July 13th, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort

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Located just 30 minutes from downtown Phoenix, We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort is a welcoming getaway where you can enjoy a few rounds of golf on the two spectacular courses that feature picturesque views of the Sonoran Desert. The Yavapai have been the caretakers of the beautiful lands where you can now find a destination infusing this rich heritage with modern luxury and warm hospitality. If you choose We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort as your next golf vacation destination, timeless splendor and incredible adventures await you. The award-winning golf club of the resort features the Cholla Course and the Saguaro Course.

As one of the most dramatic golf courses in the Southwest, the Cholla Course stretches across desert washes and over ridges, flowing effortlessly into greens tucked into foothills and desert arroyos. Incorporating design elements that are rare to the desert golf experience, the layout of the Saguaro Course promotes walking as opposed to carts and is similar to older, traditional courses, where greens are close to tees, and the course follows the natural topography of the land. The Saguaro Course was chosen as the No. 1 public golf course in Arizona by Golfweek Magazine. It was designed by the renowned architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.

The Cholla Course, Offering the Quintessential Target Style Desert Golf Experience

Designed by Scott Miller, who tutored for ten years as a design associate with Jack Nicklaus, this golf course is free from residential development and enjoys seclusion with expansive vistas of the Sonoran Desert. So, players have the chance to focus only on the views and the game. The fairways are much more forgiving than they appear from the tees. Once you are out there on the Cholla fairways, you'll be able to see the rest of the hole and play into the greens without too much effort. The greens on the Cholla Course are big and have plenty of undulation, but they're not as exaggerated as on Saguaro. The bunkers will still provide a lot of challenges. Still, they're a bit less menacing on this side.

Cholla's dramatic closing hole is both challenging and scenic. A 285-yard tee shot from the back tee will run out of the fairway, whereas 300 yards will get you into the water. The last 100 yards of the fairway are flanked by a pond, with a bunker resting between the water and the green. The fairway on the left takes the water out of play and opens up the green, and the wider fairway on the right will require golfers to carry the hazard on their approach. This is a splendid finishing hole, with the sparkling blue water offering a nice contrast to the desert and green fairway. The Cholla Course features terrific views and challenging play for golfers at every skill level.

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The Saguaro Course, a Traditional Golf Course Ideal for Walking

This golf course opens with a strong, dogleg left 443-yard par 4 that plays downhill on the tee shot. This fairway is wide but lined by desert on both sides and several bunkers down the right. Roughly 100 yards short of this green, the fairway ends with a patch of desert that golfers must cross on their uphill approach. This area makes for an interesting lay-up for shorter players. The first thing that strikes you about the Saguaro Course is how remote it feels. It's not that far outside Scottsdale, but it's definitely a world unto itself with little civilization around. One could argue that the 3rd is the most boring hole on the course as a 383-yard dogleg left par 4. This generous fairway bends left 225 yards with a bunker down the right.

For the most part, the layout is open off the tees. There are some forced carries and some doglegs in play to make you work for a good shot, but overall you won't have too much trouble finding the fairways. The native desert areas come into play a lot on wayward shots. The Saguaro Course features breathtaking views of the nearby landscape with no houses in sight and a walkable, intimate routing. We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort does a great job at combining short and long par fours, and this is clear early when you arrive at the reachable 299-yard 2nd hole. At 490 yards, the golf course closes in a very difficult fashion with a lengthy par 4. Featuring another long-forced carry of almost 200 yards, this fairway has numerous undulations and is lined by a huge bunker complex on the left.

Relish Tantalizing Dishes at We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort

Dining at We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort is a celebration of the senses, as you'll discover new menus featuring the freshest local ingredients and a great array of flavors from around the world. The resort features seven dining places, some of the most noteworthy being the following:

  • The Buffet: at this restaurant, you can enjoy a cutting-edge buffet with amazing foods from around the world, such as delicious salads, soups, and artisan bread
  • Ember: as a fine dining restaurant, this place serves the highest quality of steaks and seafood prepared over wood-fired grills, a specialty cocktail menu, and a whiskey library
  • Ahnala: the restaurant and coffee bar serves up American-style comfort food, including omelets and eggs made to order, seasonal salads, specialty sandwiches, and entrées

The Takeaway

If you want to experience authentic desert golf, We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort is undoubtedly the ideal place for you. Whether you live close to Scottsdale or far away, the two mesmerizing golf courses at the resort should be on your bucket list and will not disappoint you.