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I was in the mood for a challenging course today. It had been a few years since I last played here so I was really happy to find a morning tee time at 10:10 am. I don’t have a JC card so it’s usually impossible to get that kind of time.

The guys in the pro shop were very welcoming and got me checked in quickly. I was hoping to hit some balls to warm up but the range was closed due to being too muddy to pick. The carts are nice with GPS and ice chest. I amused myself on the putting green for a bit until the twosome I was paired with arrived. The weather was a brisk 50ish when we started but quickly warmed up to mid 60s... pretty much perfect.
In the past I’d played from the most forward tees but since I’ve been playing decently lately, I decided to go back one set. It was much more to my liking at just over 5300 yards.

I was prepared for not great conditions with the recent rain and the zillions of messy sycamore trees, but I was impressed with how neat and clean the course was overall. The fairways were a bit thinner than I prefer but they had good coverage and no notable wet or muddy spots. The tee boxes were not all level but not bad. The greens were smooth and fairly fast with very few ball marks. I was in only one bunker (I don’t think I’ve ever not been in that bunker on 13!) The sand was clean, soft and plentiful. I really enjoy chipping and the rough made me so happy. It was consistent around the course, lush and a perfect 1-2 inches. The ball sat up nicely and I had some very satisfying shots.

A lot of vegetation has been cleaned up since my last visit. All of it has been removed from the lake on #5 par3. It is definitely less intimidating now as the front of the green is fully visible, but honestly it’s just kind of ugly now. On many other holes the ground around the tee boxes has been cleaned up and the tee boxes are more well defined. I can’t be sure, but it also seems like the ditches on 8 and 10 have fewer big rocks in them than I remember.
I had a super fun time would like to play here more often. Hopefully I can another good tee time someday. Recommended.
14 Likes.
The second stop on our golf road trip weekend was at the GK/Golf Moose outing. Like the others I’ve attended, this outing was well organized, fun and well worth the long drive to get there.

Jackie and I were paired with Jack and Joe who were really fun playing partners. The course was beautiful. The fairways were in great shape. They are lined with large old trees, which did get hit more than few times. The bunkers had wonderfully clean, soft sand that I got to hit from more times than I’d like to admit. The rough was quite deep in some areas, making it tough to find a wayward ball. The greens were perfect.. .but I still missed too many putts.

Thank you Johnny, Golf Moose and Kings CC.
If there is another outing here, I’ll happily make the drive again.
6 Likes.
We played on 11-12-23. This was the first round of a three day golf weekend with my friend Jackie. I had played here once a few years ago. I remember it being a fun layout with less than stellar conditions. Nothing much has changed in those areas.

Check in was fast and friendly. While there were many carts to choose from, we searched through all of them to find one that didn’t have a torn up seat. Finally found one. Then that cart quit working by the time we got to the starter shack. The starter kindly gave us his cart so we were back in business… only to wait on every hole behind a very slow foursome.

It really is a fun layout with lots of undulating fairways, deep bunkers and a few water hazards. The greens were in very nice shape. They were quite soft but still rolled fast medium speed. Conditions around the rest of the course weren’t pretty but played just fine. Even the pebbly dirt bunkers were easy enough to get out of. The fairways were equal parts brown and green. They had good coverage but some pretty tight lies that always give me a chipping challenge. The rough varied from bare to clumpy to ball-hiding deep.

Overall, we had an enjoyable time. I would really like to play here again when/if conditions are much better.
6 Likes.
I joined Nickesquire for two days of golf on the Mountain course. Beforehand, he told me the course was in good, but not great shape. My first impression was “if this in only ‘good’, then when it’s ‘great’ it must be absolutely stunning!”

The staff in the pro-shop, member’s grill, and starter, were all very friendly and welcoming. We headed right out to play, starting on the 10th hole.
The fairways were just the way I like them- short enough to get lots of roll, but enough cushion for me to hit irons decently. I was in a few bunkers. The sand was good and I managed ok. The rough varied from short and easy to chip from, to thick, deep and definitely not easy.

The greens. Oh my. Without Nick’s assistance, I wouldn’t have had the slightest chance of making a putt. They were lightning fast, and broke in directions I couldn’t have predicted. On many of them I was coached to not land any further than the front of the green as the ball was going to take off running. And that it did!

On the front there are some big elevation changes with incredible views. One hole had a tough hike up to the back tees but it was well worth it for the photo. There were a few holes on the course that seemed somewhat familiar. Upon learning it is a Fazio design it made sense as I realized I was getting a Ram’s Hill vibe. I really enjoyed all the mounds and swales even though that’s where the really challenging rough was.

The 2,000 ft elevation in the area was great for the extra yardage I got, especially with my driver. The first day I played from the first set of tees. I shot 90 with 6 pars. That was really exciting. The second day, just for grins and giggles I played from the next set. Being my third day in row playing, I was tired and the extra yardage and difficulty was too much to even keep score. It was still a lot of fun, though.

