5 things I loved about the Westin Kierland Golf Club in Scottsdale

From beautifully manicured fairways, a brisk pace of play and the best post-round sandwich ever, Kierland GC has a lot to offer.


Welcome to our Where I Played series, in which a GOLF employee plays through a final day of a course you may play in the future. On this occasion, we’re hitting the Westin Kierland Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

It was an unseasonably cold day in Arizona while I was playing at the Westin Kierland Golf Club last week. Low 50’s, clouds, wind – not a day most locals would tee off on.

But as a mother of two young children, my golfing days are limited. So if they’re both in school and I’ve booked a tee time, you can bet I’ll keep it!

And my golf course of choice was Kierland – a fabulous 27-hole course (Acacia, Ironwood and Mesquite nines) that is part of the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale.

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Jessica Marksbury

For out-of-towners looking for a base in Scottsdale, the resort is a great choice. The location is fantastic: walking distance to the local shopping and dining meccas of Kierland Commons and the Scottsdale Quarter. And not only is there great golf locally, you’re also close to TPC Scottsdale, McDowell Mountain and Grayhawk – enough golf to fill a week.

Last fall I wrote about how I played my first solo round ever and coincidentally it only took me a few more months to play my second because I went out as a walking single in Kierland and the Acacia and played Ironwood Nine. Despite the “cold” – a relative term for us Arizonans, I know! — It was a positive experience. Below are the five things I loved most about my round.



Friendly environments off the fairway help land balls on miss shots near the fairway.

Jessica Marksbury



Green bunkers are one of the course’s main defenses.

Jessica Marksbury



The final hole on the Acacia Nine is a stunner with the resort in the distance.

Jessica Marksbury

5 things I loved most about my round at the Westin Kierland GC

Hassle free range

I love the idea of ​​all inclusive green fees. A tee time at the Westin Kierland doesn’t come cheap (during peak season, weekday morning tee times are about $230), but the fact that range balls are included in the rate mitigates the sting a bit. It’s really nice to be able to just walk onto the range where balls are already waiting instead of having to buy and pick up a warm up bag yourself which you then have to get ready. I just want some swings! (It’s the little things.)

Easy walk

Now that I’ve discovered the joy of running with a handcart, I really appreciate a course that’s ideal for an easy walk. Kierland fits the bill. There are a few significant climbs from the green to the tee to get your heart pumping, but overall it’s a smooth, pleasant walk.

Friendly design

Kierland is resort golf with a capital “R”. Case in point: The punchbowl style surrounds the fairway on the first hole. As I hooked my opening drive, the ball flew straight into what appeared to be a no-man’s-land desert scrub on the left, only to roll out and pop up at the edge of the fairway. Damn yes! This is friendly golf. The fairways are generous and the greens are a good size. The course’s main defenses are deep green bunkers and hard-to-read putting surfaces. Otherwise, you won’t find much trouble…unless you really deserve it.

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game pace

As a single I never expected to have a fast day on the course but I was pleasantly surprised. I followed a four for most of the Acacia Nine and tried to avoid them, but ended up playing them through on the par 3 eighth. Then I went through another four on my 10th tee (Ironwood’s 1st tee) and that was it. I followed a two that followed a four for the rest of the lap and felt relaxed. I finished in 3:25 and felt good about it.

Lunch by the fireplace

Since I played through the second group at the turn, I rushed a bit and never had the chance to visit the Halfway House. Needless to say, I was famished by the time I finished my loop. I went to the Brittlebush Bar & Grill, the site’s warm and welcoming restaurant. The fire crackled in the fireplace – bliss after the cold round. What should I order? Everything on the menu sounded good. My friendly waiter suggested the Green Chile Pork Grilled Cheese: Mezcal Green Chile Pork, Menonita Cheese, Sourdough Bread, Green Chili Dip Sauce. And let me tell you, it’s one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. Paired with onion rings and a side of chipotle aioli, it was heaven on a plate.

Needless to say I can’t wait to go back.


Golf.com photographer

As a four-year-old member of Columbia’s first class of female collegiate golfers, Jessica can outperform anyone on the pole top. She can also overtake them in the office, where she is primarily responsible for producing print and online features and overseeing large special projects such as the first style issue of GOLF, which was released in February 2018. Her original interview series, A Round With, debuted in November 2015 and has appeared in both magazine and video form on GOLF.com.

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Ian Walker

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