18 Holes of Championship Golf
Address: 3636 East Baseline Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85042
General Manager: Kevin Weber
Director of Golf: Jeremy Strauss
Superintendent: Eddi Wahlborg
Course Architects: Gary Panks/David Graham
About this Course:
18 Holes of Championship Golf
Par 72 – 7078 yards from the tips
Rating/Slope: 73.2/132; 70.8/127; 68.3/121; 71.9/124
By By Alice and Danny Scott
“If you build it, they will come,” is the famous line in the baseball movie “Field of Dreams.” For golfers, The Raven Phoenix is such a place designed in 1995 by Gary Panks and David Graham. The majestic backdrop of South Mountain contrasts with panoramic views of downtown Phoenix to create an iconic setting. The exceptional practice facility includes a large driving range, bunker area, putting greens and great service from curb greeting to a thankful bid farewell that earned the “#1 guest service in North America” award by Arizona Magazine.
Players of all skills enjoy an exhilarating round of golf on the challenging fairways and greens, which are well maintained, by the crew of superintendent Eddi Wahlborg and his dog Rocky. Some say Rocky is the hardest working employee as he chases nuisance birds away. Stop for a moment and he’ll bring a cone from one of the Georgia Pines to play a game of fetch.
Music in the staging and practice area varies from Sinatra Sundays to Reggae another day, combining with vibrant floral details that make you ready for golf.
Hole #3, Par 4, 477 yards from the tips – Your first real test is the longest par 4 on the course. It requires length and strength. The fairway is mounded on both sides with the left posing an out of bounds for errant shots. It is straightforward power you must have in a great tee shot to reduce the amount of carry to the generously receptive large green. No hidden surprises here but you might keep asking yourself, ”Are you sure this isn’t a par 5?”
Hole #7, Par 3, 221 yards from the tips – This demanding par 3 has a small lake on the left side and an enormous sand bunker running the length of the approach and green. Anything left off the tee is water bound and if you’re lucky enough to catch the dry bunker, another struggle begins. The bunker is walled with wood beams that are 5 to 10 feet high. An approach close to the wall makes a formidable challenge to exit. The green is large, but has deceptive ridges to funnel the ball awry. A good walk about is required to envision the correct line. This is one of the longest par 3’s that you will encounter.
Hole #13, Par 4, 386 yards from the tips – One of the few blind tee shots on the course, you must know the yardage to the end of the fairway as it slopes downhill toward a giant sand trap guarding the entire front of the green. A hybrid or 3 wood might be a better choice. The approach will be dictated by the pin placement. If pin is back left, there is a catch basin within the green that will slope off into the rough. It is imperative to avoid that area to ensure a chance at two putt or possible birdie.
Hole #18, Par 4, 428 yards from the tips – One of the best closing holes in the valley, the fairway is bordered by the driving range on the right and out of bounds on the left. While trees guard the entire left side of the fairway, the right side allows a generous landing area. However, too far right and you will be blocked by the trees that hug a lake lining the front and right of green. This reflective lake is a great purveyor of attentiveness. Check your yardage, tighten your belt and don’t be distracted by the shadow of South Mountain. If your calculations or execution fail, don’t worry. Flowers and ducks guide golfers back to the beautiful clubhouse.
Grill 36 is a perfect ending or beginning with breakfast, lunch and Happy Hour (from 3 to 6pm) serving tasty fare. Chef Porch smokes something every weekend for Smokin’ Sundays. The balcony patio overlooks the pond and waterfall features at the 18th green. Always popular for charity tournaments, it is also a premier wedding setting.
Club Fix is a program designed to upgrade your game with Tanner Wooten fitting clubs on the range with actual outdoor flight experience. Tour Striker’s Martin Chuck is available for lessons. The Raven Phoenix, managed by Arcis Golf is where golf is played and deals are made. Make a deal with yourself to enjoy a round here.