Category Archives: Arizona

The Boulders

The Boulders – South Course in Carefree, AZ

I forgot a group picture again, so here’s Steve putting one on the green

The Stats

Tee Time: September 9, 2012, 10:10, 91 F, Gusty

Designer: Jay Morrish (1991)

Playing Partners: Steve Walker

Tees: Blue/White, Par 71 (70.8 rating/136 slope/6,421 yards)

Course Handicap: 14 (11.7 index)

Stats: 89 (45-44); 26 putts; 6/13 fairways; 4/18 greens; 4 penalty strokes

The Course

The Boulders, a top 100 public golf course according to Golf Magazine, presents everything great about Arizona golf. Desert scenery (the version with soaring saguaros, wind-rounded rocks and colorful mesas, not the barren expanses of badlands only Les Stroud would enjoy), exciting target golf and numerous complimentary amenities. Set in the upper elevation of Carefree, about 45 minutes north of the Phoenix of airport, the whole course is secluded among the hills and winds throughout the villas and homes at The Boulders Resort, a Waldorf Astoria property. While nothing has yet matched the awesomeness of Troon North, The Boulders is very similar, like a Troon North for higher handicappers. Misses are not as devastating, the greens are easier to read and the fairways don’t roll balls into desert rock. That being said, the Boulders is a course that needs to be played smart, as I discovered after a great tee shot on the par-5 5th hole that left 240 yards to the green. It turned out ignoring the way the landing area to the green narrowed like the center of an hourglass brings ol’ #7 back onto the scorecard. This is one of several examples where the risks do not outweigh the potential glory of eagles. Continue reading The Boulders

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club

Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, AZ

I forgot to take a picture of me at the course, so here’s Sean chipping on hole 18 instead

The Stats

Tee Time: July 7, 2012, 9:10, 108 F, Gusty

Designer: Fred Couples/Schmidt-Curley Design (2002)

Playing Partners: Sean Cohan

Tees: Blue, Par 72 (70.6 rating/126 slope/6,493 yards)

Course Handicap: 12 (10.5 index)

Stats: 85 (46-39); 31 putts; 5/14 fairways; 6/18 greens; 2 penalty strokes

The Course

I’ve been an Arizona resident for about 9 months, and had never really found a reason to go to Maricopa. Now I’ll definitely be going back and hopefully soon, thanks to Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club. I finally got to put my Troon Golf Card to use on this blistering hot day in Arizona (as opposed to all those cool summer days the state’s known for). I’ll get the round details out of the way early because I could go on about them all day. It started on the driving range. At the end of a quick ten-swing warmup I had a sand wedge in my hands and the ball cart closing in. I hit a perfect sixty-yard pitch that was tracking right into the windshield. I stood there admiring my shot like Jose Bautista taking in one of his long home runs. Twenty feet, fifteen feet, ten feet, five feet… And then nothing. The driver swerved at the last minute (apparently they’re picking up balls with Mini Coopers out there) and my ball fell harmlessly to the grass. I raised my hands in disappointment and saluted the driver for his evasive maneuvers. He smiled and laughed. I was a cart boy for a couple years and I remember golf balls rattling the steel cage of the cart that made it sound like World War III had just erupted on the Round Hill driving range. But I wasn’t letting him get away with that. He was driving away when I swung at one last ball with him about 80 yards out. Like a perfectly led wide receiver streaking down the sideline, my ball floated through the air and smacked the top of the cart roof a hundred yards away. If only I could snipe like that on the ice rink… Continue reading Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club

Troon North Golf Club – Pinnacle Course

Troon North (Pinnacle) in Scottsdale, AZ

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Me and Sean

The Stats

Tee Time: August 22, 2011, 14:00, 112 F, Calm

Designer: Tom Weiskopf, 1991

Playing Partners: Sean Cohan

Tees: Gold, Par 71 (71.7 rating/137 slope/6,645 yards)

Course Handicap: 10 (8.5 index)

Stats: 86 (41-45); 37 putts; 10/14 fairways; 6/18 greens; 3 penalty strokes

The Course

Troon North Golf Club’s Pinnacle Course in Scottsdale, AZ sits at #21 on Golf Digest’s 2010 Top Courses You Can Play list. Honestly, I would rank the Monument Course higher, as some other publications did, but picking between Monument and Pinnacle is like choosing between Guinness and Stella Artois; regardless of the choice you won’t regret it. Continue reading Troon North Golf Club – Pinnacle Course

Troon North Golf Club – Monument Course

Troon North (Monument) in Scottsdale, AZ

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Me and Sean

The Stats

Tee Time: August 21, 2011, 13:45, 106 F, breezy

Designer: Tom Weiskopf, 1991

Playing Partners: Sean Cohan

Tees: Gold, Par 72 (71.6 rating/137 slope/6,716 yards)

Course Handicap: 10 (8.5 index)

Stats: 94 (48-46); 35 putts; 9/14 fairways; 5/18 greens; 12 penalty strokes

The Course

Troon North Golf Club’s Monument Course in Scottsdale, AZ is well deserving of its spot at #45 on Golf Digest’s 2010 Top Courses You Can Play list. Due to budgetary reasons, I booked this tee time for the middle of August, during the hottest time of the year in one of the hottest deserts on the planet. Still, even though the sweating started before the clubs were on the cart I enjoyed every second on this course. The practice areas were top tier; the putting green rolled so smooth I came away thinking it would be an easy day after draining a few 20-footers. I came prepared. A solid pre-round meal, plenty of SPF-50, new Adidas clima-cool shirt, comfy Dri-Fit socks and over 120 fluid ounces of Gatorade and water meant the heat would not be as daunting as the triple-digits appeared. Then I teed off. Continue reading Troon North Golf Club – Monument Course