Address: 3636 East Baseline Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85042
General Manager: Kevin Weber
Director of Golf: Jeremy Strauss
Superintendent: Eddi Wahlborg
Course Architects: Gary Panks/David Graham
About this Course:
18 Holes of Championship Golf
Par 72 – 7078 yards from the tips
Rating/Slope: 73.2/132; 70.8/127; 68.3/121; 71.9/124
By by Nancy G. Howard
A delightful change certainly has come over the newly named Raven Golf Club – Phoenix (formerly Raven at South Mountain). From the moment you drive up, you can see and feel the difference as you are greeted by smiling and friendly outdoor associates dressed in traditional golf attire (I always think of Payne Stewart bringing this traditional dress back to our links and I truly miss his presence on the Tour). Their attire just puts you in the mindset for a better round of golf and you know the experience is only going to get better as each staff member greets you throughout the facility.
If you’ve played this David Graham and Gary Panks design in the past (most of us have) you will definitely see a huge difference it its condition and it’s well worth it to make sure you get out and re-experience this great track the way it was intended to be from its beginning.
OB Sports took over management of the course with the new owner earlier this summer, and I have to admit I was delighted. They took on overseeing numerous owner funded enhancement projects. One was renovation of the bunkers, and although we weren’t thrilled about experiencing them during play, my entire group couldn’t stop talking about how great the sand was hitting through it with plenty under your shot.
Landscape improvements were very noticeable with the course being in the best shape I’ve seen it in oh so many years. The fairways were lush green (great overseeding this year), trimmed to perfection and everything generally renewed to a pristine status. Very impressive! With over 6,000 Georgia pine trees throughout the course, there are times when you actually find it hard to believe you are in the Valley of the Sun, instead of Flagstaff or Colorado, when you look up the fairways. It’s a pure pleasure to play this challenging yet fair, so it’s fun, golf course.
The fully appointed pro shop has been renovated with a deep rich wood feel that equals most of the finer private club shops. And, the rebranding of the Grill 36 is equally successful with its invitingly rich interior. Starting October 31st, they are touting the Best Happy Hour in the area from 3-6pm with 1/2 priced appetizers and drink specials. This restaurant/bar with patio dining overlooking the 18th green is perfect, not only for lunch/dinner before and after your round but for visitors and locals for a great lunch/dinner menu for business or fun with your friends. Of course, in my view, a round has to have a great “Dog” and the Grill 36 came through with flying colors!
Planning a wedding, banquet or special event? The Club’s banquet facilities offer a full service restaurant and grill as well as an expansive special event pavilion overlooking the 18th green with water for a perfect photo opt for weddings or gatherings.
Hole #3: by Robert Bobber – This is a monster par 4, with a total of 477 yards from the tips. There are plenty of trees and Oleanders on the left side, with out of bounds just beyond this green wall. You must hit the drive, with all you have, left center on the fairway. Now you’re left with a long 2nd shot, around 200 yards, to an elongated green with no bunkers but a ravine of grass on the right side or a mound on the left. Finally on the green, you have a 2 level green dropping to the right and front. Boggie here is good! Par is amazing and you should join the Tour.
Hole #8: by Albert Lopez – 421 yards from the tips, Par 4. This hole has water on the right side. With the fairway sloping toward the blue monster, you may want to leave the driver in the bag! 220-245 yards off the tee is a great shot. Your approach shot to the green in not easy with bunkers guarding the left side. With a green sloping back to front, leaving it short is not a bad play.
Since opening in 1996, Raven Golf Club has received numerous prestigious awards including “Top 50 Public Courses in the Country” by Golf World’s 2009 Reader Choice Awards and a 4.5 Star (out of five) rating from Golf Digest.
Located just minutes from Sky Harbor Airport and downtown Phoenix, the Raven Golf Club – Phoenix is definitely a “Must Play” on this publisher’s list. As stated earlier, if you’ve experienced a round in the past, you need to get out and experience this round of the future! You will be greatly surprised and very pleased with the new Raven Golf Club – Phoenix!