2020 Phoenix Area Course Conditions

 azgolfer44 ·  
azgolfer44azgolfer44 Members  198WRX Points: 72Handicap: 2Posts: 198 Fairways
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Papago was solid today. New sand in the bunkers. Greens were pretty smooth but not super fast. Rates go up next week though.

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  • thewralthewral Boston, MAMembers  300WRX Points: 50Handicap: 8.1Posts: 300 Greens
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    Verde River in beautiful shape today but still CPO and a bit wet from the rains.


    anyone play Troon North lately post rain? Last I saw greens were a mess with the influx of high season.

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  • Bonneville85308Bonneville85308 Members  1879WRX Points: 260Posts: 1,879 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Jan 2, 2020 1:36am #3

    this forum's user interface is garbage. tried to post some text with photos. forget it.

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    ...

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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23477WRX Points: 7,414Posts: 23,477 Titanium Tees
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    A very pleasant day for a walk. It was only the 2nd round I've ever played on New Year's Day. I teed it up at Tuscany Falls East. 'Not the most interesting course. Honestly, in a week I will have forgotten every hole. For less than $50 it was acceptable. Fairways were in great shape. The greens looked great, and were rolling around a 9. Very nice. Bunkers were trash. Seriously, why bother having bunkers if one is not going to maintain them? Also, the bird sh-t on the water holes was disgusting. Overall I'd rate it a 3.

    I should also mention the highlight of the day, playing with Bill, a 90 year old golfer. He is quite the inspiration. 'Hope I'm still out enjoying the game when I'm his age.

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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23477WRX Points: 7,414Posts: 23,477 Titanium Tees
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    Lovely day at Ocotillo. I played the White and Gold nines. Definitely a different experience out here. It felt like a Florida course with the water surrounding most of the holes. I basically liked the layout, but a few holes left me wanting. I didn't care for the par 5 2nd hole on White, as it forces you to lay up with less than driver. Not a fan of that type of hole. On the flip side, the 9th was a beast. I hit a solid drive straight down the middle, but still had 190 to carry the water. I imagine that hole sees a ton of doubles or worse. The Gold was the better nine. Conditions were good, although there were way too many unrepaired ballmarks on the greens. Greens were rolling with moderate speed. Bunkers once again sucked. Has the price of sand gone through the roof? I'd rate it a 5.


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  • txeconomisttxeconomist Members  271WRX Points: 83Handicap: 1.5Posts: 271 Greens
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    12/28 - Southern Dunes - Only played 9, just too cold and windy. Course was in nice shape. Greens rolled well but not real fast compared to others this week. Place gave me a rain check for the wind and temperature...unreal. Tremendous customer service here on top of a great golf course. I bought stuff in the pro shop because I felt bad.

    12/29 - Verde River - Course was perfect but CPO from rains. Greens smooth and pretty quick. First time I’ve ever played here; was really impressed with the facility and generally liked the course. I haven’t played there much, but reminded me a bit of Wick Ranch, very pure. It’s now in rotation when I come to town.

    12/30 - Wekopa Saguaro - Really nice overseed, didn’t look it but greens sneaky quick. I like this course more every time I play it; definitely among top in area. Walked it which was awesome. Something about the restaurant / pro shop / vibe is unappealing to me for some reason though.

    12/31 - TPC Champions - Course was in nice shape, greens smooth and pretty quick. Paid like $85...just ok track but great bang for buck. If I was a local I’d play a lot here so I could walk and price is right.

    1/1 - Grayhawk Raptor - Saw that it was closed for tourney the next few days and among my favorite spots so gave it a shot despite steep green fee...course was absolutely perfect, greens very quick. Severe green contours made it very difficult. I think people would be more impressed with the course if it wasn’t in some ho-hum housing development.

    1/2 - Camelback Ambiente - First day with perfect weather. Course was in great shape. Only course this week with dormant (non overseeded and probably painted and rolled greens). Greens were true and quick. Can understand if some think this course is repetitive (it is), but given land to work with its great and a lot of fun if hitting the driver well. Never crowded here.

    Giving Troon North Pinnacle a shot tomorrow and got Talon on Sat before heading home.

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  • cbbaroncbbaron Quincy MassMembers  1243WRX Points: 228Handicap: 9.1Posts: 1,243 Platinum Tees
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    Played both last week Pinnacle greens were not holding shot Monument was slightly better as far as holding shots. Greens on both rolled fast with no issues

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  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers  1446WRX Points: 270Handicap: 12.3Posts: 1,446 Platinum Tees
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    Really like that you are rating the courses now to sum it up as we all have good/bad days and a score gives a good abstract if you know the scale. It is clear you aren’t using the Doak, which is probably better for public courses in general as most aren’t above average so lowing an average course to a 3 as Doak does isn’t necessary. How about a running total in your signature of your AZ tour with score..... Wigwam-5, Verrado- 4, etc.?

