Desert Mountain

Since 1986 Desert Mountain has become a magnet for snowbirds looking to escape and live the life they’ve always dreamed offering epic views and higher elevations also make it a grand escape for southern and western transplants looking to flee the heat, with the bonus of six Jack Nicklaus-signature golf courses.

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona – While many private golf clubs and golf club communities across the country to struggle, Desert Mountain – the exclusive luxury community and private club here with seven golf courses, 10 restaurants, and an onsite spa – is fortunate to be in a position of strong fiscal health despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Desert Mountain has repeatedly been recognized as a Distinguished Club from Boardroom Magazine and is among the top 100 Platinum Golf and Country Clubs in the world, as well as the only club in Arizona to be ranked in the top 20. It is the only private community with six Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, plus a par-54, 18-hole course, No. 7 at Desert Mountain.

The latest numbers:

– More than 100 new members have been added this year across all categories, including golf, lifestyle, and junior legacy.

– Nearly 100,000 member rounds of golf have been played, up 33 percent year over year.

-Coming off 2019’s all-time record for custom-home sales volume of over $225 million, the community’s real estate sales are on track to surpass this with 78 custom home closings ($174,923, 892) since January; 24 additional sales are currently pending.

– Maintained full staff of 700 employees throughout the pandemic, with no layoffs or furloughs

Desert Mountain features 8,000 acres of high-desert landscape showcased on miles of trails ideal for hiking, biking, or horseback riding. More than 20 miles of hiking trails are covered by the proprietary Interactive Trail Guide – a touch-screen monitor at the trailhead – that directs hikers and riders off the beaten track and along edges of the Continental Mountains, among the desert’s mysteries, and through a river basin bursting with color at nearly 4,000 feet.

A lifestyle at Desert Mountain includes pickleball, introductory yoga, a culinary clinic, watercolor art, or mountain hiking, meditation and your choice of six Jack Nicklaus-signtaure golf courses.

More natural wonders are nearby, such as Lost Dutchman State Park, Phoenix Mountain Preserve, a choice of regional parks, and even the 2.9 million acres of Tonto National Forest: The largest national forest in Arizona, and seventh largest in the country, is Desert Mountain’s ruggedly beautiful next-door neighbor, filled with history, activity, variety, and, yes, beautiful stretches of water.

“We are often asked about everything within Desert Mountain, but one of the many surprising delights of our area is our proximity to some of Arizona’s most impressive water wonderlands,” said Damon DiOrio, Desert Mountain Club’s CEO. “Bartlett Lake is just 30 minutes east of the community, a playground for boating, fishing, paddle boarding and a host of water activities. Blue Wash Hiking Trail is just a 10-minute drive east of the community, and is home to a seasonally active waterfall. Not many people think of the desert as a place for wakeboarding and tubing, but we have it in abundance and our members treasure it.”

Another of Desert Mountain’s charms is its year-round accessibility. Sitting from 2,400 up to 4,500 feet high and above nearby Phoenix creates an eight- to 10-degree variation that makes all the difference when the golf courses and other outdoor activities beckon. And it’s an easy drive to the still-higher elevations of high-desert destinations such as Flagstaff, Sedona, and Payson, each of which offer their own range of amenities, along with lower temperatures, great for beating the summer heat and for some excellent winter skiing.

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career includes covering Major League Baseball, the NFL and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the web site for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California. He lives in Delray Beach, Fla, and can be reached at

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