Industry News

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club to host 2026 men's NCAA regionals

Course will host 14 collegiate teams, with the top 5 advancing to the 2026 NCAA Championships at La Costa Resort and Spa in San Diego

Maricopa, Ariz. (October 15, 2020) – The NCAA recently announced that Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz. will be a host site for the 2026 Men’s Golf NCAA Regionals. Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, named a “Top 100 Golf Course You Can Play” by Golf Magazine, will be one of six Regional sites in the U.S. with each site hosting 14 collegiate teams. The top five teams from each Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships to be held in 2026 at La Costa Resort and Spa in San Diego, Calif. Exact dates for the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Regionals will be announced at a later date, but the tournament is expected to take place in mid-to-late May 2026.

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz.
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz.

Arizona State University’s Men’s Golf Coach Matt Thurmond was a big advocate for Ak-Chin Southern Dunes to be a Regional site. With the Phoenix area now slated to host the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships in 2021, 2022, and 2023 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, the Sun Devil golf teams are poised for years of home course advantages.

“Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is perfect for Regionals as it is a great test of skill and is always well-conditioned. Plus, Brady Wilson and the team there know how to host big events,” said Thurmond, whose Sun Devil men’s golf team will serve as the host school for the Regional. “Hosting is a big competitive advantage, especially at Regionals. We feel like Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is very much a home course for us.”

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club was designed by Brian Curley and PGA TOUR veteran Fred Couples in 2002. Originally developed as a private club by private investors, the championship Australian Sandbelt-style golf course sits on 320 acres of land that was once a part of the Ak-Chin's May 1912 reservation before it was removed by Presidential Executive Order in late 1912. Nearly 100 years later, in 2010, the Ak-Chin Community recovered its sacred land when it purchased the golf facility and opened the course to public play. The course currently boasts several coveted accolades, including being included on Golfweek’s coveted rankings of the “Top 100 Resort Courses” and “Best Courses You Can Play.”

“It has been, and will continue to be, an honor to work with Coach Thurmond, Sun Devil Men’s Golf and the ASU Athletic Department to bring the 2026 Regionals to Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club,” said Brady Wilson, general manager, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club. “Adding this event on top of the next three years of Nationals being held here in the Valley, Phoenix is clearly becoming the home of college golf.”

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes has played host to numerous major tournaments and events since opening in 2002, serving as an annual U.S. Open qualifying site, host course for the PING Southwest Section PGA Section Championship and several top collegiate men’s and women’s golf tournaments. The course annually hosts top amateurs in the Tucker Amateur in September and the Saguaro Amateur held in early January. Both events are part of the Troon Saguaro Amateur Series, a multi-tournament series providing high-level amateurs a chance to compete throughout the year.

“Part of allure of hosting is the opportunity to build even deeper relationships with Troon, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, The Ak-Chin Indian Community, Maricopa, and ASU.  It takes countless hours and tireless effort to host a great event and doing it together will bring us closer in so many ways.  We can’t wait to work with everyone to build a memorable event,” added Thurmond.

For more information on Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, visit www.akchinsoutherndunes.com.

About The Ak-Chin Indian Community
The Ak-Chin Indian Community is nestled into the Santa Cruz Valley of Southern Arizona. The Community lies 35 miles south of Phoenix in the northwestern part of Pinal County.  Ak-Chin is an O'odham word translated to mean "mouth of the wash" or "place where the wash loses itself in the sand or ground.” Ak-Chin has an enrollment of more than 1,100 tribal members and a land base of just over 22,000 acres. The Ak-Chin Indian Community has a variety of business enterprises including Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle and Santa Cruz Commerce Center. For more information, visit www.ak-chin.nsn.us

About Troon
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club is managed by Troon Golf. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world’s largest golf management company providing services at 435-plus locations around the globe, including managing 470-plus 18-hole equivalent golf courses. In addition to golf, Troon specializes in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues. Troon’s award-winning food and beverage division operates and manages more than 485-plus food and beverage operations located at golf resorts, private clubs, daily fee golf courses and recreational facilities. With properties located in 40-plus states and 30-plus countries, Troon’s family of brands includes Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Troon International, Honours Golf, OB Sports, Green Golf Partners, CADDIEMASTER, True Club Solutions, Cliff Drysdale Tennis and RealFood Hospitality, Strategy and Design. There are currently 67 Troon-affiliated properties featuring 87 golf courses on national and international “Top 100” rankings. Troon-affiliated properties include Gamble Sands in Brewster, Washington; The Virginian and Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards in Bristol, Virginia; Kapalua Golf in Maui, Hawaii; Lofoten Links in Gimsoysand, Norway; and The Els Club Dubai in United Arab Emirates. For additional news and information, visit www.Troon.com.

Media contact:
Rob Myers
Troon
480.477.0506
rmyers@troon.com