Course Facts


Jack Nicklaus

Open For Play (1984)

10040 East Happy Valley Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255 USA


Desert Highlands Online:



  • Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course Design
  • Desert Highlands
  • Desert Highlands
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  • Desert Highlands

Course Overview

Golf isn't everything at Desert Highlands. But if it were, for many that would be enough. One of the most desirable features is the fact that when you purchase a home or homesite at Desert Highlands, membership to the golf club is included with a membership fee. The highlight of that membership for many is the ability to play the acclaimed course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Accolades for the Desert Highlands golf course have included being ranked as one of the top desert golf courses in the country by Golf Digest. Yet first proof that this course was something extraordinary occurred almost immediately after it was completed. Desert Highlands was the site of the first two Skins Games in 1983 and 1984. When you play this course you walk in the footsteps of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Gary Player.

Yet even as you feel the atmosphere of legends around you, Nicklaus designed this course to invite players of all levels to enjoy the challenge, while also savoring a setting that is nothing less than magnificent. Pinnacle Peak looms just overhead and the lights of the Valley spread across the horizon in the distance below.

A dramatic elevated tee box on the first hole sets the tone on this 18-hole, par 72 golf course that plays 7,072 yards from the tips. To enhance the desert effect, turf has been used judiciously which has resulted in a “target golf” concept. With major desert areas abutting the fairways and greens, the turf limitation has served to heighten the visual drama of the course. The result is reminiscent of a soft-flowing green carpet draped across rugged lands forms.


Bear Facts

"This is a golf course that is unique among any of the courses I've been involved with." " Desert Highlands begins with probably a greater and denser variety of desert foliage than I've ever seen. Added to this are the rocks of Pinnacle Peak and the views which are outstanding during the day and breathtaking at night. " The course is built with a concept of harmonizing the course and the desert vegetation in a design format not used to this extreme before." " The course will produce all the golf that a good golfer will want to find. The fairways are wide enough so that the intelligent average golfer can play it well. The average golfer must become a more intelligent player to challenge the course successfully. And the course is one that woman will find manageable and pleasant. We have been totally sensitive to our responsibility and obligation to protect this magnificent site." - Jack Nicklaus


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