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3.6
494 Reviews (494)
5 Stars
140
4 Stars
231
3 Stars
78
2 Stars
33
1 Stars
12
Conditions
3.3
Value
3.1
Layout
3.9
Friendliness
4.4
Pace
3.6
Amenities
4.1
66.9%
Recommend this course
407 out of 494 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
2.8
18 Reviews (18)
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
4
3 Stars
6
2 Stars
5
1 Stars
2
Conditions
2.5
Value
2.3
Layout
3.0
Pace
3.0
Amenities
3.9
StaffFriendliness
4.1
27.8%
Recommend this course
5 out of 18 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
3.4
41 Reviews (41)
5 Stars
10
4 Stars
11
3 Stars
10
2 Stars
5
1 Stars
5
Conditions
3.0
Value
2.9
Layout
3.7
Pace
3.5
Amenities
4.1
StaffFriendliness
4.4
56.1%
Recommend this course
23 out of 41 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Public/Municipal
Style Traditional
Par 72
Length 7333 yards
Slope 130
Rating 75.0

Papago Golf Course is conveniently situated just a few minutes from downtown Phoenix though you would never be able to tell with the peace and seclusion provided by the course's location in Papago Park. The golf course sits at the base of Papago Buttes, past the rugged red rocks you can see Phoenix skyline. The course was designed by William Francis Bell, whom you may know for Torrey Pines in San Diego. The challenging layout features undulating greens framed with strategically placed bunkers and subtle but tricky mounding. Water hazards appear on a few holes as well. It's a tough but straightforward layout that is still playable for a range of skill levels. Since opening in 1963, Papago has hosted numerous events including the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and Phoenix Open Qualifying.

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Papago Golf Course
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Course Details

Year Built 1963
Fairways Bermuda Grass
Greens Bermuda Grass
Golf Season Year round

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes
GPS No
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Bunker Yes
Caddies No
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes

Food & Beverage

Bar

Available Facilities

Clubhouse

Accolades

  • Golf Advisor: Top 25 College Courses in the U.S. (2020 #23)

Reviews

3.6
494 Reviews (494)

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Drinks 18
19th Hole Scenic Views 7
Course Challenges Include:
Bunkers 72
Undulating Greens 50
Plays Long 49
This course/club is great for:
Locals 66
Advanced Golfers 56
Walkers 55
This Course's Location is:
Convenient to the City 84
Near the Airport 76
Near Local Attractions 36

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 62
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Under Construction

Did not see any construction warnings when making the reservation. Arrived at the course to find out 2 Temporary Greens, greens in sub-par conditions-fairways in need of love and no ranger on the course controlling slow play.

This to appears to be a very nice course when there is no construction; but right now; it is not worth the greens fee being charged.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Fair
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
1.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Ripoff

My experience was disappointing. Committing to my tee time the night before there was no mention of the course conditions that I would experience. After I arrived and had paid my fees it was then that I discovered that the course had recently been aerified. There is no mention of that on their website, there was no mention of that when I paid my fees. On the first tee it got worse. At this time our group was informed that not only is there some construction going on but that the ninth hole in the 18th hole were being played with a temporary green just shaved down grass in the middle of the fairway. It was construction equipment around the golf course and the fairways had been sliced for seeding or some other type of maintenance. For the rate they were charging 90 plus dollars I expected a better experience. I had played this course several years ago prior to their construction of their new clubhouse and the conditions were much better and I was excited to play this course on this day thinking that it would be as good as it was several years ago and quite possibly much better since it appears they've been putting a lot of money into improvements. I think it's only fair that if you're going to ask the public to pay $90 plus dollars you're at least give them 18 holes of playable conditions

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Fair
Pace Poor
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
1.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
2.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Not Great

Course was under construction and completely punched out on the greens and fairways. We had to play the back twice. Not worth playing until construction is completed.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Poor
Friendliness Average
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser

Disappointing

Hard to believe this course was getting $150 green fees in the winter. The overall look and condition of the course was “ratty”. Poor tee boxes, fairways and greens. No cart paths and poor directions for next hole location
Will likely never play again

Conditions Fair
Value Average
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
4.0
Previously Played
Windy weather
Walked

Resting on Their Laurels

As someone who has played and enjoyed Papago for more than 3 decades, I can honestly say it is in the worst shape I have ever seen it. The management group which runs it has not done anything to improve the course and is only operating it to make money. The Superintendent either has his hands tied by his bosses and has no money to spend on the course or he is just incompetent. The greens are in horrendous condition. They are so bad they had to paint the greens to make them appear decent when the Men's and Women's Collegiate tournaments were there this spring. Not only do they putt inconsistently, but they will not take shots. They are in such poor condition, the grain of the grass goes in every direction, so good putts may or may not even be close due to the horrendous condition of the grass. The bunkers are grossly neglected and have very little sand in them. The crews are apparently so short handed, they have nobody to rake them or add greatly needed sand to them. It is truly a travesty that Papago has gone down hill so badly. On a good note, it is a great place to hit golf balls and eat and drink at Lou's Grille. The staff is always courteous and helpful. If you are like me and you care about the condition of the golf course, I would suggest taking a pass on Papago and instead go to Cave Creek or Aguila, where the greens and traps actually receive some attention and are in much better shape than Papago.
OB sports should be fired! Corporate greed has no place in muni golf in Phoenix.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Layout Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 11
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
3.0
Previously Played

Junky condition in early May

If you’re reading reviews wondering if Papago has decent summer conditions here is your answer… no.