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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23477WRX Points: 7,414Posts: 23,477 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jan 3, 2020 11:27pm #10

    Another beautiful day on the links. Lone Tree today. Another forgettable layout, although I did think the 9th and 18th were good final holes on the two nines. Not really reachable in two, though. The course felt fairly wide open.

    Conditions were passable. Fairways were a bit thin in spots. Bunkers were OK. Greens picked up speed as the day wore on. Probably rolling 10 on the last hole.

    I'd rate it a 3.5, but I could likely be convinced to make it a 4.


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  • txeconomisttxeconomist Members  271WRX Points: 83Handicap: 1.5Posts: 271 Greens
    Joined:  edited Jan 4, 2020 8:20am #11

    Troon Pinnacle today. Greens very firm, most shots ran out a bit. Solid overall conditions. Tough and intimidating golf course.

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  • txeconomisttxeconomist Members  271WRX Points: 83Handicap: 1.5Posts: 271 Greens
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    Last round of trip - Grayhawk Talon - Like Raptor course is perfect. Not real long but from back tees it’s tough enough. Real playable course with some fun and distinctive holes. Underrated in my opinion. Tighter than Raptor but feel like 90% of golfers should like this one more than the more popular Raptor.

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  • az2auaz2au Members  2246WRX Points: 428Handicap: 4.8Posts: 2,246 Platinum Tees
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    I learned to play golf on Talon so I kinda have a soft spot in my heart for it. Don’t think it is appreciably less of a design than Raptor (especially after the new holes came in) but the par 3s are probably the biggest drawback overall. Think the holes around the box canyon are very fun though.

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  • cbbaroncbbaron Quincy MassMembers  1243WRX Points: 228Handicap: 9.1Posts: 1,243 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Jan 5, 2020 3:21am #14

    I think 8 and 11 are solid holes and I know my first ace will be on 17 almost had one on that hole on 12/20. 15 and 16 on Raptor now are far inferior to the holes they replaced.

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  • az2auaz2au Members  2246WRX Points: 428Handicap: 4.8Posts: 2,246 Platinum Tees
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    Haha. I have a “hole in 3” on 17. Spun a SW back into the water on my first shot. Second was almost exactly the same but hit the flag on the way back and went in. Hate that hole. Easily the worst of the 36. Agree on 11. That’s the best par 3 on Talon.


    Also completely agree that Raptor’s new holes were a significant downgrade. From a fun and driveable par 4 and great par 3 to a ho-hum par 4 that doesn’t seem to go with the rest of the course and weak par 3.

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  • puttnforthe8puttnforthe8 ARIZONAMembers  3323WRX Points: 413Posts: 3,323 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jan 5, 2020 6:57pm #16

    Wigwam (red) Heritage course - I had not played in ages, and wanted to take a drive on the new 202, so I went out yesterday. Stunningly there was an hour frost delay, apparently the west side was significantly colder overnight than other places in the basin.

    I forgot how boring the course was - really nothing memorable except for a lousy 18th hole - just dumb actually.

    Fairways in decent shape and greens rolled good, but slow. Bunker were horrid - some were just bare ground with rocks.

    Definitely not worth the trip for me. ......with the exception that I got to try 8 Bit Brewery - 8 Bit makes some good beer and is a great place to hang out.

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  • azgolfer44azgolfer44 Members  198WRX Points: 72Handicap: 2Posts: 198 Fairways
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    TPC Champions was pretty much perfect. Greens were quick. Bunkers had fluffy white sand. Best conditioned course I have played this season. 4 hour round teeing off at 8:27 waking.

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  • capkingcapking CanadaMembers  678WRX Points: 120Posts: 678 Golden Tee
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    How late into the new year do the frost delays come into play?

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  • txeconomisttxeconomist Members  271WRX Points: 83Handicap: 1.5Posts: 271 Greens
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    Yea I agree with all this but long story short I am just surprised how generally people have a strong preference for Raptor... feel like they aren’t that far apart. People I play with tend to struggle around the greens a lot on Raptor to the point Id think they’d have more fun on Talon, not that it’s necessarily a walk in the park either but just not as severe around the greens.

