This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Where Cave Creek is in Phoenix, Arizona


One of my favorite golf courses in Phoenix is Cave Creek. If you're like me, and can hit them hard, but just not very accurately, and have played this course, you know why I like it. It's a big golf course that was built over a landfill, and Cave Creek runs right through the center of it.

Now, waitaminute, it's not anywhere near Cave Creek Road, or the town of Cave Creek. It's at Cave Creek, at 19th Avenue between Thunderbird and Greenway. You know, the creek, which flows just west of Shaw Butte and continues on until it ends at the Arizona Canal. Take a look at Google Earth and it shows up very clearly. Of course, it isn't a real creek, like the kind I knew in Minnesota, it's just a wash. So, water flows in there during rainy times, and flows down to the Diversion Channel, out through Skunk Creek, and on to the Agua Fria River. But, technically, it's a water hazard, so you can do a drop. Trust me, I've hit quite a few balls into Cave Creek!


If you like Phoenix history, you know that terrible flooding of Cave Creek plagued the city from territorial times until fairly recently, when the Diversion Channel was completed in 1994. To the credit of the Maricopa County Flood Control Engineers, very few people that I meet nowadays know anything about how bad it was. Apparently, on a regular basis the creek would flood, overflow the Arizona Canal, and just generally make a mess of the west side of Phoenix. In the 1921 image above, you can see Shaw Butte just to the right, and the modern location of my favorite golf course, Cave Creek. For reference, Metrocenter Mall is just to the west of Cave Creek, on the other side of the I-17 Freeway.

1921 article about flooding of Cave Creek

Image at the top of this post - Cave Creek Golf Course. The view is looking east towards Shaw Butte.



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