The Pointe is Perfectly Clear: Lookout Mountain Is OutstandingBy Michael K. Wong • Apr 6th, 2009
I drive. I’m in my car on the east-west thoroughfare north of the Pointe Lookout Mountain golf course in Phoenix. I drool. From the road I see lush fairways and well-manicured greens. I envy. I see golfers sizing up their second shots near the lake along the left side of hole #15. It’s sunny and 70 degrees and they’re playing golf and I’m NOT. I envision. Even though I’m traveling at 50 miles per hour, I see myself staring down the fairway looking for the perfect place to lay up — giving me the best shot at birdie.
Fast forward. My visualization from the street has now become a reality—I find myself at The Pointe Lookout Mountain, one of top Phoenix golf courses getting ready to play this fabulous course on a cool March morning. My playing partners are Leena from Finland and Anita from Phoenix. Neither has played Lookout Mountain and it has been several years since I last played it. I enjoy this course because it is scenic, the course is always in great shape, it has interesting holes, the staff is helpful and friendly and it is centrally located. For me, that’s a winning formula.
The Pointe Lookout Mountain plays just over 6500 yards from the back tees with a rating of 70.1 and slope of 131. Shoot a 71 and it’s par the course.
Your starting hole could pose a challenge. Even though it is not the longest hole, the par-4, 351-yard opener has a two-tiered green that’s more wide than deep, so you have to have a deft touch to land the ball on the green. The green is well guarded by a front-side bunker nearly the length of the horizontal green.
As we travel a few hundred yards to the next hole, the quail scurry faster than our carts.
Hole #1 sets you up for the long par-4 second hole, which happens to be the number one handicap hole. At 465 yards, long hitters may be tempted to cut through the desert to shoot for birdie. But an errant shot may lead to bogie and above.
Each of the holes at Lookout Mountain has been named. For example, there’s “Coyote Canyon at number 8,” “Double Cross for number 12,” and “Six Shooter.” Not only is this par-3 the sixth hole, but the layout of the hole resembles a pistol.
“Some names made me smile,” says Leena. “To have fun while playing golf is always good,” she adds.
If a hole were named after the friendly and courteous Pointe Lookout Mountain staff, the hole would be called, “Amazing.”
We inch upwards, climbing towards the sky to hole #10. Something is different here. The cart path has large, elongated ridges that look like elephant trunks. We’ve arrived.
When you find the tee box at #10 and look to the fairway you will know why this is The Pointe Lookout Mountain’s signature hole.
“This is a great tee shot as it presents a dramatic view of Piestewa Peak as well as Lookout Mountain,” says Leo Simonetta, Director of Golf.
There is a 150-foot elevation drop on this 419-yard, par 4 beauty. The ridges on the cart path grab the tires on the steep grade and help control the speed of the cart.
Playing partner Anita loved the scenery, “the views are great as you find yourself teeing off with the backdrop of Phoenix Mountain Preserves.” She adds, “I loved playing this golf course in Arizona, the beautiful Sonoran Desert, wildlife and the lush winter fairways and greens. It was challenging, fun and unpredictable.”
This course could have two signature holes— and the par-5, 512 yard 18th hole should join hole #10 as “star for the course.” With a rolling, tree-lined fairway, a mountain backdrop and a lake guarding two-thirds of the green, this finishing hole rivals any other on the Phoenix-Scottsdale golf scene.
Simonetta says the Pointe Lookout Mountain is unique, ”it’s a great combination of traditional golf and desert golf. It presents both aspects in a very challenging, yet fair layout that is very playable by golfers of all skill levels.”
And that includes Leena, a 32 handicapper from Finland who was enjoying an Arizona golf experience. After playing a few courses over her two-month stay, she sums up the Pointe at Lookout Mountain this way,” this course was more beautiful and more interesting.”
A point made perfectly clear.
The trees on this course are mature and provide some relief from the sun. Still, you should bring sunscreen and bring a cap or a visor to protect yourself from the rays.
(1) From the elevated 10th hole, you get a great view of Piestewa Peak. This mountain was renamed for Army Specialist Lori Ann Piestewa, the first Native American woman to die in combat for the U.S. military. Piestewa died in Iraq in 2003.
(2) Biltmore Fashion Park is located about 15 minutes from the golf course. Biltmore Fashion Park features dozens of upper-end retail and clothing stores plus restaurants.
(3) The golf course is part of the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. The property is home to nearly 600 suites and features The Falls Water Village—three acres of swimming pools, a 138-foot water slide and a couple of dozen private cabanas.
(4) For the past 15 years, the Pointe Lookout Mountain has hosted the Arizona Baseball Charities golf tournament, in which many baseball hall of famers participate.
(5) For ten consecutive years, Golf Digest has given the Pointe Lookout Mountain its Four Star Award, which means it is one of America’s most outstanding courses to play.
Five Things You Might Overhear at The Pointe Lookout Mountain
(1) “I hope our cart can make it up this steep grade!”
(2) “This hole is called ‘Snake Pit’ so do NOT look for your lost ball on this hole!”
(3) “Whoa! This is a nice view from up here. No wonder #10 is the signature hole!”
(4) “Keep it straight. Otherwise, your ball might end up hitting a car on that busy street!”
(5) “That’s a nice-looking finishing hole!”