Sanctuary Golf Course at Westworld

McDowell Mountain Golf Club is a challenge and a haven for wildlife.

McDowell Mountain Golf Club


Phone:  480.502.8200

Address:  10690 E. Sheena Drive
Scottsdale, Arizona  85255

Head Golf Professional: Kevin Neel
Course Superintendent: Paul Schieffer
Director of Instruction: Boyd Summerhays
Course Designer/Architect: Randy Heckenkemper

About This Course:
18 Holes of Championship Golf
Managed by OB Sports
Par 71 – 7072 yards from the tips
Rating/Slope:  73.3/137; 70.2/131; 67.0/118; 71.6/129; 68.1/109 

McDowell Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, has become one of the premier public golf courses in the Valley. This Scottsdale golf gem shines even brighter after undergoing a massive golf course enhancement and renovation in 2011. During this renovation, course architectural changes were overseen by the original golf course architect, Randy Heckenkemper and included making many of the playing corridors wider, created additional waste bunker and adding additional teeing areas!

"We wanted to create an experience for all players that provides an enjoyable round of golf regardless of abilities. We wanted to present demanding shots for the better players but give the average player more shot options," stated Phil Mickelson.

Built on the foothills of Scottsdale's McDowell Mountains and adjacent to the nationally recognized Westworld equestrian center, this outstanding Scottsdale golf course now stretches to a 7,072-yards and delivers a stunning Scottsdale golf experience that will keep you coming back for more. 

By by Alice and Danny Scott

Central to Scottsdale, the eco friendly, Sanctuary Golf Course at Westworld, marked their 10th year with a new director and updates to the course. Fresh trimming improved tee box views in this lush setting, nestled below the McDowell Mountains with Camelback in the distance. Fragrant desert flora and a variety of fauna abound.
Owned and operated by SunCor Golf, it was designed by Randy Heckenkemper and built under the regulations of the Audubon International Institute. It is a true sanctuary for birds, golfers, and birdies if you’re lucky. The birds are evident as roadrunners greet you next to the water habitat between the clubhouse and ample practice facilities. Even on a cold, windy day, golfers were abundant. It is very women friendly as evidenced by the number of gals registering, ladies leagues on both Tuesday and Wednesday, female instructor Kay Kennedy and amenities in the powder room. The men’s league should be restarting soon and don’t worry, it was a steady pace of play, right at 4 hours for a challenging round of risk/reward golf on a busy course.
As for birdies if you’re lucky, hole number 5, at 69 yards from the ladies tee, serves up as much luck as you will find on any course. But, the celebration can be quickly stifled on the next tough hole.
All the greens are fast, expansive and bring new meaning to the word undulations. Great finesse is helpful for long unpredictable rolls, making course knowledge a real premium. Membership pricing makes it affordable to play over and over to gain that knowledge. Only three memberships are left, but the public is welcome to play repeatedly at reasonable rates and will want to do so. Bunkers have been upgraded with care, if you are a beach hitter.
Hole #2, par 4, 438 yards. This far reaching fairway is split down the middle by a long bunker. Whether you draw or fade, you must remain on top or bottom of each landing zone to ensure a good lie. Wherever you approach from, the massive green with classic undulations makes for a tough up and down. Deceptive in appearance, this hole deserves its one handicap ranking.
Hole #8, par 3, 234 yards. Check your yardage on this long par 3. The green is flanked by a beautiful pond and cascading waterfalls on the right. The water extending to the front of the green is hidden by desert foliage from the tips, so anything short results in a surprise swim. This two tiered green slopes back to front, and is guarded by bunkers on both sides. The architect must smile often about this hole!
Hole #15, par 4, 319 yards. This blind shot in the dark from all tee boxes is a risk/reward for the big hitters who can’t help themselves. Requiring a long carry, if short you’re in the rocky desert with trees, the best carried drive however, can also end up in the front bunker. If you are afraid of the dark, lay up on this one.
Hole #18, par 5, 516 yards. Sanctuary made the finishing hole a lasting memory with a desert wash that separates the fairway on another dogleg. It demands a solid drive down the middle as bunkers guard the right side and the left side is a haven for lost ball seekers. The uphill elevation changes make up for the seemingly short yardage, so an ending par score is a real parting victory.
Chris Johnson is the new director, bringing lots of experience and creativity, such as the Friday night “Wine Down”.  From 5-8pm, enjoy live entertainment, $5 wine and $2-3 drafts. Reservations are recommended due to popularity. James Dumek was one of the friendliest and informative starters we ever encountered. Susan was on the spot with beverage service. In cold play, try hot spiced apple cider. Swing juice of choice can be added as desired.
Carts have updated software showing realistic layouts and distances. Players’ carts ahead are colored red if reachable and the onscreen menu allows for order pickup at the turn. If only it could determine adjustments for wind changes!
Check the website or call for menus, tee times, and specials in this beautiful setting. All the employees are happy and cordial. Why not? They work in a sanctuary!