ABOUT DESERT FOREST
the first desert course ever built
transformed the face of the game.
now, it’s even better.
IN 1962, Desert Forest’s bold new design transformed the face of golf in the american southwest.
Many consider our acclaimed Robert “Red” Lawrence design to be the first desert course ever built. Lawrence was a founding member and president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects.
Red Lawrence made history when he broke ground at Desert Forest. It is not just the first "desert links" course in America; it remains a unique challenge in what has become a prolific, often mediocre genre.
Architect Robert "Red" Lawrence's evocation of classic strategic playing principles in the Sonoran foothills continues to be much more than a conventional course.
FROM THE DESERT FOREST ARCHIVES
Real estate visionaries Tom Darlington and K.T. Palmer founded the town of Carefree with Desert Forest Golf Course at its heart.
EARLY COURSE DRAWING
Desert Forest Golf Club drawing from October 1961. Shows all the original bunkers.
In 2013, the golf course underwent a $3 million renovation
Led by architect David Zinkand, a longtime associate of the Coore/Crenshaw design firm. The renovation added tee boxes, improved sightlines from tee boxes, brought Desert Forest’s greens up to modern standards and updated bunkering to provide additional strategic challenge and visual tie-ins to the surrounding desert.