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  • cbbaroncbbaron Quincy MassMembers  1243WRX Points: 228Handicap: 9.1Posts: 1,243 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Jan 6, 2020 2:08am #20

    Hate to admit it but I agree with you played Raptor couple weeks ago they might of been rolling close to 12 maybe 13 the green complexes made it almost unplayable if above hole

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  • half lunghalf lung Members  175WRX Points: 64Posts: 175 Fairways
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    Played Talking Stick North in December. Course was fun and enjoyable for me since I was visiting. Greens were perfect, and fast. If I had to guess, they rolled about 11, maybe a bit faster. For the prices they charge, I am surprised they do not have GPS systems in the golf carts. The only thing I noticed that wasn't perfect were the bunkers. They seemed overfilled with sand, causing the ball to plug without the opportunity to bounce and roll. Everything else was enjoyable.

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  • puttnforthe8puttnforthe8 ARIZONAMembers  3323WRX Points: 413Posts: 3,323 Titanium Tees
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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23477WRX Points: 7,414Posts: 23,477 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jan 6, 2020 10:31pm #23

    Beautiful day, but I had the most unpleasant round of my stay today at Bear Creek. For starters, the course is as dull as a 3 year old razor blade. I would have preferred to play a course routed through a housing complex. At least there would have been something to look at. The so called "native" areas were basically dirt and rocks. There was a 90 minute frost delay, so to catch up they send out groups a few times apart. On the surface this sounds great, as you get to tee off closer to your scheduled time than 90 minutes, but in practice it simply means the course is over packed, and you wait. On. Every. Shot. I'm not talking 30 seconds or a minute. Try 2 to 5 minutes. On. Every. Shot. To make matters worse I was in the first group following the Monday morning leagues. We got to watch everyone putt out everything. Oy. Finally, if I'm not mistaken, it's the only course I've played in the valley that doesn't have drinking water on the course. WTF. How does a desert course not have water?

    Conditions were decent. The fairways were a bit brown, but playable. Greens were bumpy, but rolled with moderate speed. I'd rate the course a very generous 2.5.

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  • phx1205phx1205 Members  8WRX Points: 58Posts: 8 Bunkers
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    I am usually just a lurker around here, but I can’t help myself on this one. You have quite an interesting strategy to seek out and play the worst courses available. I can’t believe you are dedicating an entire winter season away from wherever you came from to play these courses. Hope you are at least enjoying some off the course entertainment/fun to make up for the “Worst Course Tour”. It’s fun to read your recaps though, to be honest.

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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23477WRX Points: 7,414Posts: 23,477 Titanium Tees
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    Lol. On a fixed income, I can't afford to spend $500 to $1000 a week playing the top courses. I've played most of them in the area on previous trips. At the end of the day I get to hit my driver, use my wedges, and make putts. I was originally going to spend time working on my game on the range, but I realize I'm not a range rat. For me the best practice is out on the course hitting off of uneven lies, out of dormant rough, and putting on actual greens. No doubt it would be nicer to be playing on a top track, but the lesser courses serve their function here.

    I'll play a few better courses before I leave. My long term plan is to by an RV and travel the U.S. and Canada for a few years playing the best courses. I'll get plenty of quality courses down the road.

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  • phx1205phx1205 Members  8WRX Points: 58Posts: 8 Bunkers
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    No I get it, and a little bit of jealousy that you get to play everyday. My point is I bet if you ask, you will get a list of “value” courses you should play from active people on this board. They might say go play Aguila every day.

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  • capkingcapking CanadaMembers  678WRX Points: 120Posts: 678 Golden Tee
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    Does Aguila book up quick? Gonna be down there in less then 3 weeks, wondering if we should book anything before we go

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  • puttnforthe8puttnforthe8 ARIZONAMembers  3323WRX Points: 413Posts: 3,323 Titanium Tees
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    Not really...but if you want a specific time, it may be prudent to grab it early.

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  • puttnforthe8puttnforthe8 ARIZONAMembers  3323WRX Points: 413Posts: 3,323 Titanium Tees
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    Interesting you assess BC like this - I think the holes are actually good designs with a great mix. The property and the appearance are absolute garbage - no disagreement there. But I think if you were to place the holes on a real property with a bit of elevation, they would make a really good course. I think all the par 3s are good and require a different club/play for each one, unlike others in the valley. The Par 5s could be better, but not terrible - 18 is probably the worst of the bunch. The 2 short par 4s make for good risk reward plays. #10 is a really good hole. #9 is a challenging hole that requires a couple of good shots.

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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23477WRX Points: 7,414Posts: 23,477 Titanium Tees
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    I've played over 570 courses. Playing the same course everyday is simply not in my DNA.

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