Owned by the City of Phoenix, Papago Golf Course has presented a challenging course since first opening in 1963. Course architect Billy Bell (of Torrey Pines fame, among others), created an absolute gem with Papago that has withstood the test of time and remains one of the top courses in the area. The course had a major restoration in 2008, but managed to keep its old charm with a smooth layout and strategic bunkering.
Papago recently received national recognition by Golf Week, being named to their top 50 municipal courses in the country! You can read the full article here.
The course is centrally located (about 15 minutes from downtown Phoenix and Sky Harbor), making it exceptionally convenient to the masses. It is easily accessible from Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Mesa, Chandler, and other nearby cities.
Papago plays long at 6,382 yards from the white tees, and 7,333 from the back tees. The four par 3’s on the course average 187 yards from the white tees and a whopping 230 yards from the tips.
As with many City owned courses, the green fees are very reasonable, making Papago anunbeatable value for golfers in search of a championship caliber golf venue that won’t dent your wallet. The old saying “you get what you pay for” certainly does not apply here as Papago is very well maintained and presents the golfer with an immensely challenging round while providing spectacular views in every direction.
What sets apart Papago from most in the Valley of the Sun is it’s unbeatable value coupled with stunning landscaping with magnificent desert backdrops, creating an entirely different feel than many of the major corporate resort courses in town. At the same time, the course presents a seamless mix of fairway & greenside bunkers, large greens and water hazards. The course appears to naturally blend into the surrounding landscape, and its charm will draw you back to the course over and over.
A great starting hole and is a great representation of what Papago has to offer. A long Par 5 (530-560 yards) with a single well positioned greenside bunker that will collect approach shots from golfers who shy away from the adjacent greenside lake. While officially listed as the #15 handicap hole, a back pin placement makes it one of the toughest for short and long hitters alike. Playing this lovely hole reminds the golfer why they chose to play golf at Papago in the first place.
Bombs away on this 424-467 yard par 4! A long, well struck tee shot is a must on this lengthy hole if you want any chance for a birdie. Three greenside bunkers protect the front of the green, so the chances of running your approach shot onto the green are slim. Long hitters will have a tremendous advantage on this hole.
Papago has kindly provided their golfers a shorter Par 3, but it tests nerves as this entire shot is over water. A pin placement towards the left side of this large green makes the shot especially challenging as the back bunker comes into play.
This hole presents the golfer with a classic dilemma. With a massive fairway bunker to the right and a well situated tree left of the fairway, laying up to the fat part of the fairway can be enticing. Be warned, though, you’re left with a very long approach shot if you decide to play it conservatively.
As municipal courses such as Torrey Pines, Bethpage Black and Chambers Bay are deemed worthy to host a U.S. Open, the bar of quality for such courses has been raised to extreme heights — And Papago is no different. In a golf crazed metropolitan area, home to over 4 million residents, Papago Golf Course is a destination for serious golfers and beginners alike. While Papago doesn’t get the national attention of some other courses in the area, the quality of this course is no secret to Phoenix area residents, and perhaps they may want to keep it that way!
Come on out and play this gem in the desert and see for yourself. While you do, use the Birdie Apps golf GPS app which has Papago Golf Course professionally mapped. It is completely free and works on all gps-enabled phones and tablets.
Call the pro shop atto book your tee time now!
Papago is a premier public golf course conveniently located in Phoenix, Arizona. It boasts a beautiful 18-hole track along with an all-grass driving range to fine tune your game.
Papago Golf Course
5595 E. Moreland St.
Phoenix, AZ 85008
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