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Old 01-15-2008, 11:39 PM   #1
ArcticKnight
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Golf in Phoenix

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Originally Posted by tuq View Post
I'm fairly sure the value of a Vegas golf course is inversely proportional to its distance from the strip.

Speaking of which, several years ago a friend and I played a round at a course called Desert Pines. It was overlaid on what I believe was a city park in a pretty crappy part of town east of the strip and adjacent to I-515. But the course was nice, it reminded me almost exactly of the Raven golf course here in town - lots of pine trees and pine straw between holes.

One bizarre thing, albeit probably not intentional, is that the foliage was so thick between holes that you could never take your cart off the hole you were on. There was even a point where there was a criss-cross between holes and there was actually a bridge built so they didn't cross. Maybe not intentional but it reminded me of Autopia at Disneyland - cars built on a rail so all you could do is basically go straight ahead. Fun course though, a little tight as if they didn't quite have enough room, but still a good time.


Hey Tuq. Off topic, but what the heck -- this is slow and friendly forum...

You are in Phoenix, right? I played Johnson's Ranch south of Mesa about 4 years ago. It was rather new, really good price (75$), long from the back tees, and a good layout. My buddies and I were guessing this is probably pretty pricey now. Do you know of this course?
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:56 PM   #2
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Re: Vegas Golf Recs?

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Hey Tuq. Off topic, but what the heck -- this is slow and friendly forum...

You are in Phoenix, right? I played Johnson's Ranch south of Mesa about 4 years ago. It was rather new, really good price (75$), long from the back tees, and a good layout. My buddies and I were guessing this is probably pretty pricey now. Do you know of this course?
I know *of* it. I didn't realize how effing far it was down there until about a month ago, when I played a new course in Florence, which is a few miles past there, and we drove past JR on our way back.

The new course is in an Anthem development and is called Poston Butte. I really don't know how good JR is and haven't heard much, but PB is so damned far down there (one hour from my place in Central Phoenix with light traffic, literally halfway to Tucson) that even though it's managed by Troon Golf they were giving it away in December: $60 all you could play + lunch or $40 all you could play after noon + lunch. I don't know what Johnson Ranch gets these days nor how much the rates went up at Poston Butte since the new year, but these fringe tracks are always more reasonable because of geography. I will say though it's a nice course and I hope to play it again. Also, the goddamned sprawl in that area is ridiculous.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:20 AM   #3
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Re: Vegas Golf Recs?

thx tuq. We were not cheap, but thought the Scottsdale tracks were way too pricey. We had fun at Apache Creek, Superstition Springs?, etc. Thx again.
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:02 PM   #4
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Re: Vegas Golf Recs?

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thx tuq. We were not cheap, but thought the Scottsdale tracks were way too pricey. We had fun at Apache Creek, Superstition Springs?, etc. Thx again.
If you play in season and have no connections (i.e. a tourist) then those are the types of courses you'll play for <$100. Sort of the mid-tier daily fee which is better than most municipal courses but not the type of place that gives you a yardage guide and range balls with your greens fee. They're not bad, they're not great, but they're almost certainly a better value than the $240 rack rate at Troon North. Unless you're leveraging a last minute service like www.golfnow.com or have purchased a package at various courses then it can be a pricey game to be sure...
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:40 PM   #5
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Re: Vegas Golf Recs?

Played out there yesterday. The course reminds me of another Del Webb course - Corte Bella. Pretty wide open and the only difference was the length.

Will probably play Johnson Ranch when I have the chance.

For the money in the Phoenix area, Vistancia seems like a really good value.

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I know *of* it. I didn't realize how effing far it was down there until about a month ago, when I played a new course in Florence, which is a few miles past there, and we drove past JR on our way back.

The new course is in an Anthem development and is called Poston Butte. I really don't know how good JR is and haven't heard much, but PB is so damned far down there (one hour from my place in Central Phoenix with light traffic, literally halfway to Tucson) that even though it's managed by Troon Golf they were giving it away in December: $60 all you could play + lunch or $40 all you could play after noon + lunch. I don't know what Johnson Ranch gets these days nor how much the rates went up at Poston Butte since the new year, but these fringe tracks are always more reasonable because of geography. I will say though it's a nice course and I hope to play it again. Also, the goddamned sprawl in that area is ridiculous.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:12 PM   #6
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Re: Vegas Golf Recs?

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Played out there yesterday. The course reminds me of another Del Webb course - Corte Bella. Pretty wide open and the only difference was the length.

Will probably play Johnson Ranch when I have the chance.

For the money in the Phoenix area, Vistancia seems like a really good value.
Cool. Not sure if you'll see this, but curious what you paid or if you saw any specials. The ridiculously good $60 all you can play rate that I saw was only through December.

