If you’re heading into the desert, Scottsdale is a great place to start.

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What are the best courses in the Phoenix area for a bachelor party?

Divots and debauchery, huh?

You have chosen a good place.

The biggest challenge here isn’t finding properties that combine high-quality golf with after-round revelry. The trick is to narrow down the choices. There’s only a little you can do for what we think isn’t much longer than a weekend getaway.

You can start by checking out Talking Stick Resort. It’s in Scottsdale, but a short walk from the Phoenix airport. Talking Stick has two courses, the O’odham and the Piipash, Coore-Crenshaw designs that complement each other in their styles: the first is more links-like, the second is more tree-lined. Both will test your marksmanship, but neither was designed to beat you.

Blackjack, on the other hand, can absolutely crush you.

But hey, you have gambling money, don’t you?

We-Ko-Pa is a slice of desert bliss.

Patrick Koenig

Talking Stick isn’t just a resort. It is a casino complex. That means table games, slots, and all the other trappings. Live music. Comedy shows. Down-to-earth restaurants. Pool parties. A godsend for a bachelor party.

You could say something similar to We-Ko-Pa, Fort McDowell, another golf/casino punch. There are also two courses here, the Saguaro and the Cholla, and both consistently rank among the best public courses in the area (Saguaro is also on GOLF magazine’s list of the 100 best courses you can play).

By continuing on the public access list, we would be remiss not to direct you to Papago, a muni with a pedigree. Owned by the City of Phoenix, it was designed by Billy Bell in the 1960s and, in renovated form, today serves as the home course for Arizona State’s men’s and women’s golf teams. When you turn 18, we recommend another round or two at Lou’s Bar & Grill, an outdoor venue on the property that features live music Thursday through Saturday.

meadow dunes

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The music isn’t always live at Grayhawk Golf Club further north in Scottsdale, but it’s almost always playing. Rock tunes echo through the parking lot and blare from speakers at the driving range, adding to the festive vibe of a 36-hole venue that once hosted a PGA Tour event. Phil’s Grill, aka Lefty’s Lair, is the popular after-round gathering spot here, a rebound bar and restaurant adorned with memorabilia from its namesake’s Hall of Fame career. (Mickelson served as a touring ambassador for Grayhawk for decades.)

At the end of a bachelor party weekend, you might be too tired for an 18 rule.

You can still do Topgolf; there’s a great one in the heart of Scottsdale.

You can also consider the Short Course at Mountain Shadows, an 18-hole, par-3 course in Paradise Valley at a resort of the same name. At the time, Mountain Shadows was a frequent hangout for members of the Rat Pack, and the property retains a vintage cocktail vibe.

Our very own Alan Bastable was right there with a group of friends, and you can read more about his visit here. Bastable and his crew are all middle-aged, their wild bachelor days behind them. But the article provides a nice description of Mountan Shadows. You might also read it as a comforting reminder that man-on-man escapades don’t have to end when married life begins.

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A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a contributor to GOLF Magazine since 2004 and now contributes to all GOLF platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Have Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.