There’s no golf in the Grand Canyon (wouldn’t that be a hell of a forced carry?), but the next best thing is Sedona Golf Resort. Located an hour and forty-five minutes north of Phoenix, this 1989 Gary Panks design is drenched in high-desert accessories, from sagebrush and gulches to the overwhelming crimson spires that pierce the backdrops. Even the most jaded travelers will be impressed.
Sedona’s first 10 holes are stellar, even though homes have gradually encroached on the once-pure aesthetics. The wild ride features 300 feet of elevation change, much of it at the downhill, 183-yard, par-3 2nd hole. However, Sedona’s signature par-3 is the incomparable 210-yard 10th, which boasts staggering views of the red rock outcroppings that dominate the horizon. A huge mound left of the green helps redirect pulled shots into birdie-putt opportunities. The greens at Sedona are topsy-turvy and jackrabbit fast, and there are plenty of ranching remnants around, such as the old rock fence and hitching post in the left rough at the closing hole. Still, the overall experience is less about the greens and more about the reds. For fans of serious eye candy, Sedona Golf Resort is worth the journey.