Those who played the course in the past will be pleasantly surprised at the changes they'll find, as extensive work has delivered a new irrigation system, improved greens, fairways, bunkers, tee boxes and more. Some trees have been removed and others thinned. Those that remain ensure the original design strategies that made Papago one of Arizona's most challenging courses are retained. And those remaining trees also provide the appealing look of an established, mature course. Overall, as the course has been reborn, it has retained its challenging play with strategic bunkering and hazards, and tees of varying lengths to challenge golfers of all skill levels. Those who have seen or already played the new Papago are raving about the course and the experience it is providing.
"The popular municipal looks like it's been super-charged on steroids after architect Billy Fuller cleared away all the debris and rust that had built up over the past 45 years and enhanced the course's future without destroying its past."
Bill Huffman, East Valley Tribune, Scottsdale AZ.
Friends old and new can now experience a scenic and challenging golf course, in a convenient, central location within 15 minutes of downtown Phoenix and Sky Harbor Airport. The course provides spectacular views of Phoenix from its unique, strategic setting at the base of Papago Buttes. Despite its convenient central location, golfers experience a setting rich with the native elements that make Arizona a unique state. And its location within Papago Park helps deliver the peace and quiet expected in a round of golf, allowing for the concentration the course's challenges warrant.
With its remarkable history ably preserved, its even more promising future and its accessibility, both geographically and financially, the reborn, revitalized Papago Golf Course is a "must play" for Phoenix-area residents and visitors to the Valley of the Sun alike.
"I am a low handicapper and played the course from the tips. I found it (the new course) to be incredibly challenging — it is very long, extremely well bunkered, and has tough, undulated greens. When I first heard how many trees were being removed I wasn't excited, but after seeing the course I love the new views and the feel it has with some of the trees gone."
Jason Kunert, Gilbert AZ
The course restoration was accomplished exclusively by William R. (Billy) Fuller, Billy Fuller Golf Design. Fuller was golf course superintendent at Augusta National, and a 15-year member of the Cupp-Fuller Design team that has been involved in more than 100 courses including Pumpkin Ridge and Crosswater (Oregon), Old Waverly (Mississippi), Settindown Creek (Georgia) and Beacon Hall (Ontario, Canada).
The process of recreating a golf course is neither simple nor minor. It involved:
The Driving Range at Papago Golf Course is now open for use. It will be open daily and will close an hour before sunset each day, except Mondays. Every Monday the range will close at 4:00 P.M. for regular maintenance.