Arizona Golf Vacations

Say Goodbye Sanctuary, Hello McDowell Mountain

By • Nov 14th, 2011

McDowell Mountain Golf Club, located in the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona, recently opened its renovated course in October. The course, prior known as The Sanctuary Golf Club, was purchased for $2.2 million by PGA Professional Phil Mickelson and his agent Steve Loy in efforts to increase golf play in the Scottsdale area.

According to an article written in The Arizona Republic, golf courses are over-developing which is creating too much supply and not enough demand. In Metropolitan Phoenix alone there are more than 200 courses, many of which that are starting to go under due to the costs of running a facility and not having enough players.

Private clubs that require membership fees are seeing the worst effects of the troubling economy because less people can afford to spend the extra $500-$1,000 monthly fees, plus the extra costs for cart rentals, lockers, food and drink.

Phil Mickelson is setting the example for other buyers by taking the Sanctuary Course, a once $20 million estate value, and redesigning it into a more affordable family friendly environment which will boost interest in golfers.

Phil Mickelson worked closely on the project with original course architect, Randy Heckenkemper, to reshape over 20,000 cubic yards. The goal of the redesign was to improve playability.

Phil Mickelson stated in an interview on the opening day, “We wanted to create an experience for all players that provides an enjoyable round of golf regardless of abilities. We wanted to present demanding shots for the better players but give the average player more shot options.”

Some of the architectural changes included: Widening and reshaping the fairways, adding new teeing grounds, filling in some bunkers, and flipping the nines to create a more dramatic finish. The course now plays 7,072 yards, adding an additional 460 yards to the black tees. The practice facility also received an upgrade and now provides world-class instruction by Rick Smith Golf Academy.

A new annual membership is also being promoted, which gives players “member-like” benefits including green fees for an entire year, all for $4,000.

Regular rates begin as low as $55 during twilight hours (after 2 pm) and will run as much as $145 on weekends and holidays beginning in 2012.

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