Papago Golf Club
(Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Four Troon brand-affiliated golf courses were recently named to GOLF Magazine’s ranking of the “30 Best Municipal Golf Courses in America.” Papago Golf Club in Phoenix, Ariz. is ranked No. 15; Indian Wells Golf Resort’s Players Course in Indian Wells, Calif. is No. 23; Wintonbury Hills Golf Course in Bloomfield, Conn. is No. 25; and Highland Park Golf Course in Birmingham, Ala is ranked No. 30. The Troon family of brands includes Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Troon International, Honours Golf, OB Sports and Indigo Golf Partners.
No. 15 Papago Golf Club – “This beloved design, just a short drive east of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, debuted in 1963, but the present iteration might be its best ever. Home to the highly successful Arizona State men’s and women’s golf teams since 2018 (their state-of-the-art practice facility is on-site), this parkland-style course features generous fairways, large bunkers and sprawling greens. You’ll get a close-up look at the red-colored Buttes in adjacent Papago Park from the 2nd green, while other holes point you toward the downtown skyline. Par-4s are the strength of the course, particularly the dogleg-left 6th, well-bunkered 16th and long, dogleg-right 18th.” – GOLF Magazine
No. 23 Indian Wells Golf Resort Players Course – “This is the tougher of two courses at this municipally-owned facility, but then the Players Course was built by a serious stick: John Fought, who won the 1977 U.S. Amateur and played on the PGA Tour. This lush design has wide landing areas, sprawling bunkers and large greens. Miss the putting surfaces and you’ll be tested with difficult up-and-downs. Survive the longer front side — home to three par-5s and a 469-yard par-4, where a barranca up the right side inhales misplayed shots — and you’ll likely get more birdie looks on the back nine, with the exception, perhaps, of the beefy par-4 18th.” – GOLF Magazine
No. 25 Wintonbury Hills Golf Course – “About 15 minutes northwest of Hartford sits a rare Pete Dye foray into New England. The bucolic setting must have had an effect on the irascible architect, because the diabolical nature of many of his other designs are not in play on this former dairy farm (pot bunkers are the sole exception). A linksy feel on the front is followed by more of a parkland vibe on the back. The best stretch on this 6,711-yard layout comes at 14, 15 and 16, a long and pretty trio of par-4s. The 455-yard 14th has a reservoir along the right side and a course logo-inspiring tree directly behind the green. The greens, although not overly sloped, are deceptive enough to test your green-reading skills.” GOLF Magazine
No. 30 Highland Park Golf Course – “The oldest course in Alabama has roots on this site dating back to 1903, but the most recent renovation in 2020 lifted Highland Park to new heights thanks to new bunkers and greens. Don’t be fooled by the 5,800-yard, par-70 scorecard: elevation changes, creeks, lakes and plenty of movement on the small greens make the course play longer than you might think, while not robbing the design of any of its quirky fun. Three par-3s measure 136 yards or less, and for better players, there are a handful of drivable par-4s and reachable par-5s. A new back tee at the downhill par-4 15th sits on the property’s high point and provides a memorable view of the downtown skyline.” GOLF Magazine
The 30 Best Municipal Golf Courses in America were determined by GOLF’s expert panel of raters. Raters points were assigned to arrive at an average score for each course, then GOLF divide its aggregate score by the number of votes. From those point tallies, the courses were then ranked accordingly. The key to the process is the experience and expertise of GOLF Magazine’s panel, hailing from 15 nations and all the worldwide golf meccas, each of the 97 handpicked panelists has a keen eye for architecture, both regionally and globally.
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