We took a cart tour of the Canyon course which is closed for overseeding. It looks very different than the Mountain course and it really appealed to me. I definitely will return to play that one.
My thanks again, to Nick. I had a great time!
11 Likes.
With so many courses in the Phoenix unavailable due to overseeding I was happy to find out this course was open (the North course was closed. ) I had seen many photos that intrigued me and I really wanted to check it out. I booked my tee time by phone. The woman told me she locked in my rate at $165 and had I booked online it would have been $225.
When I checked in however, they charged me $225, saying that the rate was $175 plus tax and water fee. They did say it would have been “a lot more” if I had booked online. I was not too pleased with it but I paid so I could play.

I got my cart and warmed up on the range and putting green which was wickedly fast. I was paired with a twosome and another single. It was the first time here for all of them as well.
The scenery didn’t disappoint. The rock formations were just as stunning as in the photos. The desert area was all neatly maintained with beautiful vegetation. I love all the Saguaros. They have so much personality and it’s amusing seeing so many with golf balls stuck in them.

The fairways were in excellent shape with no thin or bare spots. The tee boxes were all perfectly level and few unfilled divots. The bunkers were deep with clean, soft sand. The greens were absolutely crazy fast with unpredictable and sometimes invisible breaks that they really took a lot of fun out the round. I got more GIRs than usual then got totally beaten up on the greens. My putting is usually pretty good, but these greens were beyond frustrating.

The layout of the individual holes were all fun. But, with the very tough greens and the difficulty of following the routing of the course, it was really a mentally exhausting day. I would say recommended but I also don’t think I’d be in a hurry to play here again.
14 Likes.
Driving home yesterday from Phoenix , I decided to check out this course figuring it would be a while before I got another opportunity. It’s almost 5 miles away from the freeway, seemingly out in the middle of nowhere, though there are some homes around. I was a bit surprised at how many people were there. I got the impression it’s a nice community social gathering place.

The woman in the pro-shop/snackbar was very friendly and welcoming. She told me that only the back nine was open as the front is closed for overseeding. The green fee would cover playing the back twice, but I just wanted to play nine which was fine as it was certainly inexpensive enough including cart.

The layout was nice, mostly flat except for #17. Conditions were definitely not great but playable in most areas. The majority of the fairways had decent coverage but there were some long carries off the tee over large dirt & weed areas. Off the fairways was also just dirt and some very deep weeds. There is supposed to be water between 13 & 14 and on 16, but without the pictures on the scorecard, I would never have known it. The greens were really ugly and patchy but rolled surprisingly smoothly at a medium-fast speed.

Overall it was enjoyable and on another trip to AZ I’d like to stop again to play the front nine.
12 Likes.
I’d been wanting to get back to Redhawk for a while. I saw some recent photos that showed it to be in good condition, so I decided to brave the heat and go play.

The customer service was top notch. They had carts going to the parking lot to transports players and clubs to the clubhouse. Any bit of less walking in the heat was much welcomed. Check in was quick and I got my cart. The brake pedal was not working but they gave me another cart. That one didn’t work very well either but I just made do with some creative parking positions. The starter said they are expecting new carts with GPS next month. Also, since my last visit, there is new netting between the driving range and #18.
I was paired with a nice twosome and we headed out on time at 1pm.

Other than the sand-less bunkers, the course conditions were very good. The fairways were green and lush, with no thin or bare spots that I saw. There was much evidence of prior players having filled their divots. That was nice to see. The tee boxes were also in good shape. The greens were firm and not as fast as I expected but smooth and rolled true. There were very few ball marks. The rough varied from a bit clumpy to very thick and deep. Even from that, I had one of my best chipping days in a while.

The temperature reached 104 by the time we got to the 7th hole and on the 9th I was feeling so lousy I had to call it a day. I was kinda bummed because I shot my best front nine score ever on the course and think I might have done as well on the back if not for the heat. The front nine POP was 2:15.

The lady in the pro shop was the best. She gave me a nine hole rain-check good until November. What a nice touch. As soon as the weather cools, I’ll be back.
Definitely recommended.
13 Likes.
Never thought I'd have much nice to say about this course but the improvements so far are wonderful.
The 9s are flipped. There are a few holes that have been shortened and/or completely reinvented. Overall the course is short at par 70. All of the turf is in great condition and the greens fast. Many huge trees have been removed. The course is much more open now and beautifully landscaped with roses everywhere. The new clubhouse is not yet open and there is a no driving range, but there is a new chipping, putting and patio area with new hitting bays to come. A couple of the tunnels are completely paved! All the staff was super friendly.
The only negative is that my GPS was completely useless. It had no idea where I was.
8 Likes.
I played FIrecliff yesterday with a friend who is in town from Louisiana. I knew the area courses are in good condition now, but when driving in, I couldn’t help but let out a little gasp when I saw how GORGEOUS, the fairways were!

