Scottsdale for Higher Handicapper

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By Roger K

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  1. My brother and I are headed to Scottsdale for my 50th in Feb, and while we both play to a 14, his handicap is based on 9-holes, plus a couple mulli's and foot wedges.

    Looking for suggestions where we can play that give us the flavor of desert golf without punishing him, buying a new dozen balls per round, and/or causing slow rounds for those behind us.

    Thinking...Papago, Talking Stick North/O'odham, Gold Canyon Sidewinder, Lookout Mountain, and Arizona Golf Resort.

    Are there others you would recommend?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Longbow Golf Course in Scottsdale wasn't too bad and would likely play well to a mid-to-high handicap. Not too many forced carries. Not too long. Very well maintained. Might be reasonably priced and not real crowded since this is peak season.
  3. Thanks, Dale. Do you recall the airport traffic being an issue? I read a few reviews that spoke about small craft noise. Golf boards look fun too.
  4. Roger K said:

    Thanks, Dale. Do you recall the airport traffic being an issue? I read a few reviews that spoke about small craft noise. Golf boards look fun too.

    Longbow is the best value in the Phoenix area, good design, great views, no houses, the air traffic adds to the ambiance of the course. It's nothing that is overly oppressive. Your list is great.. But I'd absolutely add Longbow to the list, also it's in Mesa not Scottsdale. The golf board experience is really fun, and will make the round even more memorable.
  5. Done and done, thank you Dale and Husker PGA, added to the list.
  6. Roger K said:

    Thanks, Dale. Do you recall the airport traffic being an issue? I read a few reviews that spoke about small craft noise. Golf boards look fun too.

    Longbow is the best value in the Phoenix area, good design, great views, no houses, the air traffic adds to the ambiance of the course. It's nothing that is overly oppressive. Your list is great.. But I'd absolutely add Longbow to the list, also it's in Mesa not Scottsdale. The golf board experience is really fun, and will make the round even more memorable.
  7. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    Play appropriate tees and you should be fine. I see a lot of higher handicappers hitting from the longer tees and having a miserable day at the course. Do not be embarrassed to move up. At 72 I am not ashamed to play the Senior tees, I enjoy it and have fun. I play to my ability and play in Senior local tournaments. Have fun.
  8. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Even playing up, some of the AZ courses still have lots of forced carry and native areas that are off limits or full of snakes and cactus. Must take extra balls and don't waste too much time hunting for lost ones.
  9. Great suggestion, will monitor and move up with him if the tee box becomes an issue.

    Thanks!
  10. beaureed445

    beaureed445
    Edmond, OK

    That's my plan. Here in Oklahoma, I usually play the men's tees, (which range from 6100- 6400 yards). Sometimes, depending on how I'm playing, or who I'm playing with, I'll move up to the whites (5700- 6000). I've compared these to the courses we're scheduled to play in Scottsdale next month, and I've determined which boxes I should play there.
  11. Playing up isn't the end of the world, once it's not a case of driver and wedge. It's nice to be tested with a few mid irons. Still enjoyable
  12. Todd T

    Todd T
    San Diego, CA

    Just have fun and bring the "desert 6 iron" for shots out of the dirt and rocks! Look at Quintero GC.
  13. beaureed445

    beaureed445
    Edmond, OK

    This is a great idea.....I'm going to take an old 6 iron with me!
  14. Todd T

    Todd T
    San Diego, CA

    beaureed445 said:

    This is a great idea.....I'm going to take an old 6 iron with me!

    Play out there last month and I left my 718s in garage and brought out the 712s... Those rock aint no joke!
  15. beaureed445

    beaureed445
    Edmond, OK

    Well, if I were to leave the 718s at home, and play my old set.....I'd be leaving Titleist for P**G. Not sure I want to do that. :)
  16. Such good advice, thank you. I have scars on my old set from the last time we played in Scottsdale.
  17. Stonecreek, Orange Tree, Starfire, and Silverado are great courses to check out in Scottsdale.
  18. Papago was my go to course as it is user friendly. Stonecreek too. I never found a bad course in AZ so it’s a no brainer anywhere. We played high elevation and low. Arnold Palmer Legend course has it all. Desert and snakes are everywhere, and you will need an old iron as a 15th club in some cases at some courses like old desert TPC if it’s still the same. Most are just fine. If you want grassy conditions and some desert I recommend Ocotillo.
  19. beaureed445

    beaureed445
    Edmond, OK

    JTesta said:

    Papago was my go to course as it is user friendly. Stonecreek too. I never found a bad course in AZ so it’s a no brainer anywhere. We played high elevation and low. Arnold Palmer Legend course has it all. Desert and snakes are everywhere, and you will need an old iron as a 15th club in some cases at some courses like old desert TPC if it’s still the same. Most are just fine. If you want grassy conditions and some desert I recommend Ocotillo.

