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My Phoenix Trip - Desert Mountain, TPC, Talking Stick & We-Ko-Pa


sabram

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I was inspired by the thread of the same name in the general Courses part of the forum, so here's a quick report of my trip from two weeks ago.

 

Day 1 Sunday- Desert Mountain- Chiracahua: I got up at 4 am Eastern to start my trip in order to arrive at Sky harbor early enough to play. A friend of mine from PHX was able to hook us up at DM. We played with a member who is a former club champion and great host. I had never been to DM before. It is a HUGE gated community with six Nicklaus courses. Chiracahua was the furthest course from the gate. From what I read on line Outlaw and Chiracahua seem to get the most positive reviews. I really enjoyed my round despite my inclination not to like target style courses. There was a nice variety of holes. You need to be a straight hitter here. Several holes are pretty tight. Number 2 for example is a short par 4 where it looks like finding the fairway is like finding a needle in a haystack. The course was in beautiful condition, the fairways were pretty firm. The greens were lightening fast and very difficult even with an expert helping me read them. I had several three putts and missed more short par putts thna I care to think about. Fore my first round in 8 weeks it was a great start. https://www.flickr.com/photos/golfcoursepix/sets/72157650917111931/ Photo tour

 

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Desert Mountain Chiracahua #2 from tee P1060498

 

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Desert Mountain Chiracahua #17 view back P1060549 ed

 

Day 2 - Monday- I had to work in Chandler, but got up before sunrise (the sun rises late in AZ as you don't change the clocks) to walk a few holes at San Marcos, https://www.flickr.com/photos/golfcoursepix/sets/72157650832433291/ (a 100 year old course in Chandler that had a recent facelift.) before going to the office. It looks like an old time parkland course. Lots of palm trees and small tilted greens. One funky hole I saw had a dried up pond with some big trees that blocked the approach if you were on the left side of the fairway. It was pretty wet and soft, but otherwise looked to be in good condition. Maybe I'll give it a go next time in town. 16354617940_0f362a5c34_c.jpg

San Marcos P1060567

 

Day 3 - Tuesday TPC Scottsdale Stadium https://www.flickr.com/photos/golfcoursepix/sets/72157650837359046/- I had a business meeting at noon at the Princess Resort (next to the Phoenean, my favorite Scottsdale resort) and hadn't planned to play this day, but I received a last minute invitation from two friends from work who were also attending the meeting to join them for the first am tee time at the Stadium. When I checked in at the pro shop I was shocked by the green fee. They marked it up because the WM tournament had just been there and the stands were still up. It was the most expensive round I have ever played. The course was in beautiful condition and it was cool to play #16 with the bleachers up. We played in 3.5 hours and I shot my best round of the trip with a 41 on the back 9, but I could have played 3 rounds at We-ko-pa or Talking stick for the price of this round, so it is not a good value and I wouldn't recommend it unless you are dying to play where the pros play.

 

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TPC Scottsdale Stadium #15 from tee par 5 zoomed P1060613

 

15955976803_35bd07c87c_c.jpgTPC Scottsdale Stadium #16 par 3 from 163 yards P1060619

 

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TPC Scottsdale Stadium #17 from tee short par 4 P1060622 (2)

 

Day 5 - Talking Stick I had arranged tee times for 20+ work friends at TS following our two days of meetings. We played the North in the morning and South in the afternoon. These courses are really flat and have very wide fairways. It's hard to lose a ball here. The greens make these courses. The North is more linksy and the South more parkland with lots of trees added. They have added a casino/hotel since I last played here. TS was a great choice for the group since we had a wide range of handicaps and these courses epitomize the notion of being fair to high handicappers while still challenging low handicappers. I had booked 36 holes for the group, but I had three players who were only playing in the am and I had 3 players taking their place in the pm. The course refused to provide the 36 hole discount to those players. I thought that was petty. I always have fun on the par 5 #14 on the South with the big arroyo/ditch that runs diagonally across the fairway, and I always have trouble on #16 with the stream that divides the fairway. That hole just doesn't fit my eye. I prefer the North Course, but the majority of players preferred the South.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/golfcoursepix/sets/72157650870733865/ TS North Pix

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/golfcoursepix/sets/72157631875241268/ TS South Pix

 

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Talking Stick North #4 failure to reach fairway P1060640

 

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Talking Stick North #12 x arroyo splits fairway P1060663 (2)

 

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Talking Stick North #16 view back P1060681

 

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Talking Stick South #18 from tee P1060751 (2)

 

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Talking Stick South #14 par 5 arroyo diagonally crosses fairway P1060734

 

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Talking Stick South #16 x approach over stream P1060746

 

Day 6 - We-Ko-Pa Cholla - https://www.flickr.com/photos/golfcoursepix/sets/72157631875067595/ Cholla photos

7 guys from the conference took a vacation day to play Cholla. I've played Saguaro more than any other course in AZ and hadn't played Cholla in 10 years, so i felt it was time to give it another shot. I much prefer the linksy style of Saguaro, but I do believe that Saguaro and Cholla are the best 1-2 punch in Scottsdale. Cholla is target golf and requires precision in club selection and execution to place your ball in the right place on almost every shot. IMHO it was the most difficult course I played on this trip and for the group had the most lost balls. It was a good contrast to Talking Stick. The views and surroundings are awesome. The hotel at We-ko-pa is very nice and the service was great. They gave us very late check out so we could shower after the round before driving to the airport. The casino is not so nice. The Anhala restaurant at the hotel was excellent. What a great break from the single digit temps and feet of snow on the ground back home.