I played in early May which is generally a great time to play golf if your local…rates have dropped , snowbirds have cleared out, and its not too hot out yet. I don’t expect peak winter conditions in early may but most or the nicer public course still play very good (not here though).

If ASU’s team is actually playing here they deserve better . Based in the way the course looks I assume they are being hosted elsewhere. I played other nearby courses at a similar price point and they were much much better. The greens in particular are very very bad here.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 10
Handicap 15-19
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Course needs cart paths

I had heard good things but was disappointed. Fairways give ball too easy access to dirt areas. I hit as many balls from off the fairway as on due to rollouts.
There needs to be paved cart paths rather than bumpy mud paths

Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Excellent service in the pro shop

We played this course on an extremely windy day. The staff in the pro shop provided excellent and friendly service and welcomed us as walkers - thank you! The course was challenging in the wind but the fairways were in good shape. The greens ran very true even in the wind, although fast. The only issue was the pace of play was very very slow on the front 9 so we only managed to get 16 holes in. A very good municipal course.

Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 16
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
2.0
Previously Played

Visit Papago park - skip the golf course

It’s a maddening contradiction - a golf course in such a picturesque setting but so poorly designed and maintained. This course is rock hard almost the entire year, with small strips of patchy rough being the only buffer before the raw desert dirt and rocks. Worthwhile golf courses ditch these rocks extend the rough, but not Papago. If your ball happens to roll through the rock hard, inadequately watered, and unfairly contoured grass into the desert rocks, forget it. The Par 5s here are too easy and the Par 3s embarrassingly too difficult (3 of them over 195 yards from the blue tees, with one over 230 - not even from the tips!). And the finish - two Par 4s over 420 with virtually no landing area sandwiching a 230 yard Par 3? You can’t help but laugh. This is just a bad golf course - it really, really is unfortunate, though, because the views are superb.

Conditions Poor
Value Fair
Layout Fair
Friendliness Good
Pace Poor
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 5
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Average
Value Fair
Layout Fair
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
2.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Fair
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Average
Pace Poor
Played On
Reviews 7
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

$184 is outrageous

Every course everywhere has to aerify, I get it but GN usually let's you know before you go. Booked this time through the course via GN and the course had no such notification. The greens were in recovery but we're still in discount condition. No such luck! Fairways were cut but bunkers were thin and very pebble heavy. No way on this earth was it worthy of almost 2 hundred dollars. Go play Aguilar instead.

Conditions Average
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 10
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Not my favorite

Course was unfriendly — too much of the desert/sand and rock.

Conditions Average
Value Fair
Layout Fair
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 3
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Windy weather
Used cart
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 4
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

A Pleasant Surprise....!

As a rule, I avoid municipal courses as they typically are not interesting and tend to suffer from lack of conditioning. However, since ASU took over the course a few years ago, several of my friends have reported that things have changed for the better and I should give it a try. All I can say is I was very pleasantly surprised by what I found and would recommend it to anyone.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Poor
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 2
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Average
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 2
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
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Golf Packages
FROM $207 (USD)
PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE | Enjoy 3 nights' accommodations at the Scottsdale Marriott Old Town and 3 rounds of golf at The Phoenician Golf Club, Westin Kierland Golf Club & Papago Golf Course.
FROM $237 (USD)
PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE | Enjoy 3 nights’ accommodations at The JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa and 2 rounds of golf at Camelback Golf Club – Ambiente & Padre courses.
FROM $227 (USD)
PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE | Enjoy 3 nights' accommodations at the Courtyard by Marriott Scottsdale Old Town and 4 rounds of golf at the Phoenician Golf Club, Longbow Golf Club, Papago Golf Club, and Eagle Mountain Golf Club.
FROM $197 (USD)
PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE | Enjoy 3 nights’ accommodations at a Private Home or Condo rental and 3 rounds of golf at Eagle Mountain, Sunridge Canyon, and We-Ko-Pa (Cholla or Saguaro Course).
FROM $157 (USD)
MESA | Enjoy 3 nights' accommodations at Home2 Suites by Hilton - Mesa Longbow and 3 rounds of golf at Las Sendas Golf Club, Longbow Golf Club & Ocotillo Golf Club.
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