    I'm headed there in a month, and Papago is on our list to play (tee time already booked). Last time I was there, I played Ocotillo, and thought it was cool. A friend of mine was there recently, and complained that Ocotillo isn't in as good a shape as previous trips.
  20. Talking Stick South, Papago, ASU Karsten, The Raven and Longbow are all courses that won’t beat you up. Also, these do not have houses on both sides of the holes like many courses here do - so to me they are far more attractive. No great reason to drive all the way out to Gold Canyon when there are so many better courses close to the valley. The GCU course is now the best value in Phx but it is an old school parkland type course as opposed to a desert course. Avoid Ocotillo unless you want to lose a lot of balls - water on 22 or 23 of their 27 holes (great track though).

  21. Thanks for all the great advice here on courses, moving forward on tees, spare desert 6i.

    We are booked for 36 at Papago, Longbow, Talking Stick, and Lookout Mountain. Will be a blast!

    Next on the list is determining the best 19th holes, besides the outfield at the Giants game Friday night. ;-)
  22. beaureed445

    beaureed445
    Edmond, OK

    Sounds like a good time! We'll be there 1/30- 2/3. Tee times are booked for Raven, Troon North (both courses), Gold Canyon (Dinosaur Mountain), and Papago.
  23. beaureed445 said:

    Sounds like a good time! We'll be there 1/30- 2/3. Tee times are booked for Raven, Troon North (both courses), Gold Canyon (Dinosaur Mountain), and Papago.

    Have a great time, and a Happy Birthday! We're going at the end of the month, looking forward to hearing about your trip.
  24. Krey B

    Krey B
    Kansas

    Where do you play in Edmond? I'm playing Oak Tree in a few months, really looking forward to it!
  25. beaureed445

    beaureed445
    Edmond, OK

    Krey B said:

    Where do you play in Edmond? I'm playing Oak Tree in a few months, really looking forward to it!

    I primarily play at the Golf Club of Edmond. Which Oak Tree course are you playing? There's an East and West at Oak Tree Country Club (owned by Club Corp). And there's Oak Tree National (same area, different ownership group).
  26. Samuel  C

    Samuel C
    Phoenix, AZ

    As someone else mentioned, there are a lot of great courses in Arizona. It all depends on how far you want to drive and your price point. Since it's still cooler temps when you come out, the price will be a little high, but they are all fun courses. Sounds as if you already have some great courses picked out and I heard that Papago has renovated their clubhouse and practice area, so that should be cool.

    I would suggest Arizona Grand, it's centrally located, and there are some great holes where there are elevation changes. But they don't have a snack shop or anything at the turn, so you have to plan for that. They also don't have a proper range to warm-up, but other than that, it's nice to play with elevation changes.

    ASU Karsten is fun, it's a Pete Dye course and it should be played before ASU sells off the land.

    Las Sendas is a great course. Southern Dunes in Maricopa is fun, but it's a drive from Phoenix.

    Have a blast and let us know what you think of each of the courses.
  27. ray f

    ray f
    plano, TX

    I second the recommendation of Las Sendas. Very playable RTJ course. Desert 6-iron probably needed though.
  28. Gabriel G

    Gabriel G
    Cedar Park, TX

    I think the key is to play the correct tee box. I have learned not to hesitate moving up. Play is so much more fun. Once I played my regular city course and the guy who was about our age (55+) played the forward tees. I asked him and he looked at me with a smile and said "I have found out it is so much fun to play the forward tees." I thought about it and realized he was so right.
  29. ScottyC50

    ScottyC50
    Painesville, Ohio, USA

    I would also add the Short Course at Mountain Shadows. It's a Par 3 course, but immaculately maintained and at the base of the Camelback mountain. They even have a 17 1/2 hole that's just for settling bets. It a hole you only can putt. A way to play golf differently while out there....we play it every time we are there...
  30. That does look like a fun track...might be a good warm up spot. Thanks for the suggestion!
  31. Sorry for the delay in providing the recap...

    Papago was fun and greens were running at a 12, so missing a 1 footer meant a likely 5 foot return putt.

    Longbow (thanks, Dale) was in good condition, fun track, and the Golfboards mad the afternoon even more fun (rolling up to the first tee, some guy on the practice green said "You know what we call those? 'My first concussion'.")

    Talking Stick was generous, good conditions, but pace of play was wonky. Morning 18 was played in just under 4, afternoon was over 5 and we had to abandon after 16 due to darkness.

    Las Sendas is a pretty track - pretty views and pretty tough. Rough was lush, several holes required a well placed shot. Maybe not the right place for the high handicapper...but got a lot of good photos of my brother looking for his ball in the hillside and between the rocks.

    Great trip - will be back.
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