Desert Highlands re-opens its Nicklaus Course after $7 million renovation project

Desert Highlands – a luxury golf club and community in the Sonoran Desert of North Scottsdale – has re-opened its Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course following a $7 million renovation project.

The project, which began this past April, included renovating every bunker, restoring the 13th hole to its original design, installing a new irrigation system and updating cart paths.


The new bunkers feature a state-of-the-art drainage system and Capillary Concrete, which was employed for optimal drainage and reduction of wash-outs during inclement weather. Bunker Solution linings were implemented to the bunker faces to prevent sand contamination and to reduce migration while maintaining design characteristics. Each were filled with sand that complements the Sonoran Desert landscape.

Jon Garner, a consultant for Nicklaus Design, directed the renovations of the par-4, 13th hole. The two feature landing areas present the ultimate “risk-and-reward” options. The right side requires a long and precise tee shot. The wider option on the left offers a shorter carry and more options for the approach. A small greenside bunker was reclaimed on the front left, culminating the restoration of Nicklaus’ original intent.

The project also included installing a new irrigation system to help maintain Desert Highlands’ course conditions, and restoring the cart paths throughout the layout.

“We are thrilled to re-open the golf course to the members, and look forward to the feedback regarding the enhancements,” said General Manager Monty Becton. “The project will greatly enrich the golf experience at Desert Highlands, while also restoring characteristics to Mr. Nicklaus’s original vision and intent.”

Stretching to over 7,100 yards, the course has striking views of Pinnacle Peak and the lights of the Valley spread across the horizon in the distance below. Desert Highlands was the first Jack Nicklaus design in Arizona.

In addition to golf, Desert Highlands’ Racquet Club sports 13 tennis courts featuring all three Grand Slam surfaces – grass, clay and hard. The Racquet Club also annually hosts one of the premier tennis tournaments found anywhere – the USTA Southwest Grass Court Classic. Noted ATP player Nick Kyrgios considers Desert Highlands’ grass courts “better than Wimby [Wimbledon].”

Desert Highlands also has a 7,700-square-foot Wellness Center, an 18-hole professionally designed putting course and a spacious dog park.

Feature Photo Credit: Troon Real Estate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *