The inward nine holes at Talking Stick feature some of the most challenging and unique layouts in the area. Starting with the lengthy par 3 11th, golfers are greeted by a three hole stretch as visually stunning as it is intimidating. After the sobering “fairway wood from the tee” length of number 11, the course bends towards the east and greets players with the split-fairway par 4 12th hole.
Arizona Golf Course Reviews
The course itself features several sets of tees, but even the back tees appear deceptively short on the scorecard. Measuring just over 7,000 yards, the back tees instead rely on tricky angles, forcing brave golfers to work the ball and shape shots to fit the hole rather than bomb it down the middle. No hidden washes or bunkers await well struck shots at Club West
The 15th hole to me is the Signature. The finest elevated hole around, its green is well below the tee box but you get distracted because you can see Piestewa Peak, Camelback Mountain and Papago Buttes as well as 3 cities. When all that’s digested, take your shot onto the green that’s tucked in a corner and trust that the sign that says “play for 165 yards” is accurate. What a hole!
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.