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December 12th, 2018

Longtime Phoenix Golf Icon Moves Teaching Operation from ASU Karsten to Papago

PHOENIX – Scott Watkins, longtime Phoenix-area professional golfer and golf instructor, recently moved his teaching operation from ASU Karsten Golf Course to Papago Golf Course, where he will serve as a PGA Golf Instructor. The change marks a homecoming for Watkins, who learned the game at Papago under the tutelage of his father, Arch, the club’s first head professional from 1963 to 1981.

“My dad started as a golf instructor at Arizona Country Club in 1960 before moving to Papago in 1963,” said Scott. “Likewise, I also taught at Arizona Country Club, and now I am thrilled to return to Papago. Only difference is, I made a stop at ASU Karsten in between.”

With the foundation built under the astute guidance of his father, Watkins’ competitive career began at Scottsdale’s Coronado High School where he led the golf team to three state championships. He earned both Pac-10 Player of the Year and First-Team All-American honors in 1979 as a Sun Devil (1975 to 1979) before breaking into the PGA TOUR at 22 years old in 1980. Through 1984, Watkins made 34 cuts in 90 events with a T18 career best in 1982 at the Bay Hill Classic.

After realizing tour life wasn’t for him, Watkins retuned to Phoenix to begin a career as an instructor, while still competing in PGA Southwest Section tournaments. He won the Southwest Section Championship four times and the Arizona Open once. These successes came with exemptions into PGA TOUR tournaments in Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas. From 1997 to 2002, Watkins entered 15 events, made three cuts and finished with a T64 performance in the Tucson Open, his last tournament on tour.

“My brother and I grew up playing City of Phoenix courses,” said Daryl Crawford, general manager of Papago Golf Course. “Papago was the place to play with people like Scott and Arch Watkins, Billy Mayfair, Heather and Missy Farr. It’s encouraging to see Papago reemerge as the hub of golf in the Valley of the Sun. Arch Watkins was a big part of Papago’s prestige, and Scott’s return reinforces this in a personal and historic way.”

In 1991, Arch Watkins (1925-1995) was recognized as the Southwest Section PGA Teacher of the Year, an honor Scott would duplicate in 1994. A year later in 1995, Arch earned the Southwest PGA Anser Award honoring individuals who positively influenced the history of golf in Arizona. And in 2009, Arch Watkins was inducted into the Southwest Section PGA Hall of Fame.
To schedule a lesson with Scott Watkins, please call (602) 330-4217, or reach him by email at And to reserve your next starting time at Papago Golf Course, visit or call (602) 275-8428.
About Papago Golf Course
Designed by William Francis “Billy” Bell, Papago Golf Course opened in 1963 as a crown jewel of the City of Phoenix’s municipal portfolio. It hosted the 1971 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and incubated some of Arizona’s most recognizable talent. In 2008, the par-72, 7,333-yard layout underwent a renovation to restore and enhance Bell’s original work in time to host the 2009 J Golf Phoenix LPGA International. And recently, through a public/private partnership between the City of Phoenix, Arizona State University and the Arizona Golf Community Foundation, the club opened a new clubhouse, restaurant, upgraded public practice facilities and a private practice facility for ASU Golf teams. Papago sits on the borders of Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale, surrounded by the Papago Buttes less than two miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. For more information, visit or call (602) 275-8428.

About OB Sports
Papago Golf Course is professionally managed by OB Sports Golf Management, a diversified, golf-oriented company with a long history of success in the golf industry. OB Sports currently manages around 65 premier golf courses and country clubs throughout the United States, while expanding its international footprint to include Royal Blue Golf Club at Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas, and Dumbarnie Golf Links in Fife, Scotland. Known for its comprehensive and personalized services since 1972, OB Sports has become widely acclaimed as the leader in boutique-style golf course management. Named a Top 100 Business in Golf by the National Golf Foundation in 2018, visit to get more information, or call (480) 948-1300. Become a Fan of OB Sports on Facebook, follow OB Sports on Twitter, or visit the OB Sports YouTube channel.


David Bataller | (480) 948-1300

Jeff Locke | (480) 348-7540