Address: 1125 E. Rio Salado Parkway
Tempe, Arizona 85281
Director of Golf: Daryl Crawford
Head Golf Professional: Joey Jones
Course Architect: Pete Dye
About This Course:
18 Holes of Championship Golf
Managed by OB Sports
Par 70 – 7002 yards from the tips
Rating/Slope: 73.8/131; 70.3/124; 67.4/115; 62.7/103; 76.1/132; 72.8/127; 67.7/115
by Nancy G. Howard, Editor/Publisher Arizona Golfer
with Alice & Danny Scott
One of the most iconic golf courses to inhabit the desert landscape of Phoenix, Arizona is ASU Karsten, celebrating its 25th Birthday in September, 2015. Named after PING founder, Karsten Solheim (the largest contributor of initial funding), it is home to the ASU golf teams. Built in part to attract collegiate recruits, it worked well to launch pros like Phil Mickelson, Billy Mayfair, Grace Park and the late Heather Farr who is beautifully commemorated by a detailed bronze statue.
Designed by Pete Dye, this 7002-yard gem is a short par 70 on the scorecard but long in character. Expertly managed by OB Sports and Director of Golf Daryl Crawford, quality is emphasized throughout the well-maintained grounds and facilities. The Scottish influence carries to the links layout in the shadows of the ASU Stadium with mountain range vistas on many holes and the sounds of the ASU Marching Band in the background during this time of year. The undulating fairways and massive mounds are like ski moguls. Pete’s infamous pot bunkers and waste areas with his signature use of railroad ties producing the bulkhead effect challenge golfers of all levels.
Holes #6, par 3, 209 yards and #7, par 3, 155 yards from tips –These are back to back par 3s that can give you a good chance to birdie and improve your scorecard or take a bite out of it. On #6, center left is your aim to avoid trouble on the right. Trust the yardage, as it is true. Hole #7 is a straightaway with a mounded bunker at left front you’ll want to avoid but trust your swing and yardage and you’ll have a chance at that birdie.
Hole #9, par 4, 446 yards from the tips: – A very long lake splits the fairways between 9 and 18, no doubt a bonanza for diving ball recyclers. On number nine, drive far left and then take the liberal stance of left again on the approach to ensure dryness.
Note: Teammates Michael and David thought Holes #2, #8 and #9 were their favorite challenges on the course. David particularly was commenting on the rough most of the day. It’s some tough grass to get out of, to say the least.
Hole #16, par 3, 248 yards from the tips: – This is just a great par 3, visually and challenging, hitting over water to the right if you go for the green. Most end up in the bunkers on the left to avoid just not enough distance to the green with your tee shot. However, you can be rewarded if you go for it to redeem a birdie. Just love this hole overall.
Hole #18, par 4, 471 yards from the tips: Not much to say about this hole except beward...it’s one challenging finishing hole, for sure. Strategy is the key to score.
The Trophy Room restaurant awards any score with a full bar, dining area, meeting room and a balcony for a gallery view of the course. Players are welcomed into the 21,000 sq. ft. Sun Angel Clubhouse full of everything ASU. Strategically central and perched on the hilltop above the practice facility and PING Learning Center, this boldly contemporary design and the ultra-cool environ may serve as many business folks as golfers. ASU Karsten is a wise and popular choice for many charity and championship tournaments.
Just minutes from the airport, visitors flying in get the birds eye view and may tee off on arrival, before takeoff or both while locals are lucky to be able to frequent this high value course any time to recall or create great golf memories. Once experienced, you know why it is the ‘Home of Champions’.
By By Alice and Danny Scott
Karsten is still THE ONE, still open and will be for the foreseeable future. It is the one that has produced so many champions, like Phil Mickelson, Billy Mayfair, Grace Park and the late Heather Farr who is beautifully commemorated by a detailed bronze statue. It is also still where the ASU teams spend much of their practice time in their reserved area across from the ASU stadium. Karsten is the one course that is just ten minutes from Sky Harbor airport. Visitors flying in get the bird’s eye view and may tee off on arrival, before takeoff, or both while locals are lucky to be able to frequent this high value course any time to recall or create great golf memories.
This 7000-yard gem is a short par 70 on the scorecard but long in character. Expertly managed by OB Sports and director Derek Crawford, quality is emphasized throughout the well-maintained grounds and facilities. The undulating fairways and massive mounds are like ski moguls. Pete’s infamous pot bunkers and waste areas with his signature use of railroad ties challenge golfers of all levels.
Hole #1, par 4, 402 yards – Right out of the shoot, Pete’s bunkering poses a problem for those who swing away without strategic consideration. Drives must be targeted to the left on this dog leg right as even the longer hitters might be happy with their shot from the tee box only to find that their ball has drained into the litter box. Choosing the correct tee box and playing it forward to begin with is a smart idea here or anywhere.
Hole #5, par 4, 493 yards – Another dogleg right, this is the number one handicap hole for two major reasons, length and deceptive danger. A massive waste area on the right calls for a good drive to the left side missing the little bunker and trees. The fairway chute is narrow at the elbow. A large mound hides the green on the approach shot and more importantly to know, it hides bunkers beyond the visible bunkers. For Pete’s sake this is a happy par if you can achieve it! A birdie will have you soaring like the resident Osprey, so graceful with its wide, beautifully patterned wingspan.
Hole #16, par 3, 248 yards – This beauty stretches from 248 yards from the tips to 132 yards on the forward tee box. The glimmer glass lake on the right side of the fairway and green dominate the visual of one of the best par 3’s in the valley. The heavily undulating green with multiple landing zones creates a variety of play depending on the pin position of the day. The waterside right front pot bunker and deep grass bunkers behind make an accurate tee shot imperative. Bailout to the far left and you must get back to the green over more bunkers with the lake lurking for the aggressive swing. Anything dry off the tee box is good and par is exceptional.
Hole #18, par 4, 471 yards – A very long lake splits the entire fairways between 9 and 18, no doubt a bonanza for diving ball recyclers. On the grand finale hole, you might recall number nine and reverse the strategy that should have worked there. Drive right and then take the conservative stance of right again on the approach to ensure dryness. Beware of the hidden fairway bunkers on the right and note the green is tucked a bit behind said lake. These sister holes are a great test to ending both nines. The “fish are a jumpin’ in the lake” and hopefully you will be too on the green.
Celebrate inside where the Trophy Room restaurant awards any score with a full bar, dining area, meeting room and a balcony for a gallery view of the course. Players are welcomed into the 21,000 square feet Sun Angel Clubhouse of everything ASU. ASU Karsten Golf Course takes pride in offering the Future Champions Program. Junior players may walk up to 9 holes or until sunset for only $1 after 3pm. when accompanied by an adult golfer who will pay $1 per hole to walk (additional charge to ride).
What are you waiting for? Be a champ and book your tee time at Karsten for an always-fun round.