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Ancala is a private country club in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains. This parcel of land was picked by Frank Lloyd Wright for development. The course is a Dye design with a challenging 73.6 rating for its eighteen desert style holes with a slope of 152. Practice facilities, putting greens and a driving range are available.
Greg Nash created two stunning courses at Anthem: The Persimmon and The Ironwood. The layouts both share large greens, elevation change, both valley and mountain views, canyon washes, rolling fairways, and multiple tees. They stretch more than 7,200 yards and place a premium on accuracy and strategy. The Persimmon’s views, bunkering, conditioning and hole designs have caused the golf press, to award accolades to the course. The Ironwood joined its popular predecessor, The Persimmon, in early 2004 and likewise made quite a splash. And while the courses share many characteristics, their personalities are unique. Views from The Ironwood, for example, are oriented toward Daisy Mountain while The Persimmon overlooks the Valley. Water comes into play on seven of The Ironwood’s holes, compared to two on The Persimmon, where the desert collects more errant shots than water or bunkers. Unlike some architects who fly in early to map out the terrain and fly back only to apply a few finishing touches, Greg Nash is strictly hands-on, shaping and re-shaping every hole to his precise specifications. At Anthem Golf & Country Club, his fastidiousness shows up in the end result: 36 holes that are memorable and distinct, an important consideration on layouts that you’ll play time and again as your home courses.
There are two 18-hole championship courses at The Boulders Golf Club. They are among the most demanding in Arizona. Both of the courses, North and South, are enjoyable and challenging for all experience levels. They are known for their beauty and amazing panoramas. You can get lost in some of Arizona's most beautiful desert sunsets, desert terrain and most unique boulder formations. In order to allow one course always to be played by hotel guests, one of the courses is always kept private.
Desert Mountain consists of six private Jack Nicklaus courses. The Renegade and Cochise courses annualy rank in golf's top 100 lists. The Outlaw course is Desert Mountain golf at its finest. Finally, the world-renowned Jim Flick remains at the helm as Director of Instruction. Since opening in 1986, no other club has come to define championship desert golf more than Desert Mountain. When the Champions Tour Event "The Tradition" was held here, the Senior PGA Tour ranked the Cochise course as the "Best Maintained Golf Course" on tour. No other private club in the world offers more world-class golf to its Members. Each Nicklaus course has unique challenges for all levels of play, from the highly skilled player to those just getting started. Styles of play range from dramatic elevation changes to rolling fairways reminiscent of Scottish links. Nowhere can you find a collection of courses that will keep the golf senses tingling with anticipation for each round. Desert Mountain Members have the most extensive golf practice facilities in Arizona. There are multiple pitching, chipping, putting and bunker areas, and four separate practice ranges with target greens. Desert Mountain's PGA-trained professionals are available to help Members at any skill level. In fact, the Club's Director of Instruction is world-renowned instructor Jim Flick, along with his on-property staff at the Jim Flick Golf Academy. Jim has been a Golf Digest Top 100-golf instructor since the list first appeared. Having taught the finest players in the world- including Jack Nicklaus himself-his approach not only simplifies but demystifies the golf swing for average and skilled players alike.
Opened in 1986, Renegade is first of six Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses to open at Desert Mountain. Golf Digest once called Renegade, "The most versatile course in the world." The 7,443-yard course was carefully designed to let players vary the course's set-up. It features oversized greens with two pin placements, white and gold, on each hole. Members can choose the degree of difficulty they would like to play. The combination of tee and pin positions offers players of varied skill levels a truly unique test.
Surrounded by the rugged Sonoran Desert, the 7,026-yard Cochise golf course is a course that demands thoughtfulness and strategy in how one approaches it. Its signature holes are four of the finest "risk/reward" par-fives to be found anywhere. Throughout Cochise approach shots require precision shot-making and contours of greens will challenge the deftest touch. According to Jack Nicklaus, Cochise is one of the most picturesque golf courses in the world. Unique in the Southwest, it features a double, island green shared by the par-three seventh and the par-five fifteenth. The Golden Bear triumphed four times when Cochise played host to "The Tradition", a major championship on the Senior PGA Tour.
Geronimo is a "strong looking golf course," according to Jack Nicklaus. At 7,099 yards from the back tees, Geronimo is perhaps the most visually intimidating of the six courses. Winding through dramatic boulders, deep washes, ravines and lush desert, the drama can be seen from the first hole, a stunning 570-yard par five with a large elevation drop to a broad fairway. The hole requires a well-struck second shot to set up the proper position to attack this shallow, well bunkered green. For every carry over a deep ravine, designer Nicklaus provides a safe route for those not so daring in their shot-making. At the final hole, every player is required to hit a shot of some length to a sloping green perched upon a lofty rock outcropping. This is one exhilarating finishing hole that caps off a great golf experience.
