Talking Stick Golf Club

Piipaash Course Review

Talking Stick’s 18th Hole Playing 323 yards, par 4

Talking Stick Golf Club Piipaash Course


Phone: 480.860.2221

Address: 9998 Talking Stick Way
Scottsdale, Arizona 85256

General Manager: Steve Leonard, PGA
Golf Operations Manager: Jeff Sorkness, PGA
Head Golf Professional: Min Park, PGA
Group Sales Manager: Bentley Nakasawa
Superintendent: Paul Blumke
Course Architects: Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw

About this Course:
Par 71– 6833 yards from the tips
Rating/Slope: 72.7/127; 69.91/121; 67.6/116; 65.4/111; 75.2/130; 72.0/123; 69.1/117


Talking Stick Golf Club is a “go to course” in the Valley of the Sun for local golfers as well as tourists and guests of the Talking Stick Resort next door. Many such golfers were disappointed for what seemed like an eternity while they were closed after flooding but they’re baaaack! And they are not just reopened, but better than ever. 

While both Talking Stick golf courses were designed by Coore and Crenshaw with a shared philosophy that traditional, strategic golf is most rewarding, Piipaash, still often referred to as the South Course, epitomizes a parkland style layout. As it meanders through eucalyptus and native desert trees surrounded by mountain views, it might be tempting to stop for a picnic along one of the lakes and watch the antics of all the waterfowl. Since the extra seasonal rain and landscaping, the water holes are more prominent, and the fairways are a brighter green for a very picturesque round. 

Club service is welcoming at the bag drop to begin your day. The shop is loaded with great merchandise and more friendly staff. The Grille personnel are also very attentive with food and libations, while light music is motivational on one of the largest practice facilities in Arizona. Extremely popular are lessons from Pia Nilsson and Lynne Marriott, authors of Vision 54 and the latest inductees to the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame. 18 lush holes on Piipaash are perfect to chase the vision of par, let alone 54. Holes on the scorecard are named in English and native tongue. 

Hole #1 Par 4, 405 yards from the tips – “Good Luck” This name is a nice wish to begin. The opening hole, set in the shadows of the Casino Resort, provides a wide fairway. However, too much of a slice or hook may send your ball traveling down the entrance roadway or to the collection of driving range balls. Keep it in the center or slightly left to avoid the fairway bunker at the crest of the gentle hill. Good luck here or after in the casino!

Hole #8 Par 4, 476 yards from the tips – “Toward the Mountains” This formidable dogleg right requires a big drive and approach on the longest par 4 of the course. Bunkers guard the right elbow to swallow any miscalculations of distance. The fairway follows the entrance roadway with trees deflecting errant drives to the left, hopefully. Your best option is a straight-ahead march to the McDowell’s. The mountain vistas are striking, especially with a smattering of winter snow which we don’t have to shovel. 

Hole #11, Par 4, 392 yards from the tips – “Cattail Plant” A crescent shaped fairway around the lake increases the adrenaline for those wanting to bite off more than they can chew. Water induces a sense of calm, unless you are trying to go over it.  The best play is to hit a high percentage shot to the outer fairway edge avoiding water proximity since similar to false fronts, the ground slopes to the water.  It’s only a difficult hole if you make it that way.

Hole #16, Par 5, 548 yards from the tips – “Water’s (River’s) Edge” The longest par 5 on the back side is a slight dogleg left guarded by a pond and continuing stream that empties into number 11’s lake. Figure a three-shot hole for any chance at birdie or par. A great drive is paramount. The stream runs parallel to right side of fairway and then dissects the fairway at a diagonal so there is no room for error. Know your distance if laying up and stay to the left if you are not crossing the stream. The green drops off in the back and slopes severely into the lake. Too long, too bad on this great risk/reward hole for the chosen few.

Native American culture is both honored and welcoming at Talking Stick. Artists sometimes offer their authentic jewelry and crafts in the courtyard. Wildlife influences their creations. Wild horses may be spotted around the course perimeter. Roadrunners, ground squirrels and more are a sure bet. If you love betting, slip in to Talking Stick Casino after golf. Or, schedule a massage. Talking Stick has it all!