Gold Canyon Resort offers the perfect escape for a weekend staycation or for visitors from out of state. Gold Canyon’s location is remote and removed from the hustle-bustle of the big city of Phoenix and offers a serene and soothing option for those looking to get away.
You appreciate Sidewinder immediately—the first hole is one of the toughest in the 18 and the course throws you into it the deep end right off the bat. The par-5 first hole stretches 487 yards from the tips. From the elevated tees, you can see the entire hole, water lining the left side of the fairway, coming into play more often on your second shot than your tee ball. The average player can reach it in two with one pure shot after the next, but it may be wise to lay up to your favorite wedge distance to take water out of play.
Some think of the Talon course as the redheaded stepchild to the more widely known Raptor course that hosted the PGA Tour fall series, the Frys.com Open, in 2008 and 2009. But what most people don’t realize is that the Talon course actually hosted a PGA Tour-sanctioned event in the 90s—long before Raptor ever sniffed at hosting a Tour stop.
While Quintero may be challenging, it certainly isn’t lacking in accolades or notoriety. Golfweek Magazine named the private club to its “Top 100 America’s Best Modern” courses every year since 2002; it was named Top 20 Golfweek Magazine “Best Residential Golf Course Communities” since 2002; “Top 20 Best Courses in State” by the Golf Digest panel since 2003 and was #13 on that list in 2007 and 2008.
Legend Trail Golf Course provides the perfect dichotomy of rewarding good golf shots and punishing bad ones—characteristic of the quintessential desert design. Golf Magazine has placed Legend Trail among its top 100 golf courses, and Golf Digest rated it 4 1/2 out of five stars under “Best Places to Play.”
Lost Gold doesn’t waste any time throwing you into the challenges of the course, requiring precision from the get-go. The second hole on Lost Gold is a 558 yard par-5 that will dare even the greatest of players to reach it in two.
Both courses carry four-star ratings from Golf Digest and Dinosaur Mountain was ranked the #1 public golf course in Arizona for 2001 and 2002. Dinosaur Mountain has also been ranked one of Sports Illustrated’s “10 Most Underrated Golf Courses,” and ranked in Desert Golf Magazine’s “Top 10 Resort Courses in Arizona.”
The ninth hole on the Palm is the course’s signature hole and was selected by Golf Illustrated as one of its “Top Water Holes.” The unique island fairway at the ninth will challenge any level golfer’s brains-versus-broad decision-making. Taking it right off the tee is the safe play, with plenty of fairway to let your ball run out.
The 18 holes at the Sanctuary Golf Course require you to play target golf and you won’t always be hitting driver off the tee. A lot of holes require good course management and force you to really focus on the middle of the fairways. The fairways are surrounded by a little bit of rough and a lot of desert. Long hitters won’t have an advantage on this course, especially if they hit their ball sideways at all.
Michael Sim, Australian native now based in Scottsdale, Ariz. earned his way onto the PGA Tour for the remainder of this year and next following his third victory of the year on the Nationwide Tour.