 

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We Ko Pa Cholla #2 from tee par 5 P1060760 (2)

 

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We Ko Pa Cholla #8 x approach P1060790 (2)

 

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We Ko Pa Cholla #6 from tee P1060775 (2)

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Ahh 8 on Cholla takes great pics but I hate that hole. Pretty solid trip Sabram, wish I would have been able to join you for a round.

I never get tired of the view on 16 and 17 at TPC Stadium, Same view of the Mcdowells as I have from my patio

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[quote name='OneBowTie' timestamp='1424577593' post='11001845']
I don't know that I could have paid 3 times what it cost to play WeKoPa for the TPC. Of all the courses you played, it is my least favorite.
[/quote]

Yes, that was a "hard pill to swallow", but I was with two business colleagues and it would have been awkward to not play. I can't argue with your point of view, but cost aside, it is a cool course to play (especially the last 4 holes), and I was hitting the ball so well (for me). It was fun and I have a great wife who doesn't complain about my golf addiction and its cost

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[quote name='One_Putt_Blunder' timestamp='1424577661' post='11001857']
Ahh 8 on Cholla takes great pics but I hate that hole. Pretty solid trip Sabram, wish I would have been able to join you for a round.

I never get tired of the view on 16 and 17 at TPC Stadium, Same view of the Mcdowells as I have from my patio
[/quote]

#8 on Cholla has not been kind to me. Both times I played it I hit great tee shots and both times my approach ended up left below the stone wall. UUUGGGGHHH.

You are a lucky man if that is your view!

One of these days I'll get in a round with you and some of the regular PHX posters here.

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[quote name='sabram' timestamp='1424578350' post='11001893']
[quote name='One_Putt_Blunder' timestamp='1424577661' post='11001857']
Ahh 8 on Cholla takes great pics but I hate that hole. Pretty solid trip Sabram, wish I would have been able to join you for a round.

I never get tired of the view on 16 and 17 at TPC Stadium, Same view of the Mcdowells as I have from my patio
[/quote]

#8 on Cholla has not been kind to me. Both times I played it I hit great tee shots and both times my approach ended up left below the stone wall. UUUGGGGHHH.

You are a lucky man if that is your view!

One of these days I'll get in a round with you and some of the regular PHX posters here.
[/quote]

Both the par 5's on the front 9 of Cholla ruin that course for me. 2 is almost as bad as 8. My problem with 8 is I can carry the fairway bunker from the one ups which is a 240 carry, but it takes a perfect 3 wood to get down to that narrow landing area otherwise I have to hit a pw to lay up short of the wash and leave a 5-6 iron in. Just a bad hole that looks pretty from up top there.

How were the greens rolling at TS North? been wanting to get out there again if I can find a deal.

I am about a mile and a half east of TPC, makes for a nice stumble home from the WM Open lol. Let me know when you are here again, we will try to get out for a round.

[twitter]oneputtblunder[/twitter]
10.5 Aeroburner TP Fujikura Speeder Pro XLR8
14.5 X2 Hot 3 Deep Tour Green
18* X2 Hot Pro Hybrid
RSI TP 4-PW KBS Tour 120
Byron Morgan DH89 Rincon Neck deep mill or Circa 62 No 2
Vokey 52/56/60 SM5/TVDK/TVDVgrind DG S300
[url="http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/175527-one-putts-road-to-redemption-bag-04262014/"]WITB Link[/url]

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[quote name='One_Putt_Blunder' timestamp='1424578698' post='11001923']
How were the greens rolling at TS North? been wanting to get out there again if I can find a deal.
[/quote]

Very good. No reason not to play there. They got faster as the temps went up. Actually, the greens on all of the courses I played this trip were good. I putted horribly at Desert Mountain, but okay everywhere else.

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[b]Desert Mtn is awesome. I play there 2-3 times a year as some friends are members. I am heading there this coming week. Outlaw is actually the furthest course to drive to and tied for my favorite with [b]Chiracahua. I was the same way with the greens and having a hell of a time reading them. I shot 81 with 8 three putts. I love Outlaw cuz there are no homes on the course and it is more of a links style layout. [/b][/b]

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