Whirlwind Golf Club
In the foothills of the Sierra Estrella Mountains, flanking desert canyons carved by ancient rivers, is a golf destination far from the landscapes where golf was born but with every bit as much history, culture, and hospitality. Whirlwind Golf Club at Wild Horse Pass pairs the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert with world-class golf and amenities.
The result is a 36-hole resort course that pays tribute to the traditions of both the sport of golf and the culture of the Pima and Maricopa people who steward the land. A round of golf at Whirlwind Golf Club is more than a chance to complete one of two on-site 18-hole championship routes—it is an opportunity for golfers to reflect on the game, replenish their spirits, and remind themselves why they play.
Designed with the Desert in Mind
With two courses to choose from, both with PGA tournament pedigrees, this stunning resort just south of Chandler, Arizona, provides golfers the chance to view how natural terrain and superbly conditioned turf can combine to create golf courses that blend into the surrounding topography, highlighting the stunning and serene vistas the Gila River Indian Community have been viewing for generations.
Course architect Gary Pank, who designed both the Devil’s Claw and Cattail courses, specializes in layouts that focus on balance, harmony, unity, and environment. Whirlwind Golf Club features all of these elements, with gradual elevation changes, carries over manicured desert, and waste areas awash with native species. Tee boxes direct the golfer’s eye toward vistas in every direction and the frequently generous fairways, but the course requires a keen eye, as most greens feature multiple tiers and necessitate precise approach shots for birdie chances.
Two Courses Highlighting a Shared History
Situated on 150 acres of desert south of Phoenix, Whirlwind Golf Club is designed with the comfort of every golfer in mind. For golfers looking to challenge themselves, both Devil’s Claw and Cattail have tee boxes that extend the course to over 7,000 yards. Lower handicappers will find options that test their skills at 5,600 yards or less. Every hole, however, shares a commitment to presenting the history of the Pima and Maricopa people, with translated names that highlight the legends and landmarks that make the Gila River Valley unique.
The sixth and seventh holes, Home of the Wind and Dragonfly Falls respectively, on Devil’s Claw are an excellent case in point. A dogleg par-5, the sixth is framed by the Sierra Estrella mountain range on the horizon and presents desert trouble off the tee—including cottonwood, mesquite, and saguaro cactus. The green on the seventh is a stark contrast, set off by a waterfall and a retaining wall of red Sonoran rock.
Cattail is memorable for reasons all its own, including a long par-4 fourth, named Whitetail Crane, that demands a layup off the tee or a perfectly struck drive over the water hazard. The green is protected by bunkers on the right, demanding golfers reflect on their ability, the course design, and the natural beauty that surrounds them before settling into their shot.
Modern Golf Luxury in Serene Surroundings
In addition to the two world-class golf courses that have hosted PGA events such as the Gila River Golf Classic—with winners including Ben Crane and Lucas Glover—Whirlwind Golf Club offers a fully stocked golf shop, a restaurant and outdoor patio for after-round meals and drinks, a well-appointed clubhouse, and space to host golf outings and charity tournaments. Play for just a round or stay for an afternoon—Whirlwind Golf Club has everything the modern golfer needs to surround themselves in the culture and the comfort that the sport of golf can provide.