Courses on the fringe of the Valley like Corte Bella, Estrella Mountain Ranch (I think it was recently renamed, presumably because of the confusion with the public course nearby), Vistancia, and Poston Butte are a great deal for the people who live near them. No doubt they'd be 50% or more expensive if they were somewhere remotely near the city center.
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Old 04-02-2008, 12:47 PM   #7
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

Should have done this months ago when tourist season was starting, not ending, but in going through the Vegas golf thread I noticed a mini-hijack. Since the Phoenix area has more golf courses than any other in the country and it's a golf destination it may warrant its own thread. People are actually crazy enough to venture out here in the summer months for cheap(ish) golf at great courses, and I probably do 60%+ of my golfing in the heat, when the days are long and the rates reasonable.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:17 PM   #8
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

JR not worth the drive unless you are in Chandler, QC, etc...back nine is pretty cool though
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:07 AM   #9
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

golf602.com (although it looks like they changed it to golfnow.com but type in mine and it takes you right to Phoenix.) I've gotten some pretty sick deals booking last minute but tbh haven't used it in awhile so I'm guessing when I say it's proly still good.

And I've played Johnson's Ranch several times fwiw. I liked the backside the first couple times then got fed up with how tricked out it is. The front nine is much better imo but that depends on what you're out there for. If I was playing in a drunken scramble I'd def take the back side, for example. They had a great replay rate as well so obv combine that with the long drive and you should be playing 36 for sure.

Also, I always recommend Bear Creek because they have a sick replay rate. (or they did) something like $10 or something crazy. Not the most scenic course but it's usually in good condition and the greens roll great.

If you want to shoot the round of your life go to the weekend (can't remember if it's Sat or Sun) am shotgun at Apache Wells. It's a private course but they open up to the public for this one event each weekend during peak season. Again, not the most attractive course but you can go lowwww out there.

My golf buddy who used to come down twice a year for golf ALWAYS wanted to start at Los Colinas (sp?) The ball rolls a MILE out there and it's an okay track to boot.

Not sure why I'm rambling on as I think you had your question answered already, but yeah, check out that website for some last minute deals.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:12 AM   #10
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

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Originally Posted by tuq View Post
People are actually crazy enough to venture out here in the summer months for cheap(ish) golf at great courses, and I probably do 60%+ of my golfing in the heat, when the days are long and the rates reasonable.
I may or may not be moving back down there after the summer is over, but I WILL be coming down for ~1-2 weeks of hardcore summer golfing. Just drink water after every shot and you're golden. I love pulling up to the parking lot and seeing only 2 cars.

wake up
play 36
go to the bar
wake up
play 36
go to the bar
wake up
play...

Last edited by loK2thabrain; 04-04-2008 at 01:13 AM. Reason: although i'll be grinding poker like a mother this summer so maybe I spoke too soon but we'll see how it goes.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:14 AM   #11
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

Jesus just realized the OP was from months ago lol forget my whole poast
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:05 AM   #12
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

I played Johnson Ranch once while I was at the SDGA in Chandler. It was so tricky is about the only thing I remember. A chip shot from the college was San Marcos where we could pretty much play anytime for free during the week. Must have played it a hundred times. Not great, not bad.

My favorite course by far in the Southern Phoenix area was Lone Tree. I would go out there pretty much every weekend and play for a cart fee. Great mix of holes and was in fantastic shape. Except for the last winter I was there. Their overseeding went horribly and they never really recovered so I can't say what it looks like now.

Other courses I liked: Trilogy and Whirlwind

I use golfnow.com here in Dallas. It's great although a lot of the courses are an hour+ drive. There are definitely some killer deals on the last minute widget thingy.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:49 PM   #13
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

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Jesus just realized the OP was from months ago lol forget my whole poast
No problem Butcho. Tuq pulled this back up because he throught there might be enough traffic for a general Q and A on Phoenix and area courses. I think there could be.
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Old 04-04-2008, 02:55 PM   #14
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

Well, there were a bunch of posts about Phoenix golf in that Vegas thread which were OT as a result. Interestingly, I haven't played any of the courses mentioned since yesterday except for Whirlwind, but that's mostly because we tend to stick to Troon Golf properties (of which it is one) and aside from that a fairly tight rotation. Am playing Eagle Mountain for $50 on Sunday morning for the first time in years. That's possibly the most forgiving desert course in the entire Valley.

EDIT: Bitcho, I posted in that massive BBV thread that I played your old course Coldwater a month or so ago. Pretty easy but I like it a lot. Particularly for $42 on a nice spring weekend day.
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:43 PM   #15
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

Yeah the front nine is a joke but it's always fun going to the backside a few under par...the backside doubled over would be 7000+ yards and while it wouldn't be a "tough" course it would certainly be a better test than the front+back.
Either way it's a fun course and usually in good shape, glad you liked it.

And i've said this before several times but Brian Kontak (sp?) shot 58 out there in a Pepsi Tour event some years back lawl.

And not sure exactly when it starts but once the season is over that's one of the courses on the rotation of a pretty big skins game in the Phoenix area. It was crazy like the same ~10-15 guys would just go to a different course 4-5 days a week for a skins game. Lots of good players and the courses always gave us a screamin deal when we went.
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:26 PM   #16
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

"That's possibly the most forgiving desert course in the entire Valley."

ever played Kierland?

