Industry News

Desert Highlands to host 2021 USTA Southwest Grass Court Classic

Top-rated tennis event dubbed ‘Wimbledon of the Southwest’ to feature elite players

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.)Desert Highlands – the acclaimed luxury golf club and community in the stunning Sonoran Desert of North Scottsdale – will host the Desert Highlands USTA Southwest Grass Court Classic  through June 6.

The tennis event, often considered the “Wimbledon of the Southwest,” attracts players from the USTA Southwest section and other sections in the U.S. interested in the rare opportunity to play on grass. The tournament is the first of four Adult Slam Series surface championship events on the USTA Southwest circuit.

The Desert Highlands Racquet Club, which boasts 13 tennis courts featuring all three Grand Slam surfaces (grass, clay and hard), has been the tournament’s only host since its inception in 2012 (there was no event in 2020). The venue also played host to the 2015 USPTA Grass Court Surface Championship, and was a finalist for a 2006 Davis Cup tie and the 2013 Federation Cup tie. Noted ATP player Nick Kyrgios considers Desert Highlands’ grass courts “better than Wimby [Wimbledon].”

“We are excited to once again host this exceptional tennis event and showcase our world-class venue to players from across the region and country,” says Robin Scott, Director of Racquet Sports at Desert Highlands. “There’s just something special about playing tennis on grass, and our Racquet Club makes this unique experience even more memorable.”


The six-day tournament boasts more than 200 players across 26 divisions. In 2018, the USTA Southwest Section honored the Desert Highlands Southwest Grass Court Classic with its Outstanding Tournament Enrichment Award. The Phoenix section of the USTA also bestowed the tournament with this award in 2019.

Desert Highlands’ energetic lifestyle consistently draws discerning families and active Boomers in equal measure – tennis enthusiasts, golfers, pet lovers, and health and wellness enthusiasts. A full social calendar allows residents to fully enjoy this peaceful community.

A year ago, the Racquet Club added two regulation-size pickleball courts. Built by Scottsdale-based Custom Courts, Inc., each two-tone green pickleball court is about a quarter of the size of a tennis court. A waiting and seating area is located next to the entry gate, and the Desert Highlands Racquet Club locker rooms and amenities are easily accessible from the courts.

This past October, Desert Highlands unveiled Jack’s, a lively gastropub inside the clubhouse named after legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, who also designed the club’s award-winning golf course. Led by award-winning architect Erik B. Peterson of PHX Architecture, Jack’s is a high-energy gathering space that diversifies Desert Highlands’ dining options. Earlier this month, Golf, Inc. Magazine awarded Jack’s its coveted Golden Fork Award in the New Private Club category.

Also, Desert Highlands ranked among the top-15 of ‘Platinum Clubs of America’ golf clubs for 2021-22 by the Club Leaders Forum, a leading source in the private club industry and publisher of The Forum Magazine. The club finished 14th overall in these rankings, and was the only golf club in Arizona to be listed in the top-25.

Stretching to over 7,100 yards, the Desert Highlands golf course re-opened in 2019 after a $7 million renovation project that included refurbishing every bunker, restoring the 13th hole to its original design, installing a new irrigation system and updating cart paths. The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course offers a challenging, but fair test, and striking views of Pinnacle Peak and the lights of the Valley spread across the horizon in the distance below. Desert Highlands was Nicklaus’ first design in Arizona, and immediately set the bar for desert golf experiences, not only in Scottsdale but statewide and nationwide.

In addition, Desert Highlands boasts a 7,700-square-foot Wellness Center, an 18-hole professionally designed putting course and a spacious dog park. Inside, the club provides residents peace of mind with an upgraded state-of-the-art security system, professionally trained security personnel, visitor control and access, and other protection amenities. Among the acclaimed residential services that truly pamper residents and meet their specific needs – shipping and transportation assistance, pool and spa maintenance, auto detailing and other customized services.

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About Desert Highlands
Scottsdale's premier private community and club, Desert Highlands melds Sonoran Desert luxury with world-class golf, tennis, dining and residential services. Located just 30 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Desert Highlands is easily accessible for second and vacation homeowners. It is only minutes away from famed Old Town Scottsdale and its myriad shops, restaurants and art galleries. Homes (all resale) range from $1 million to over $6 million, and feature architecturally adapted styles and systems for life in America's most vibrant desert. A residential remodel program offers investors the opportunity to have the membership fee waived during the period in which they are restoring / upgrading their investment property. The club’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course is considered one of the best layouts in Arizona, and hosted the first two Skins Games back in 1983-84.

Robert Rodriguez (210.441.0952)