Best Golf Courses To Play in Phoenix for under $50

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The city of Phoenix is home to the 6th largest population in the United States and encompasses an area over 500 square miles. Over 50 public golf courses reside within the city limits. The area has become a Southwestern epicenter for outdoor fun of all kinds, and folks flock to the area from all over the nation once the weather gets cold on the coasts in the winter months. The temperatures do often breach triple digits in the summertime, but the hot and thin air just makes the tee shots sail that much further. If you are an avid golfer that is going to be remotely close to Phoenix in the next year, please take some notes. The following are the four best golf courses in the entire area that can be played for less than $50 on a weekend afternoon.

Bougainvillea Golf Course
Phoenix, Arizona

Bougainvillea has always been a quality public course that is a short drive within most of the city’s residents, but its recent change of management has brought with it an improved facility and a lowering of the already reasonable prices. This 6,817-yard par-72 has everything that a good round of golf should have and can be played on a Saturday or Sunday morning for $45. Additionally, their course website has a discount rates program where folks can request reduced rates for time slots in the upcoming days that have yet to be filled. If the course accepts your offer, the rates can get as low as $23. The course is spread out over an exclusive neighborhood, but the houses blend into the backdrop very well, and some are even unnoticeable to the untrained eye.

Non-metal spikes and collared shirts are both required, but this course is visited and enjoyed by folks from all walks of life. On a recent outing, the author was grouped with a local politician, a online news editor and a high school senior. The vast majority of Bougainville's holes are sprawling and flat, featuring huge bunkers with sizable lips. If you are unlucky enough to bury a ball in the edge of a bunker, you'll be tempted to kick it out and happily take the 2-stroke penalty. The sand traps seem bland and nonthreatening from a distance, but avoiding them is the key to going low on the scorecard.

The course puts its best foot forward on the final six holes, only one of which is a par-4. Folks that are able to be accurate with mid-irons will certainly have some scoring opportunities down the stretch on holes 13, 14 and 17, which are par-3s that average 190 yards. Holes 16 and 18 are both par-5s that will be reachable in two for folks with stamina and accuracy. The course scorecard makes note of the fact that the course is comprised of an equal amount of par 3s, 4s and 5s, and features five sets of tees that accommodate both the expert, novice and everyone in between.

Vistal Golf Course
Phoenix, Arizona

Set along the edge of the South Mountain range about five miles from the high rises of downtown Phoenix, the Vistal Golf Club is parked on an beautiful plot of land. It isn't going to be the greenest course you've ever seen, but the groundskeepers do an incredible job of making the most out of the limited water supply, and the fairways and greens feel healthy and strong. The $29 weekend and holiday rate is well worth the price.

Vistal is a true desert course, complete with hundreds of trees that are accustomed to surviving in warm climates and devoid of bushiness. As a result, almost every hole presents a beautiful panoramic of trees, and shots that are hit into the expanses do not necessarily result in horrible lies. The 8th hole is one of the most memorable in all of Arizona, featuring a cluster of tee boxes that stare directly into 120 yards worth of cacti and small shrubs. Unlike many of the other holes, plenty of danger can be found by not landing the pebble on a difficult and drastically sloping jellybean-shaped left-to-right sloping green. If you can mentally eliminate the ornate natural surroundings, par is attainable.

With the skyline in the far distance and the mountains looming just to the south of the course, these 18-holes are as naturally beautiful as they are challenging. A total of eleven par-4 holes averaging just over 400 yards create birdie opportunities for those that are skilled at getting the rock onto the dance floor with a solid drive and a short iron. Even though Phoenix is a busy and bustling metropolis, the setting at Vistal Golf Course allows folks to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and for a very fair price. This course is an excellent choice for any golfer that lives in or will soon be visiting the Phoenix area.

Encanto Golf Course
Phoenix, Arizona

Encanto Golf Course is one of the nine courses owned and managed by the Phoenix City Parks and Recreation, and once you set foot on the grounds it is clear to see that the outfit pays close attention to creating a quality golfing experience. It speaks volumes about the city services, as few metropolises have more than a couple courses managed by the city, and they are often in need of love and attention. Not Encanto. Its 6,404 yards are well designed and well taken care of. One can play a round on a weekend for no more than $29.

The continuing theme on this course is long, meandering fairways that create chances for balls hit along the edges of the fairways to find the rough. It's tough to know exactly where a fairway ends on the first go-round at this course, but, like many of the courses in the area, the rough does not penalize too badly. In fact, wayward tee shots are not as big of a problem at Encanto as they are on other municipal course of comparable quality. Ninety percent of the sparse sprinkling of sand traps are greenside.

The back nine begins with three legitimate chances at birdie, or at least par. The 10th hole is a par-4 that features the customary serpentine fairway, but is relatively straight from tee to green and can be reached in one by folks that have the proper equipment, strength and technique. The hole is perfectly placed, as golfers will have an opportunity to accomplish rare things right after being refueled and re-hydrated at the turn. The 161-yard par-3 11th hole regularly gets birdied, as does the 533-yard par-5 12th hole. The course stiffens up toward the end of the round, finishing with four consecutive par-4 holes that average well over 400 yards.

Villa de Paz Golf Club
Glendale, Arizona

Voted the single best bargain in all of Arizona by a local magazine and television station, the Villa de Paz Golf Club has been captivating players of all ages and skill levels since its opening in the early-1970s. One of the area's oldest 18-hole courses, it is an incredibly popular spot when the weather heats up, as it features a bevy of full-grown leafy trees on many of the holes. You may not be able to take a dip in the many lakes that dot the course and bring water into play on 10 of the 18 holes, but you'll be able to find recluse from the beating sun by walking or riding along the cart paths. The course is sprawled out in a large neighborhood, and many of the holes form a giant circle over the expanse of several hundred acres.

Many greens feature large palm trees, some of which are actually rooted into the edges of the green. It is a unique and amazing sight that can turn shots that happen to land behind or at the base of the trees into something you would normally see at a miniature golf course, but you have to applaud the course architect and the maintenance crew for leaving the native growth mostly unblemished on this beautiful course. The front nine includes three par-5 holes that average about 480 yards in length, so folks that can hit their drives over 275 consistently will have decent looks at birdie.

No less than five approach shots are onto greens that are guarded by lakes, and pin placements seem to be designed to tempt players to fly the water and land the pebble on the short hairs. If you have the skills to hit high short irons and get them to stick upon landing, you'll be able to wow your playing partners, many of whom will take a more conservative approach after donating a few balls to the lake on the front nine. Located only a mile or two away from the Glendale Municipal Airport, the course makes an excellent final or initial stop for folks coming in or going out of town on privately-owned aircraft.

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