Best Public Golf Course, East Side - 2008
Dobson Ranch Golf Course
Dobson Ranch may sound like the name of a private golf club, but it's not. The city of Mesa owns and operates the course. This year, there's no contest in this category: The storied and scenic Papago Golf Course in Phoenix is currently closed for a much-needed $8 million renovation (expect a beautiful new course at the historic Papago when it re-opens in November).
Phoenix's loss is Mesa's gain, for the time being, anyway. Dobson Ranch's championship 18-hole course has been in Arizona longer than many Phoenicians, since 1972 to be specific. That age means the course has its share of mature trees — which give a nice, non-desert feel to portions of the greens and fairways.
Those trees also provide some shade for cheap summer golfing on early, dew-laced mornings. With a summer rate of just $15 for 18 holes of golf, it's tough to beat Dobson Ranch, with its 6,712 yards of fairways. The city of Mesa keeps the Bermuda grass in great shape, and the course offers a driving range.