Last edited by marlboro_man; 04-04-2008 at 07:26 PM. Reason: i fail at teh internetz
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:34 PM   #17
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

MM, Kierland is 1A around here among "courses at which bad shots go unpunished", but it's really not a desert course. It's three nines with three slightly different themes and some manicured desert. I doubt many would call Kierland a true desert course. It's a resort course.

Bitcho, I didn't notice that the back was that much different/fun than the front. As I posted in that thread, I had a great ball striking round but couldn't make a putt. The absolute nadir came on the 8th hole, when I hit a LW so fat it almost stopped short of the water. But I went on to shoot a +1 so whatever.

As for skins games, out here it is always a rota. Papago on Monday, Encanto or Las Sendas on Tuesday, Continental (!) on Wednesday, etc. The guys always have somewhere to profit from fish like me. Most of these games have 20-30+ players.

Kontak is the correct spelling.
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Old 04-05-2008, 12:09 AM   #18
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

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MM, Kierland is 1A around here among "courses at which bad shots go unpunished", but it's really not a desert course. It's three nines with three slightly different themes and some manicured desert. I doubt many would call Kierland a true desert course. It's a resort course.

Bitcho, I didn't notice that the back was that much different/fun than the front. As I posted in that thread, I had a great ball striking round but couldn't make a putt. The absolute nadir came on the 8th hole, when I hit a LW so fat it almost stopped short of the water. But I went on to shoot a +1 so whatever.

As for skins games, out here it is always a rota. Papago on Monday, Encanto or Las Sendas on Tuesday, Continental (!) on Wednesday, etc. The guys always have somewhere to profit from fish like me. Most of these games have 20-30+ players.

Kontak is the correct spelling.
couldn't have said it better myself and I worked as a pro there
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Old 04-05-2008, 12:53 AM   #19
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

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The absolute nadir came on the 8th hole, when I hit a LW so fat it almost stopped short of the water.


I remember one skins game the only skin came on that little short par 3 go figure haha.
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:39 PM   #20
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

We are currently planning our annual guys golf trip for Scottsdale in mid-Oct. Here's the rotation the guys planning it are looking at: Grayhawk - Talon, TPC Scottsdale - Stadium, Troon North - Monument, Talking Stick - South, Sunridge Canyon and Eagle Mountain. We may substitute Eagle Mountain for We Ko Pa (sp?), but I think the other other courses are pretty solid. We are renting a couple of condos for the 8 of us, but I'm not sure where.

Any feedback on the courses we're looking at or substitutions we should make? I doubt we'd be back in the area for a few years, so we'd like to get the best/most memorable courses on this trip.

Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:43 PM   #21
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

Grayhawk is very very good.

Hidden gem is Legend Trail.

TPC is WAY overrated.
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:56 PM   #22
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

I've played Legend Trail on a previous trip and really enjoyed it.

I've tried to make the same argument about the TPC, but I've been overruled by the group. I think we have to play it for the other guys on the trip that want to be able to play something they could on Tiger Woods.
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:35 PM   #23
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

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Grayhawk is very very good.

Hidden gem is Legend Trail.

TPC is WAY overrated.

good call w Legend Trail

definitely play We Ko Pa and sub Eagle Mountain for Talking Stick (overpriced and pretty blah)

also call ahead for overseeding schedules that time of year
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:44 PM   #24
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

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good call w Legend Trail

definitely play We Ko Pa and sub Eagle Mountain for Talking Stick (overpriced and pretty blah)

also call ahead for overseeding schedules that time of year



most definitely do this, mid-october almost every course will be getting ready or already have done their overseeding

never played it, but everyone I've talked to about we-ko-pa says its a must play
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:36 AM   #25
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Re: Golf in Phoenix

Yes, definitely check on the overseeding. October is the month that most courses do it. Courses that haven't done it yet are WAY more playable than ones that just finished. Greens are way faster, the ball rolls much farther in the fairway, interestingly I think courses pre-overseed are in their second-best condition, spring being the exception.

My general opinion:

TPC - way overrated, as has been echoed

Grayhawk - way overrated if you're paying full rack rate

Legend Trail - nice layout but the condition has gone downhill since Troon Golf lost the bid to manage the course

Talking Stick - fun at a discount, probably too flat and boring for your money at rack rate...if you are into pokering it is right next to CAZ though

We-Ko-Pa - possibly the best two courses in the PHX area. Also again, right next to a casino.

Troon North - expensive as hell but pretty excellent.

Sunridge Canyon - incredibly awesome and difficult course.

Eagle Mountain - fun, forgiving, and generally in good shape (I'm playing this in about seven hours).

I think you'd be wise to sub in a non-desert course because personally the relentless desert golf gets old, but it seems most of the daily fees built over the last twenty years except for courses like The Raven and The Legacy are lined with desert.
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