Aspen Valley is a private, 18-hole, member-owned golf club nestled in the ponderosa pine forest of Flagstaff. Designed around the iconic Rio De Flag just east of downtown, the 6,889-yard layout showcases the rolling topography of the site along with unfettered views of nearby Mount Elden in the foreground and the San Francisco Peaks in the distance.
Since its founding in 1993, the Aspen Valley membership has been focused building a culture that celebrates the traditions of golf. No frills. No pomp. No circumstance. Just a well-designed, well-maintained golf course that’s easy to walk, and enough food & beverage to complement the round. It’s a simple formula but it works incredibly well.
For many years the club has been at its capacity of 400 members. That said, each year a limited number of memberships become available for purchase. To learn more about whether membership might be a fit for you, please visit our Membership page for further information.
While Aspen Valley was founded in its current form in 1993 (see the History section below), the course was originally constructed nearly a half-century ago and was routed before housing was a consideration. The result is a layout which utilizes the best aspects of the site without any compromises. Holes move left and right, up and down, with a variety of distances and orientations. The result is a course which is both visually stunning and imminently playable.
The elevation in Flagstaff provides an ideal growing environment, so the course is lush and green from late spring through early fall. Bentgrass greens are a luxury rarely provided in the Valley, but they are fast and true all summer long at Aspen Valley.
A majority of the golf course is lined by tall ponderosa pines, framing tee shots and approaches in a way only provided by mountain golf. When the holes do traverse the meadows, the tests created by trees are replaced by natural wetlands. Importantly though, the design does an effective job of challenging the accomplished player while still accommodating the novice.
The Aspen Valley clubhouse is a throwback to an earlier time. Some might call it small, but those who know appreciate the charm of a space that isn’t big for the sake of being big.
The bar & restaurant sit directly adjacent to the golf shop, practice green, and first tee, meaning that even while you’re enjoying a cold drink or a nice meal, you’re never far away from the golf action. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear great opening drives rewarded with praise and other shots, well, they elicit a reaction from the diners as well.
A majority of the seating is outdoors under the towering ponderosas, but there is plenty of room inside if you want to watch the game. For most of the summer, the doors are wide open and members are traversing from table-to-table connecting with friends.
Aspen Valley is a private club owned and operated by its members, about half of whom live in Flagstaff year-round and half of whom come seasonally to enjoy the club. There are 400 memberships in total, all of which are currently issued. Each year a small number of memberships become available for resale, and those resales happen through the club. In 2020, we have been able to welcome about twenty new member families to the club.
Membership includes privileges for either a single member or the family (spouse and children 23 and younger). A limited number of trial memberships are currently being issued to allow prospective members to preview the club. If you would like to learn more about membership, please visit our Membership page for more details.
Each club has a story all its own, but the history of Aspen Valley is truly distinct. The golf course was originally created in 1973 as part of a larger, 36-hole project that included Continental Golf Course and what was then called Elden Hills Golf Course. In hindsight, the project was a bit ambitious for its time, and after some notable ownership changes (including a group involving the the infamous Charles Keating at one point), an opportunity was presented to the “regulars” at Elden Hills: if they could gather the money, they could buy the golf course, convert it to a private club, and re-open with a new vision, a new direction.
To make a long and very interesting story short, in 1993 a group of 315 charter members each contributed $7,000 and the current iteration of Aspen Valley was born. Since that time, the club has grown to its cap of 400 members and basically stayed there. The club shares a golf maintenance company with the neighboring Continental Golf Course, an arrangement which benefits both facilities by nearly doubling the resources which can be dedicated to equipment, staff, and necessary agronomic resources. Beyond that, the club is owned and operated by the members, under the direction of an annually elected board.
There are many charter members from 1993 who remain today, and they will tell you that the club has largely lived a charmed life. There have, of course, been challenges along the way, but the compelling layout, highly desirable location, and committed series of boards have allowed the club to be as strong today as it was when it was formed nearly three decades ago.
There is a misconception among many in the Valley that golf in Flagstaff is unattainable. Between the relative lack of public golf and the high price tag of most of the private golf communities here, many who care about the game and who want to escape the heat in the summer feel boxed out. Similarly, there are Flagstaff locals who can be made to feel like “strangers in their own homes” because of the proliferation of the luxury gated golf communities which seem to grab all the attention. Aspen Valley and the surrounding community are evidence that private mountain golf is available to those beyond the top 1%. As you can learn by visiting our Membership page, the club fees are very accessible to someone seriously considering private golf as an option.
Furthermore, the homes around what is commonly called the “country club area” are very reasonably priced. If you are considering membership at Aspen Valley you may also be considering owning a home in the area, and we encourage you to look around – you may be surprised to see what you find. And if you’d like assistance in the process, there are numerous members in the club who are realtors, and we’d be happy to make in introduction if it is of assistance. You may contact our team using the information below.
“ I can't believe this place has been here for 50 years - how did I not know about it sooner?! ”
“ To play a small role in this club’s history is one of the true joys of my life. ”
“ There is a real charm to Aspen Valley that extends beyond the golf. The people are just down-to-earth and easy to know. ”