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The private golf community of Desert Highlands set the standard for all residential golf communities in the state as it was the very first community to be ever be built around a country club. There are 560 home sites scattered across 850 acres, but half of Desert Highlands’ land has been set aside to remain undeveloped so to preserve the integrity and natural beauty of Pinnacle Peak Mountain and the surrounding Sonoran Desert. A variety of amenities are conveniently located just outside Desert Highlands’ main, 24-hour manned guard gate: stores, restaurants, banks, medical facilities and schools are minutes away, and Scottsdale’s Old town, cultural district and sports arenas are just a short drive further.

Real Estate

While most of Desert Highlands’ homes are custom builds, there are 2 semi-custom neighborhoods within the community: The Heights and the Hillside Villa Estates. Development began in the mid-1980’s, but a few custom homes continue to be built today. There are also a few vacant lots still available for purchase.

Desert Highlands Golf Club

This championship course is 7,108 yards from the tips. Designed by Jack Nicklaus’ development group, the par-72, 18-hole golf course conserves water by using turf to create a ‘target-golf’ effect. The Desert Highlands course is also the very first one to be played by the ‘ultimate foursome’: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson.The course also features an 18-hole putting course. Membership to the club is restricted to residents, as membership is automatic with property ownership in Desert Highlands. Members of Desert Highlands can also enjoy a 7,000 square foot fitness and wellness center, where members can attend fitness classes, consult a personal trainer and receive nutrition consulting, a swimming pool, and a clubhouse restaurant. There is also a thirteen grass and hard surface tennis court complex (which has four clay courts, four grass courts, three hard surface Laykold courts and two Nova Pro Bounce courts) at members’ disposal.


Most school-aged children within the Desert Highlands community generally attend these schools in the Cave Creek Unified School District: Desert Sun Academy, Sonoran Trails Middle School and Cactus Shadows High School.

Desert Highlands is

  • 9 miles away from the Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital
  • 5 minutes away from Pinnacle Peak and Tom’s Thumb Trail Heads
  • 15 minutes away from the Loop 101 Freeway
  • 20 minutes away from the Scottsdale Airport
  • 45 minutes away from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)