General Manager: Scott Heideman,
Director of Golf: Jeff Sorkness,
Course Architects: Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw
18 Holes of Championship Golf
Par 71 – 6833 yards from the tips
Men’s – 72.1/127; 69.9/121
Ladies’ – 69.1/127
Tee Time Reservations: 480.860.2221
9998 E. Indian Bend
Scottsdale, Arizona 85256
By By Alice & Danny Scott
If you want to combine golf with a lovely walk in the park, head to Talking Stick Golf Club where Coore and Crenshaw designed two courses with a shared philosophy that traditional, strategic golf is most rewarding. The South course is a parkland style layout that meanders through eucalyptus and native desert trees with notable water features distinguishing it from its sister North course. Golf Digest and Golfweek rank the Talking Stick Resort courses in the Top 40 Casino courses you can play in the U.S.
Begin with friendly club service and music on one of the largest practice facilities in Arizona. The Wild Horse Grill has a pretty patio view to enjoy food and libations before or after the round. Actual wild horses may be seen romping outside the golf course during play. Playful roadrunners are almost guaranteed. The South course mostly borders the desert with less arroyos and transition areas than the North. It is more playable to the public but doesn’t require any less strategy and the mountain vistas are striking, especially with a smattering of winter snow we don’t have to shovel.
Hole #5, Par 4, 471 yards – “Fortress” is aptly named. One of the longest par 4’s on the course is bordered on the entire right side by out of bounds desert. A barbed wire fence prevents retrieval of errant shots. Five large bunkers in strategic spots must be navigated with accurate yardage calculations. Trees line the left side with a generously wide fairway. The elevated green is two tiered with four more massive bunkers on each side. This is a lock and load situation that is not too difficult if only you can control longer distances and reach the green in two.
Hole # 7, Par 5, 516 yards – “Praying Monk” might require wine and prayer for a golfing monk (if any play golf) to maneuver this long dogleg right. The largest landing area is left of center to avoid desert and bunkering. Coore and Crenshaw tempt big hitters to try and cut the corner to shorten their approach but the smart play is to make it a three shot hole. Hit a nice drive to the safe zone and set yourself up to your preferred distance on approach. Beware the fairway narrows and slopes away to the desert but the green is sizeable and forgiving. Pray that you use heavenly advice or go for it and blame it on the devil. He really made you do it.
Hole #14, Par 5, 541 yards – “Dylan’s Ravine” is a great hole for risk/reward players. This extremely long par 5 must cross the ravine separating the fairway at an angle at some point. The challenge is when to choose to do so. If you are not a long hitter, you can play the first fairway almost all the way to the green with a short pitch for regulation play. The drive is key to risking a ‘go for it’ attitude. The ravine is wide, but narrows as it approaches the green. At all points, take in the views of the distant mountain range.
Hole #18, Par 4, 323 yards – “Judgment” is a slight dogleg right that mirrors the lake guarding the whole right side. The elbow is wide. Then the fairway naturally narrows to the green. Three bunkers entice errant balls to the left while avoiding the watery grave to the right. Use your best judgment on whether you have enough gas to go for it at the end of the round. For the big boys and girls, yes, you might reach the green on the drive but it must be extremely accurate to avoid trouble. Afternoon sunshine on the blue water lined by golden reeds, reflects the mountains for one of the best esthetic finishing holes in the Valley.
Tee times are readily available and Talking Stick Resort offers stay and play packages. The Par Fore the Course package includes one night stay at the luxurious resort with one round of golf per person. The Fairway to Heaven package adds a spa treatment. There is also a “play em all” for 36 holes of pure golf.