ASU Karsten Thrives Despite Rumors

Tempe’s 7,002-yard Pete Dye design is still earning rave reviews

Hole #4 is a ‘Thinking Man’s Hole’ for making that birdie.

Before the question is even asked, ASU Karsten Golf Course General Manager Derek Crawford has the same answer he’s given hundreds, if not thousands of times over the past few years, ready to go.

“Yes, we’re open, and no, I don’t know if, or when, we’re closing,” Crawford said with a smile on his face. “It’s really a shame, because the course is not only a local favorite, but it’s in great shape and our Trophy Room restaurant is still serving the same delicious food it always has. Our golf community needs to know this!”

If a local major newspaper is to be believed, ASU Karsten has been facing imminent closure for the past half-dozen years. And now with rumors swirling daily about a proposed new arena being built on the home of the Arizona State University golf programs, golfers aren’t sure what to believe.

“I honestly don’t know what the future holds, because there are multiple scenarios that have realistic chances at playing out,” said Crawford. “But for the foreseeable future, not only are we open, but we’re chomping at the bit to show you why ASU Karsten has been a staple of the Valley golfing for 28 years.”

So while social media’s clever #KarstenWhileYouCan isn’t necessarily misleading, it isn’t going anywhere, either. Tempe’s 7,002-yard Pete Dye design is still earning rave reviews in post-round surveys, with players commenting, “The condition and design of the course was great,” and “Love the layout and course conditions,” in late January alone.

“We had a very good overseed and have had a lot of positive feedback about the course conditions,” Crawford explained. “[ASU Karsten Head Superintendent] Tom Regan and his staff really do an incredible job of keeping the course looking great all year-round”

The staff at ASU Karsten are gearing up for a busy spring season, spearheaded by what has turned into a local favorite: The Loop 202 Golf Trail. After a successful inaugural run in December, and an equally busy “Winter Edition” in January, the course has again paired up with Papago Golf Course in Phoenix and Mesa’s Longbow Golf Club for a “Spring Training Edition.”

Players will experience three distinct variations of desert golf, and get a $10 food and beverage voucher to the restaurant of each course, for just $299. With each golf course located less than a half-mile from the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway, as well as just minutes from a handful of Spring Training venues, the “Spring Training edition” figures to be a home run – pun intended. 

“As we all know, in the months of February and March, our Valley turns into Spring Training Central,” said Crawford. “So we wanted to come up with the best golf package in the state and gear it toward baseball fans.”

But the Loop 202 Golf Trail isn’t just for locals. Out-of-towners coming to Arizona to check out their favorite baseball teams before the regular season begins have a hotel option that is right in the middle of all the action. The Hilton Homewood Suites at Tempe Marketplace has partnered with the golf courses to provide an unbeatable rate for Spring Training, offering a two-night stay in addition to the three rounds of golf for just $699, plus hotel taxes.

“When you think about the fact that some of these local hotels are asking for $300 a night during Spring Training, you really can’t beat it,” said Crawford. “ASU Karsten, Papago, Longbow, the Hilton Homewood Suites and Spring Training all together? Sounds like a memorable trip to me.”

To learn more about the Loop 202 Golf Trail – “Spring Training Edition”, visit or call Derek Crawford directly at 480. 784.4837 with any questions. Just don’t ask him if ASU Karsten is still open – hopefully that has been answered by now.