Desert Mountain Renegade Course

The first course to open for member play at Desert Mountain in 1987, the 7,443-yard Renegade has won international accolades for its scenic beauty and appeal to golfers of varying levels as well as notoriety for its four sets of tees and two flags on 16 of the holes.

Desert Mountain Renegade Course

By By Alice and Danny Scott

Desert Mountain is renowned as one of the valley’s best private clubs with 6 Jack Nicklaus Signature courses spanning beautiful vistas. The Renegade, according to Head Pro Nathan Carl, “Is always in the members’ rotation”, and why not? It is twice the fun with massive greens designed for two flag settings, gold and white. Go for the gold for the most challenging round or surrender to the easier white flag targets.

To advance from white to gold, the Jim Flick Performance Center offers computerized swing analysis in personal bays that open to an extension of the driving range – a gorgeous office indeed. Putting evaluation is as extensive as it gets. Clubs and putters are fit to the golfer’s personal mold. Contests reward member participants for reductions in handicaps but application of the education is best rewarded on the course.

Hole #4, par 3, 230 yards - The first par 3 on Renegade is outstanding in terms of beauty and difficulty. Elevated tee boxes overlook a small lake guarding the entire front of the large putting complex holding both the white and gold flags, the latter flanked by bunkers front and back and false sides to reject errant yardage calculation. It is a teaser green appearing smaller than it truly is. Admire the water’s serenity and background views of Scottsdale and Phoenix in the valley below. Celebrate all pars on this challenging hole.

Hole #9, par 5, 576 yards - The closing hole on the front nine is extremely long from the tips, demanding a tremendous drive to reach the corner of this dogleg left design. Bunkers guard the inside corner for those trying to shorten the distance to the green. Ample landing area to the right allows a vision of the long corridor that is separated by mounding to produce the two sets of greens, like a tuning fork. It is a three shot hole, period. Pick the right club and fire away to the green. The sound you hear will set the tone for the remainder of the round.

Hole #13, par 4, 495 yards - Nicklaus takes pride in his “speed slot” designs, well incorporated on this hole. Hitting a drive that catches the narrowing point of slope in the fairway, means the ball will carry like a bobsled downhill to the level transition area at the bottom of the ravine. Miss it and the approach may be awkward to slightly right angled and elevated greens. The gold flag is tucked in the far right with a narrower landing strip between bunkers. Jack accounts for euphoria of an easy drive and apprehension of the approach shot.

Hole #18, par 4, 425 yards - The grand finale of this exciting track is a slight dogleg right uphill into a box canyon with luxury mountain homes above and the clubhouse in the background. Avoid fairway bunkers with a good last drive and head to the single green that closes out the round. The stadium feel invokes a sensation that a gallery awaits to cheer for that last great shot. Instead, the larger than life bronze statue of Geronimo silently congratulates your finish. Standing above the green like a sentinel over all the terrain, he instills a crazy desire to play his course next.  

As you emerge from the canyon, stop at the Hideout grill for your favorite libation and hot popcorn. The slow roasted beef shooter is very popular along with the bottomless cup of homemade soup of the day. It is the perfect spot for a sunset view that spans the horizon with waves of pinks, purples and gold. This is God’s show brought to life by Jack Nicklaus’ design and a stellar staff.  

If you want to be an elite member of the club with 6 courses, full performance clubhouses, spa and more, go for the gold at Desert Mountain!

The club offers market-based membership opportunities that do not require the purchase of property. These include: An Equity Golf Membership with a $65,000 starting price for an initial contribution; an Equity Club Membership-Lifestyle for a $10,000 initial contribution; and an Equity Golf Membership-Junior for a $5,000 initial contribution. For information, contact Membership Relations Director Nicole Forbes at or at 480.595.4318, or visit the website at