Longbow Golf Club

Longbow Golf Club

Website:  http://www.longbowgolf.com

Phone:  480.807.5400

Address:  5601 East Longbow Parkway
Mesa, Arizona  85215

General Manager:  Bob McNichols
Course Superintendent:  Greg Gavelek
Course Designer/Architect: Ken Kavanaugh
Fisher Bryan Golf Academy Director of Instruction: Jeff Fisher

About This Course:
18 Holes of Championship Golf
Managed by OB Sports
Par 71 – 7,032 from the tips
Rating/Slope: 72.7/132; 69.9/125; 67/115; 73.4/130; 69.4/121

Course Review
by Alice and Danny Scott

Longbow, originally developed by McDonnell Douglas for corporate use, was named for the Apache Longbow helicopter. It was later sold to Daedalus Development and is now professionally managed by OB Sports, but the aeronautical theme still flies as do the small aircraft above, in and out of Falcon Field. The sky buzzes like an international hub of small planes, including the Red Baron, with an acoustical lull. Winged art, fabric sculptures imitate hang gliders throughout the course, posing as if they might transport you to the distant and striking Red Mountain. Feathered friends also fancy it their own aviary so golfers witness the bird book of species, taking flight in any round. Panoramic views of the Usery, McDowell and Superstition Mountains reflect the essence of desert golf, changing with every degree of the sun’s rotation and clouds’ flotation. Annually ranked as one of the top courses to play in Arizona, the award winning design of Ken Kavanaugh, embarks you on a journey into imagination of the natural environment. Classic challenges and subtle complexities are evident throughout the desert style layout as it weaves through Saguaros, cacti, Yucca and Ocotillos.  

Hole #4, Par 4, 429 yards – The number one handicap requires accuracy, accuracy and more accuracy. A long lake on the left side of fairway to green is hidden from the tee box. Too long a drive may reach the bunker in the elbow of the fairway, too left is out of bounds. Consider the approach shot carefully, as the green quickly slopes off to the waterside on the left and behind. Too far to the left or too long is too bad for you. 

Hole # 8, Par 4, 338 yards – Should I, could I, or better not? This short par 4, entices golfers with the prize of reaching the green from the tee for an eagle, but most should play it safe with a mid -iron to fairway wood and take chances instead with the approach shot for an elusive birdie. The green is heavily swathed by bunkers front and left. Surface subtleties protect the promise land with false sides that feed into the desert. If you go for it, realize that accuracy is at a premium with risk greater than reward. However, the thought of putting for an eagle on a par 4 may be too hard to resist. Put up or shut up, and good luck!!

Hole #16, Par 3, 224 yards – Here the designer seemingly envisioned a deceptive reception to the golfer’s decision on club selection. From the tee box, the green is hidden behind deep bunkers front and right. Short hitters aim left while long hitters find safety on the right side approach as that bunker’s top bank feeds into an invisible landing area. The green is large, but the width is greater than the depth, so distance is paramount.

Hole# 18, Par 5, 538 yards – On this dogleg right, depending upon what tee box you are playing, the fairway slopes to problems awaiting the slightest driving error. The right side is lined by mesquite trees and out of bounds all the way to the green. The left side bunkers at end of fairway beckon that errant shot. Don’t forget the desert and the divided wash that splits the fairway in two, challenging golfers of any level. Massive bunkers short right and left front, guard the huge green with mounds and slopes. What a great finishing hole!

Libations for celebrations or commiserations are in order. If you haven’t taken advantage of the efficient beverage cart service, or even if you have, there is no better place to gather than fireside on the patio of the 19th hole. Food options are fresh and yummy. Jay Larscheid, the charitable and award winning manager, leads a friendly staff in quality service and maintenance. The well-stocked clubhouse is set with the latest fashions and equipment. 

Home to the AJGA Heather Farr Classic, this renowned golf club has provided memorable moments for some of the brightest stars on the PGA and LPGA circuit. Complete practice facilities along with expert instruction by PGA and LPGA staff members as well as home to the Fisher Bryan Golf Academy afford all the chance to improve and compete. A short drive from Phoenix, a day at Longbow will leave you longing for more. 

By By Blake Isakson Professional Golfer 602.321.4391 learngolf@gmail.com

For those of you that enjoy desert golf, I would highly recommend coming out to Mesa to play Longbow Golf Club. After the course remodel in 2003, it is a vastly improved layout and is in terrific shape. With firm tight fairways and slick smooth greens, you might just think you are playing on the PGA Tour. Longbow is off the 202 and Higley near Falcon Field Airport. Longbow may be in Mesa, but it is also home to the best view of red rocks south of Sedona. You have great views of Red Mountain for most of the back 9, and if you are playing in the afternoon the sunset is unbelievable.

This par 71 can play very challenging from the back tees at 7,003 yards, but with four tee options all the way to 5,202 yards you can find a set that fits you. However, length isn’t the only thing that makes Longbow challenging, it’s the doglegs and bunkering that make this par 71 play difficult. Here are four holes that will give you an idea of what you will be facing at Longbow.

Hole #1: For those of you that like to just jump right in, you will love the first hole at Longbow. It is a monster par 5 that plays 626 yards. You might want to warm up on the range before taking on this mammoth starting hole. Just a word to the wise, don’t let the architect tempt you to cut off too much of the dogleg; the tree in the fairway is a good line for most. This will leave you with plenty of ground to cover in your next two shots to reach this green that slopes from left to right. But be careful on your lay-up, because like on most holes, the bunkers are perfectly placed to catch a ball that is just a bit wayward.

Hole #4: A par 4 that bends to the left and has water running down the entire left side of the fairway all the way to the green. It plays 429 yards from the tips with a great aiming bunker straightaway. But, be careful not to get too aggressive into the green with everything left sloping towards the water, it is easy to miss the green and walk away with something other than a par.

Hole #13 is 410 yards with desert blocking your view of the left side of the fairway. There are also some well-placed, deep bunkers that guard the fairway… so watch out. From there it is up to an elevated green with shaved sides all around. A good bet is to play to the center of this well designed green.

Hole #16 is a par 3 that measures 224 yards, slightly downhill with a large bunker guarding the front and left side of the green. The architect did provide an opening on the right hand side to run the ball up, which from 224 yards is pretty handy. However, even after arriving on this green your work is not done, with a large surface and subtle breaks it’s easy to leave yourself a testy two putt.

So, if you still think Longbow is just another golf course in Arizona, take into consideration that both Golf Magazine and Golfweek ranked Longbow in the top 25 courses in Arizona last year. These are great accolades from two well-respected national golf publications. However, Longbow offers more than just high rankings and well-manicured conditions. They are also the home of the SoloRider golf cart. For those readers not familiar with the SoloRider, it is a specially equipped golf cart that allows golfers with limited mobility to still play golf. It does this by allowing the golfer to drive on tees and greens without doing damage to the turf; in addition it also has a swiveling seat allowing the golfer to hit shots right from the cart. I have seen this in action and it is unbelievable that they can help golfers that have lost the ability to walk, still have the ability to play golf. Way to go Longbow!