arizona Foothills Magazine Best of Our Valley 2017 Collectors Edition issue here.