Papago Golf Course opened in 1963 and was designed by famous golf course architect William Francis “Billy” Bell, who has more than 200 golf course designs under his belt, including Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif. Bell used Papago’s natural topography to accentuate the gently rolling terrain found throughout the golf course, and he also showcases the stunning views of the Papago Buttes, Camelback Mountain, South Mountain and downtown Phoenix.
Papago was selected to host the 2009 Phoenix LPGA International Presented by Mirassou Winery in March. Papago played host to the 1971 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, and was a regular qualifying course for the Phoenix Open. It also served as the neighborhood city course for some of Arizona’s most recognizable junior players, including Billy Mayfair and the Farr sisters, Heather and Missy. It became so popular that in its heyday golfers would park overnight in their cars to try and secure tee times.
The course shut down on April 4, 2008, to undergo an extensive restoration project, which included re-turfing of all the greens, fairways and rough; the installation of a new irrigation system; the removal of trees to improve sight lines and views; and reshaping and adding of bunkers. Renowned golf course architect William “Billy” Fuller directed the renovation project, keeping the restoration as close to Bell’s original design as possible. The course re-opened to the public on December 6, 2008.
The par-72 layout includes four sets of tee boxes and will play from 5,404 yards to 7,333 yards, with a USGA course rating of 75 and slope rating of 130 from the back tees.