This Jack Nicklaus-designed course appeals to golfers with traditional sensibilities. At 7,211 yards (from the back tees) Apache is no pushover. Gently rolling fairways, ample green complexes with subtle, grassy catch areas and deceptively sloping putting surfaces provide Members with a more relaxed-style round of golf. The design strategy allows for many options from the tee as well as in the approaches to the green, with room to play run-up shots or fly it in high. The eighteenth hole features two separate greens-one which is easily found with a well struck approach, and one that is set into a hillside fronted by an unforgiving wash known for its appetite for golf balls and overly aggressive golfers.
The fifth Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Desert Mountain, Chiricahua, represents for many the pinnacle of the designer's desert achievements. And indeed, Chiricahua is the highest course on the property with elevation changes that range from 2800 ft. to over 3600 ft. The course provides majestic views from nearly every tee. Beware-the golfer should be careful not to become distracted by the course's beauty. Generous fairways belie the need to properly place tee shots and approaches into the course's large, undulating greens require thoughtful precision. Hit it into the wrong place on approach and one had better have an imaginative touch -or sometimes simply the wisdom to take what Chiricahua will give you and move on to the next hole. Truly a masterpiece of design, Chiricahua provides endless variety for Members and their guests.
The sixth and final course at Desert Mountain, Outlaw opened in late 2003 and is located on a 176-acre site adjacent to the Tonto National Forest. Jack Nicklaus took advantage of the many natural features the terrain offers including native washes, rolling hills and spectacular views. All Nicklaus wanted to accomplish was "to take what nature gave us and try to enhance it." Of the six layouts, Outlaw plays more in the tradition of a Scottish links course than the other five Desert Mountain courses. Outlaw provides striking, unencumbered views of Pinnacle Peak, the McDowell Mountains, and Four Peaks. Bring your ground game, as this course asks that you hit a variety of high, low and shaped shots. Outlaw's timeless design makes it a favorite.
The golf course at DC Ranch was designed by Scott Miller, one of today's leading golf course architects. His commitment to quality and the design integrity of each setting in which he works is reflected in courses all over the world. This par 71, 6,864-yard course features four tees on every hole, catering to players of all skill levels - and to family play as well. Every hole frames the spectacular views that surround this golf course. Every round played here is an experience in aesthetic beauty and the joy of engaging in challenging but pleasurable golf. DC Ranch is one of the newest communities in Northern Scottsdale so it has yet the opportunity to boast of the rankings that other courses in the area can, but we expect that to change as golf reviewers and enthusiasts take their turn at "the Ranch".
When you think of Scottsdale, Arizona, golf is usually the first thing that comes to mind. When you think of Desert Highlands golf, many think Jack Nicklaus. The course was designed by the Golden Bear in 1983 and it has been claimed that Desert Highlands has been designed around Nicklaus' own playing style. That wouldn't be surprising given the fact that Jack spent two years and twenty visits to the site before completion. Early on, as the Arizona Golf Journal reported, "It was decided to throw away the working drawings that had been made and Nicklaus began to prowl the land, measuring and looking and gathering a feel that would come only to a master of the game in search of the ultimate challenge. With complete license to do what he would, the man many call the greatest golfer ever, made his statement among the rocks and cacti." The course itself is a par 72, 7099 yards and nestled under Pinnacle Peak, at about 2400 feet above sea level. Significantly, the elevation of downtown Phoenix is more than a thousand feet lower than that of Desert Highlands. And here's a pleasant surprise : whereas the world-famous Camelback Mountain tops out at 2700 feet, Pinnacle Peak rises to 3170. As veteran desert dwellers appreciate, a little elevation can make a big difference in climate. Also, the moods of the desert modulate with season and moisture.
Around the tees and greens, we have utilized craggy mounds with Pinnacle Peak and the McDowell Mountains serving as a backdrop. These mounds mimic the mountain shapes behind them. Unusual also, each hole on the big tournament course provides four to seven sets of tees to accommodate varying levels of skills. If anything, Desert Highlands symbolizes something of a throwback to the Scottish philosophy of allowing a course to meander through natural landscape around existing obstacles. By concentrating grooming to anticipated landing areas, only eighty acres of Desert Highlands requires precious irrigation, as compared with more than a hundred twenty-five acres of cultivated landscape for a typical golf course. Desert Highlands uses only about one-half the water of a more traditional, temperate region course. It is the unique qualities of Desert Highlands that played a big role in its hosting of two Skins Games. Not surprisingly, the course has been heavily awarded and lauded in golf circles. Bill Huffman, the golf writer for The Arizona Republic, has rated Desert Highlands in the top 25 for Arizona's private golf clubs. Another interesting side note is the fact that Desert Highlands has the only eighteen-hole putting course in the Western Hemisphere. Inspired by the celebrated but much shorter original at St. Andrews, Scotland, the putting course at Desert Highlands extends as long as three football fields, counting the end zones! Desert Highland Golf Course today represents the most advanced and imaginative melding of "the humbling game" with the "land of little water." This is a golf course which surrenders nothing of the game while subordinating to the ecological discipline of the desert.
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