19th Hole

Heimo Brandstatter
Verde River Golf & Social Club
Rio Verde, AZ

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Here We Grow Again

It’s been a while since the Valley golf scene has had so much new to crow about. Following the national trend, investment in golf projects has been limited in Arizona. The 2015 debut of Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club received national acclaim, but otherwise it’s been fairly quiet with regards to new golf courses or major renovations.

That’s all about to change. Beginning this fall, golf operators in the Valley will unveil a number of new courses and substantial renovations. These will include some impressive updates to the highly ranked Cholla Course at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club; the opening of a new golf course at Victory at Verrado;  and renovations to Tonto Verde’s Peaks Course, Sun Lakes’ Ironwood Country Club, historic Mountain Shadows, and my own Verde River Golf & Social Club.

Staying particularly busy are Tom Lehman and his partner Chris Brands of Lehman Design Group, as they are handling what are the two most substantial new projects on that list – the Victory course at Verrado and Verde River’s significant transformation. Both courses are expected to open later this year. Lehman was the logical choice for both of these projects. He designed the original Verrado Course, which was named a “Top 10 Best New” by GOLF Magazine. And, he was also the designer of Shea Homes’ Encanterra Country Club in San Tan Valley, which has been chosen among the top private clubs in the nation by GOLF Magazine, Golfweek, and LINKS Magazine (Shea Homes is also spearheading the Verde River project). These new courses complement Lehman’s previous Valley work at DC Ranch, Phoenix Country Club and The Wigwam Gold Course.

Despite what some have reported, the golf market in Arizona has never been stronger. The demand for the Valley as an international destination of choice continues to grow, and the more responsible expansion of supply means each facility can operate as a healthy, stand-alone business. This steadying trend means that locals will continue to be spoiled by the amazing weather, breathtaking designs, and near-perfect golf conditions for which our region is known.

The peak winter season is just around the corner, so get ready now to visit all the new and established courses our area has to offer. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, do the “edge-to-edge” Lehman tour and check out Victory at Verrado in the west and Verde River Golf & Social Club in the east.

Heimo Brandstatter is the General Manager at Verde River Golf & Social Club, the centerpiece to Shea Homes’ exciting new Trilogy at Verde River master-planned, resort-style community. Learn more about Heimo and Trilogy at www.trilogylife.com.