Tegavah: A “Gathering Place” for Arizona’s Golf Lifestyle

World-class golf and residences in a wonderful Sonoran Desert setting

Tegavah Hole #18 with Mazatzal Mountain ranges in background

Since 1983 when Jack, Tom, Arnie and Gary gathered in Scottsdale to play the first Skins Game, golfers have been flocking to the Sonoran Desert to do the same, minus a few zeroes per Skin. Thirty years later and 10 minutes down the road from where they played, the golf course community of Tegavah stands as a new gathering place for countless not-so-notable foursomes to play the game and live the life in style.

Inspired by the Yavapai word for “gathering place,” Tegavah first hit the Scottsdale golf scene in 2006 as Vista Verde. Brookfield Residential Properties and JEN Partners acquired the golf course development in 2013, and with the help of developer TerraWest Communities and OB Sports Golf Management, they’re well on the way to creating a highly desirable residential community in this jaw-dropping corner of the Sonoran Desert.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be involved with this wonderful community,” said Phil Green, President and Chief Operating Officer of OB Sports. “The golf course is beginning to reflect new standards and practices that have already resulted in much improved overall playing conditions. As this community continues to bloom, Tegavah will certainly turn some heads.”

Many would argue that the golf course has already turned a few heads. Stretching to 7,229 from the Tournament tees, golfers should try to resist the urge to bite off more than they can chew, and given the course’s six teeing areas, it’s easy to find a suitable length. Golf course designer, Ken Kavanaugh, crafted Tegavah as a traditional desert-golf experience with modern elements baked into the cake that provide a genuine test which doesn’t forget to have a little fun along the way. 

During their round, golfers must rely on the grey matter between their ears to successfully navigate Tegavah’s diverse collection of golf holes ranging from full-throttle par 4s to three-shot par 5s. Indeed, the tone is set by the par 5s. All are ranked in the top five in terms of men’s handicap with the 17th playing to a roomy 626 yards from the Tournament tees.

On a handful of occasions, when standing on the tee surveying the challenge ahead, sweeping contours obscure the true breadth of the landing areas. This tends to sow tiny seeds of doubt in the golfer’s mind. But after a few holes, observant players will begin to see the pattern.

Golf certainly lies at the foundation of the development, but there’s much more to Tegavah than the game. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2015 on the community’s amenity center, a hub for social and fitness activities. Designed by award-winning architect, Mark Tate, of Tate Studio Architects in Scottsdale, the gathering place will embrace the stunning terrain and mountain views in a way that invites residents to “live in the view,” as Tate likes to describe it. Amenities are planned to include a demonstration kitchen for cooking classes, weight room, fitness center, movement studio, social and multi-purpose areas, outdoor pool, hot tub and more. Add these on-site amenities to what’s already available in nearby Scottsdale, and the stage is set for a life rooted in the serenity of the natural surroundings without the isolation that can sometimes accompany it.

As one arrives, it becomes clear that Tegavah stands apart not only for what it offers but where it is. The 850-acre, master-planned community is located in 172nd Street and Rio Verde Drive (a.k.a. Dynamite). This is some of the most scenic Sonoran Desert that the Valley of the Sun has to offer, and it’s been that way for centuries. In fact, early in the repositioning process the Ft. McDowell Indian Reservation cultural director, Karen Ray, explained that, “Tribal leaders used to gather on this very spot and families hunted on this land.” 

“That kind of unique and very organic connection to the land is empowering from a development perspective,” said Mike Jesberger, principle of TerraWest Communities. “The natural beauty combined with a Native American history makes this a truly special destination where people will want to call home.”

The property borders Tonto National Forest, with captivating views of the nearby Mazatzal Mountain range and iconic Four Peaks to the east. The Verde River flows along the properties eastern border attracting a menagerie of wildlife looking for a cool drink including wild mustangs, eagles, road runners, javelina, and coyotes, to name a few of the locals. 

For local humans, additional new home offerings are anticipated to come in 2015, complementing the custom home site opportunities presently available.

“I was the first resident in the community and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here,” said Chip Glaser. “The community offers serenity, peacefulness, and panoramic views. Particularly beautiful are the shadows casting on the mountains at sunset and spectacular moonrises over the horizon.”

Maybe that’s what compelled Jack, Tom, Arnie and Gary to gather in this special place. Or, maybe it was simply the wonderful winter weather. Either way, one thing’s for certain, many golfers followed.  And for those who did: Tegavah awaits.