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If you’ve ever taken a look at the Awards and Accolades section of or stopped to gander at the two large framed posters next to the golf shop and the We-Ko-Pa Grille, you’ve probably noticed our two courses have racked up numerous awards and special distinctions. Most of the reasoning behind the adoration from traditional golf publications like Golfweek, Golf Digest, LINKS magazine and is We-Ko-Pa Golf Club’s extraordinary attention to detail, perfect playing conditions at all times and a warm climate lending itself to year-round golf. In fact, our friends at Golfweek love We-Ko-Pa so much their group of raters ranked the Saguaro course as the No. 1 best course you can play in Arizona 11 of the last 12 years. And to celebrate, Golfweek brought out a few dozen of their golf course raters to the Scottsdale desert for the annual Golfweek Rater Match Play Event – hosted by We-Ko-Pa Golf Club.

This year’s Rater Match Play Event pits 24 golfers in four 9-hole matches followed by two 18-hole matches between the top four competitors and a consolation bracket for those outside the money. It’s a lot of golf in such a short amount of time, but that’s what it takes when a $400 Golfweek swag bag is on the line. The competition is fierce, but friendly and more about fun than burying the opposition. Plus, they got to play two of Arizona’s best golf courses in extraordinary weather – common for winter in Scottsdale. Can’t beat that.

Golfweek sends its raters all over the country to play hundreds of golf courses ranging from local municipal courses to some of the biggest names in golf. Obviously, our friends at Golfweek can’t rate every single golf course in the country, but with 700 raters in the program they can get awful close. And you might be thinking “what is the difference between a No. 1 course like Saguaro and a top-25 golf course? Can they really be that different?” The short answer is yes. Holding a No. 1 rating for a decade and another top-10 position in the same time frame like Cholla is hard work and requires immeasurable commitment to excellence. But the rater program isn’t based on where a course ranked before and is certainly not solely based on the opinion of the raters. In fact, there is a strict, 10-point rating system in place to ensure consistency among the raters and their evaluations including the routing, quality of shaping, local flora and fauna, hole memorability, course conditioning and more. But the biggest rating point is the last – aptly named the “walk in the park” test – which simply measures whether or not the golf course is worth the time it takes to play. And with no homes, roads, noise or any other distractions, you can bet We-Ko-Pa Golf Club passes the final test with flying colors.