Flagstaff is the hub of commerce and entertainment in the northern part of Arizona. Flagstaff is the region’s largest city, sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet (higher than Denver) and is the home of Northern Arizona University. If you’re looking for golf outside of Flagstaff, your best bet is to head south, with many of the courses around the resort city of Sedona.
Located about 20 minutes south of Flagstaff, Sedona is a real hub of golf activity near Flagstaff. There are about a half-dozen courses in Sedona, but two of them get plenty of attention. Sedona Golf Resort is owned by Troon Golf and features a championship course designed by Gary Panks that wraps around Sedona’s famous Red Rocks. The course plays 6,646 yards from the back tees. The resort also features elevation changes, a pro shop, practice area, and clubhouse grill. Seven Canyons Sedona is an exclusive residential community built around a Tom Weiskopf-designed course. Along with the course, there is a 200,000-square-foot practice area, a practice green, and short game area with a practice bunker.
Tom Weiskopf, who designed Seven Canyons Sedona, is a former major champion in professional golf who turned his attention to course design about 20 years ago. Weiskopf has designed eight courses that have been recognized by national publications for their quality, including Troon Golf and Country Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., The Ridge at Castle Pines North in Castle Rock, Colo., and the Double Eagle Club in Galena, Ohio, new where he used to go to college at Ohio State University. Another Sedona course, OakCreek Country Club, is the brainchild of Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jr. Senior began the course design business and brought his son into it once he grew up. Today the Jones company is responsible for 100 courses worldwide that host tournaments on major golf tours.
Two nationally recognized courses around Flagstaff–Seven Canyons Sedona and Sedona Golf Resort–attract golfers. Seven Canyons is a GolfWeek award winner as a best new course, best residential course, and best course in the US. Golfweek even described it as the “IMAX of Golf.” Sedona Golf Resort carries a four-star rating from Golf Digest.
At Sedona Golf Resort, the view from the tee box at the par-3 10th hole lets you see Sedona’s red rocks behind the green of a hole that plays 210 yards from the back tees and 149 yards from the women’s tees. The par-3 17th at Seven Canyons features great views and an impressive test, as the hole plays 246 yards from the back tees and players have to carry a waste area that runs in front of the green. Few courses finish with a par-3, but Elephant Rocks Golf Course in Williams features a 212-yard hole that has a 100-foot elevation change from tee to green to further complicate club selection.
The courses around Flagstaff are a mix of private and public courses. Sedona Golf Resort is a daily fee course, as is Elephant Rocks and Verde Santa Fe Golf Club in Cornville. OakCreek, Seven Canyons Sedona, and Pinewood Country Club in Munds Park, outside of Sedona, are all private and require membership.