Wigwam Named One of Top 25 Historic Hotels of America’s Most Historic Golf Courses
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The Wigwam Resort’s three 18-hole golf courses – Gold, Blue and Red – were recently named to the prestigious 2022 Top 25 Historic Hotels of America’s Most Historic Golf Courses. The golf courses named to the 2022 Top 25 Historic Golf Courses list are a collection of the most beautiful, prestigious, and iconic golf courses where many champions have learned to play golf, competed, and made history.
The Wigwam’s golf tradition began in 1930 when Scottish gardener Jacques Phillip designed and dug the resort’s original 9-hole golf course. The resort had opened a year earlier and was first operated by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, which had created the complex as a vacation destination for its high-ranking executives. Phillip knew that Goodyear executives enjoyed the game, so he used his tractor to build them a golf course. The tee boxes, fairways, and greens were all made of sand with thick oil on the greens to keep the sand from blowing away. It wasn’t until the early 1940s, under the direction of the club’s then head professional Vernon Oren “Red” Allen, that the course was expanded to 18-holes, grassed and planted with large shade trees.
The Wigwam remained an 18-hole golf course until the early 1960s, when Allen convinced Robert Trent Jones, Sr. to design and build the Gold and Blue Courses. The Gold and Blue Courses opened for play in 1965, while The Wigwam’s Red Course, named after Allen, was added in 1974 completing the 54-hole golf facility guests enjoy today.
The first foursome to play the 18-hole course in the early 1940s included professional golfers Jimmy Thomson, Horton Smith, Lawson Little, and Allen. Little won the U.S. Open in 1940, and Smith won the first Masters tournament in 1934 (and again in 1936). Other notable players that The Wigwam hosted over the years include Clint Eastwood and PGA TOUR stars Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, and Bryson DeChambeau.
Historic Hotels of America annually recognizes the Top 25 Most Historic Golf Courses. 2022 marks the second straight year The Wigwam has been honored on the Historic Golf Courses list. The Wigwam is the only Phoenix-area golf resort to be honored and is one of only two Arizona golf facilities to make the prestigious list.