Pinnacle Peak Country Club

Pinnacle Peak Country Club #10 Par 4 Back Tee 422 yards Handicap #4

Pinnacle Peak Country Club

General Manager:  Brian Straight
Director of Golf:  Bill Kuikman
Course Superintendent: Steve Garner
Course Architect:  Originally by Dick Turner and redone by Dick Phelps
18 Holes of Championship Golf
Par 72 – 7077 yards from the tips
Rating /Slope:
Men’s: 74.2/131; 73.0/130; 71.6/129; 70.6/127; 69.3/126; 67.8/125; 67.1/119
Ladies’: 75.9/138; 73.7/133; 71.8/127; 69.3/125; 68.5/123
Golf Shop: 480.585.0385
8701 East Pinnacle Peak Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85255

By By Alice and Danny Scott

Jerry Nelson’s development of the Pinnacle Peak Country Club in 1976 is an example of “place making” – creating a gathering place that builds relationships and a sense of community. Forty years later, members are thriving in this personalized club. Centrally located in North Scottsdale with nearby shopping, entertainment and restaurants, the private club is hidden from urban sprawl by the borders of homes and vegetation. The Dick Turner designed parkland style course meanders through the community of single level, stately homes that are exquisitely landscaped. Fairways are wide but strategically placed bunkers and native shade trees might pose a problem. 

The $2m green renovations, including a 14k square foot practice green by the designer’s son Rick this past summer have paid off. It is like walking on new carpet. Repairing ball marks takes one simple insertion and lift to spring back like a perfect mattress. The project is a testament to the owners’ commitment to quality, having stepped up to the price and relinquishing the course for six months. By using Rick, they ensured that his dad’s original green contours were preserved. Large oleander hedges, mature eucalyptus and blooming yellow trees with lakes and fountains make the course feel like a country estate.

Hole #7, par 4, 468 yards from the tips – The longest par 4 requires two big hits to reach the green in regulation. Avoiding the bunker on the right side of the landing area is paramount to success. A more diabolical bunker is placed twenty yards to the right of the expansive, sloping green to capture any poorly hit approach while a back bunker traps those that add a little too much club in avoidance of the first sand hazard. Walk off this green with par or better to show true golfing prowess.

Hole #9, par 3, 170 yards from the tips – Finishing holes should be unique and require concentration. Rarely are they a par 3 but this hole delivers it all with a view of the namesake Pinnacle Peak, a lake with fountain, waterfalls, bunkers to and fro, and the floral patio of the clubhouse. Concentrate! In spite of the danger, a well-struck iron will leave you elated and hopefully admired by the gallery on the deck. Water and fountain sounds are supposed to be calming and thank God you don’t have to carry the water to reach this green. Although it creeps close, it allows mis-hits to wander a bit without penalty. If the water does not calm nerves, perhaps a libation at the Range House will suffice. 

Hole #13, par 4, 446 yards from the tips – The course has mostly straightforward tee shots except on a few holes. This slight dogleg left requires a draw to a preferred lie for reaching the elevated green, which is blocked from view by the giant eucalyptus trees on the left side while nasty bunkers await errant shots on the right. Navigate to the elbow and add yardage for the slight uphill position. 

Hole #18, par 5, 588 yards from the tips - Buckle up for a test of strength and nerves. The finishing par 5 is a blind tee shot to the top of the hill with again, eucalyptus sentinels. If you are long enough, you can catch a break by rolling down the hill to reduce approach yardage. This is where your skill is tested. The lake guards the left side while creeping unseen, nearly into the whole side of the fairway. A bunker complex also dissects the fairway almost completely before the water crosses. For those brave souls who think they can reach the green in two, there is a slight opening on the right side. It takes a great shot with correct yardage to clear the front bunkers while avoiding the ones in the back of the green. Most players will be happy executing just three shots to the green. This beautiful hole completes the design in a climactic fashion.

The rich Spanish-colonial style clubhouse is inviting to all who enter. Members also enjoy lighted tennis courts, swimming pools, workout facilities and a large practice area for golf. Club membership is limited to 325 at Pinnacle Peak Country Club, so you are not just a member, you’re family.