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 Blake Isakson
ASU, ASU, ASU! Okay, so maybe the gallery won’t be chanting for you as you walk up to the 18th green with water left and Sun Devil Stadium framing the green in the background, but you can still play at the home of Arizona State’s golf teams. With world class players like Tom Purtzer and Dan Forsman on the Champions Tour, Phil Mickelson and Paul Casey on the PGA Tour and Azahara Munoz on the LPGA Tour, ASU Karsten has definitely been the home of some great golfers and its championship golf course represents them very well.
The Pete Dye designed 7,002 yard par 70 golf course is a truly different Arizona golf experience. With rolling fairways, tiered greens, railroad ties, and plenty of water you may forget that you are in the middle of the desert. ASU Karsten has four sets of tees, ranging from 4,765 to 7,002 yards, that allow all levels of golfers to enjoy this Pete Dye golf course. The events hosted here run the gamut from corporate outings to top-level junior events like the Silverbell to collegiate events such as the PAC 10 Championships to local professional tours like the Championship Players Tour.
The experience at ASU Karsten is a truly different one starting from the time you arrive with their helpful staff decked out in maroon and gold plus fours its easy to tell that you are in Sun Devil country. However, different outfits aren’t the only thing that set ASU Karsten apart from other golf courses in the valley. They are also the home of Sun Angel Clubhouse. This 21,000 square foot clubhouse has it all, from meeting spaces, to a great grill, and a top 100 golf shop. My personal favorites are the Trophy Room Grill and the golf shop which is packed full of everything you could want before you’re round of golf, unless you’re a Wildcat fan.
ASU Karsten has many good holes but 4 holes stand out that define this Pete Dye golf course. The 4th hole is a 420-yard par 4 that may seem straightforward off the tee, but like everything at ASU Karsten you have to be careful of danger lurking just out of sight. The second shot is played to a green guarded by a steep bunker short and left, but the real danger is the water that runs the length of the green along the left side. The green also gradually slopes left towards the water, so even a well-struck ball that finds the left side of the putting surface may not be putting when you get to the green.
The 16th hole may be the hardest par three in the valley! It measures 248 yards from the back tee box with water from tee to green it is a very daunting shot, even for the best players. Although its rumored that Phil Mickelson use to impress his teammates by skipping his ball off the water onto the green. This reviewer tried to put that to the test and was not so successful. So, I would suggest taking plenty of club and leaving the trick shots to Phil! Holes 9 and 18 run parallel to each other with water separating the two fairways. They measure in at 446 and 471 yards, respectively. These are two good holes with water in play from start to finish and Sun Devil Stadium serving as the backdrop. They also both feature greens that are sloped gently from back to front towards the water, and both provide for a very difficult finish to your round of golf.
So while Arizona State University may be the home of the New American University, they are also home to one of the most accessible and entertaining golf courses in the Valley of the Sun. And, even if parking in Lot 59 does increase again next semester, you can still take advantage of the great rates at ASU Karsten.