The customer service is very good here. My friend is a PGA member and they were very generous in extending his discount to me as well. There was one glitch, though, when I arrived. As I was walking in from the parking lot with my bag, a staff member took it and said it would be on a cart in out back after I checked in. Well, my bag was nowhere to be seen. We checked the dozen or so carts lined up with bags and then drove the length of the driving range to see if someone had taken it my mistake. Nope,not there. At this point I was not panicked, but definitely not happy as the attendant didn’t seem to take it very seriously. What seemed like an eternity later, a cart drove by us with my clubs on it. The guy said he never realized there was a bag aboard. Crisis averted!

We were paired with a single woman, 6 hcp player who was prepping for an upcoming tournament and was really fun to play with. The course is absolutely immaculate tee to green. The fairways were perfect and the rough was the best for chipping that I’ve played in a while. The greens were smooth and firm, rolled a fast medium speed and I didn’t see a single ball mark all day. The bunkers could have used a tiny bit more sand, but there was just enough to easily hit from. Good thing, because my ball found a LOT of them!

POP was good at 4:15, only having waited a minute or two on a couple of holes. There was just enough shade available to make that time easier in the 100 degree heat.
Another great day at Desert Willow. Highly recommended.
8 Likes.
I played yesterday, joined by Kassper7. This was my second time here and I was so happy for another chance at this beautiful, fun and challenging course. Thank you, Johnny!

Customer service was great. When I called last week for a tee time they let me know that they greens were punched the prior week and may be a bit bumpy. I really appreciated the heads-up and they actually called me a few days later to make sure I knew. Upon arrival they were very welcoming of us as guests. Check in was easy, we got our cart, hit a few range balls and teed off a few minutes before our 12:15pm tee time.

The course was in overall good shape. The fairways were green and lush, the bunkers had just the right amount of soft sand. The greens were not as bumpy as I was expecting and rolled a medium speed. Several greens had bad patchy spots around the edges but no putts were affected by them. None of our missed putts could be blamed on the conditions. The tee boxes were not so good. They were nicely level, but ranged from very chewed up to being in dire need of mowing. The rough was thick and deep in most areas, short and tight in others. There were many maintenance workers out on the course so I’m sure in a few days conditions will be even better.

The layout is wonderful. There is a great variety of holes and a lot tougher than you would think at first glance. There are several forced carries –some at awkward lay-up distances (for me, anyway) and many, many bunkers guarding the greens. A couple of the par 3s are steeply uphill adding considerable yardage. Hole 13 is gorgeous par 3 over water that was an absolute score killer for me as 2 balls went for a swim. I will definitely use a lot more club next time!

If you haven’t played here before, be sure to, should you have the chance. Guys, keep your shirttails tucked in. They are very strict about that!
Highly recommended.
14 Likes.
I’d been wanting to get back here for a while and just couldn’t pass up the chance to play it with the GK group on 8-14-22. Johnny and the friendly staff had carts and range balls waiting for us. The grass range is small but served the purpose. The putting green looks like it’s recently been enlarged.

The course conditions were mixed. The fairways were varied from lush to thin with a few bare spots. The couple of bunkers I was in had a decent amount of sand. The greens were smooth but had inconsistent speeds and lots of undulations making for some very interesting-and lots of missed- putts.

The only thing that really didn’t thrill me was that the forward tees have been moved up about 500 yards since last time I played. Although there is still plenty of challenge for a short hitter, several of the new tee boxes were placed out in the fairway seeming much like an afterthought making it all a bit less satisfying. Although I will likely risk a higher score, I’ll play the red/white combo next time.

The after-party was fun as always. There was the usual assortment of goodies courtesy of Linksoul, OnCore and Golfmoose and even a complimentary lunch. It really doesn’t get much better than that. Thank you, Johnny and Sterling Hills for a great day.
12 Likes.
Played yesterday, as part of the GKplays outing. Thank you, Johnny and all of the staff at San Vicente for putting together such a wonderful experience.
The day started with goodies from Linksoul, OnCore and Golfmoose, followed by complimentary BBQ lunch and beverages. The shaded patio was reserved for us to enjoy out of the sun. Range balls were provided as well.
The course is a lot of fun. There is such a variety of holes with only a few forced carries but plenty of undulations and a notable blind tee shot on the par 4 #6. Keep your shot in the middle of the fairway over the hill and the ball can roll nearly all the way to the green. It was a very exciting birdie!
All of the fairways, tee boxes and rough were in really good shape. And there was real sand in the bunkers! It was such a pleasure after all the hard, pebble filled traps I’ve hit out recently. The greens were also a treat- firm and smooth.
If you have a chance to play here, do so. It’s a bit of a drive from OC but definitely worth it. Highly recommended.
11 Likes.
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