Address: 6100 Merrill Ranch Parkway
Florence, Arizona 85232
General Manager: Josh Clay
Head Golf Professional: Jerry Bellew
Course Superintendent: William Mellinger
Course Designer/Architect: Gary Panks
About This Course:
18 Holes of Championship Golf – A Troon Golf Experience
Par 72 – 7282 yards from the tips
Rating/Slope: 74.1/127; 72.1/123; 69.5/121; 72.9/125; 69.4/119
by Alice and Danny Scott
Ready for a road trip? Head east and keep going past San Tan Flats and the wild horse crossing sign. When Hunt Highway turns into a two-lane road of old and housing developments are interspersed with pure desert terrain, keep going. Turn on Merrill Ranch Parkway and admire the cascading waterfalls on both sides of the grand entrance to Poston Butte. Well worth the ride (which is much shorter on the return as the memories are relived), this very playable Gary Panks design holds no pranks.
Get there in time to loosen up and find your stroke on one of the largest practice greens in the valley. The driving range with balls included sets the stage for sweeping views of Superstition Mountain, the San Tans, and a range of smaller buttes. Walker Butte to the west appears strikingly like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Seen from many spots, players might suspect it to be the namesake Poston Butte, but that one can be pinpointed behind the parking lot. Charles Poston is buried at the base of this pyramid that served as an Apache worship center. Convincing Lincoln to name our state a territory, he became “Father of Arizona” and is commemorated by pyramid shaped tee box markers on every hole.
Hole #2, par 4, 471 yards from the tips – This is a straightforward par four but a very long one. Distinctive is the majestic Superstition Mountains backdrop. Reach for the mountain on your drive for any chance of green in regulation. Most hitters will fall short of that and face an up and down for par. Bear up because this hole is followed by a long par 5 in the same direction. Keep reaching and enjoy the view.
Hole #9, par 5, 544 yards from the tips – Salute the flag waving above the new clubhouse and bring the front nine home with a sweeping dog leg left bordered by bunkers on the outside of the elbow. Find the green, steep and deep, either wishing or glad you spent time on the practice one first. A bratwurst at the turn will fuel the back nine.
Hole #14, par 4, 460 yards from the tips – This is a feel good, score well on the card hole and the only one absent of bunkers. Homes on both sides of the tee box serve up a gallery on a nice day. Not so on our unusually crisp 34 degree start when the cart gal’s best tip was our Hot Hand warmers. A comfort station further rewards golfers after the green.
Hole #17, par 3, 169 yards from the tips – Let’s face it; we’re all suckers for island greens, delivering illusions of TPC Sawgrass. This is perhaps the “hole” reason so many people play here. It is a short and precise shot but long on beauty. A wooden bridge serves as the walk to glory or doom, passing fish jumping and a sundry of aquatic birds feasting, floating or fanning their feathers, including the canvasback, a rusty headed white duck. Many a hole in one is celebrated here. There are however, definitely more balls in the water than land on the green. Go for it!
All fairways are lined with sleeping golden Bermuda and outer layers of lava rock colored gravel sprinkled with desert foliage making lies easier if a great drive slightly misses the green grass, thereby extending acceptable target areas. Brilliant greens are fast and smooth. It is a quality ‘Troon Golf Experience’ from course maintenance to attentive staff service by folks like Amy.
The Greenside Café has always offered drink specials, sandwiches, or salads delivered quickly in a lovely patio setting. Watch players practicing encompassed like an arena by the surrounding mountains. Now the full service Anthem Grille is open 11am – 8pm every day with brunch hours added on Sunday and happy hours M-F. The daily full menu, other specials, tee times, flyover course tour, history and more is available on their extensive website, www.postonbuttegc.com. Add Poston Butte Golf Club to your calendar.
By By Alice and Danny Scott
Are we there yet? Someone is bound to ask on the drive from Phoenix, but you know when you have arrived by the beautiful, wide stepped falls marking the grand entrance to the Anthem oasis community and the well manicured Poston Butte Golf Club. Well worth the ride (which is much shorter on the return as the memories are relived), this very playable Gary Panks design holds no pranks. The driving range sets the stage for the sweeping views of Superstition Mountain, the San Tans, and a range of smaller buttes. Leave plenty of time to loosen up with the included range balls and find your stroke on one of the largest practice greens in the valley. Freshly over seeded grass in November had been tediously cared for as you would expect when managed by Troon Golf. The fairway mowing sequence leaves a pattern of half light and half dark carpet. Fine red gravel, sprinkled with desert foliage lines the fairways, making lies easier if a great drive slightly misses the green grass, thereby extending the acceptable target areas. Brilliant greens are fast and smooth.
Hole #3, par 5, 616 yards from the tips: A cross breeze makes this an even longer par 5. The huge fairway bunker at the crotch of the dogleg right shouldn’t be a big problem with all the room on the left, but use caution as some balls are naturally drawn to it. Approach the green from the right to escape the beach guarding the front left. Check out the pin placement to maneuver the steep hill in the green.
Hole # 9, par 5, 544 yards from the tips: Coming home on the front nine is a risk/reward experience. Begin the long journey with a dogleg left opening while bunkers beckon on the right side of the fairway. Big hitters can reduce the yardage by cutting the corner, but must maneuver two bunkers midway to the flag and another set guarding both sides of this uphill two-tiered green. Players must consider course management on this great semi final hole.
The front nine turns out to be just a warm up for a great back nine. Grab a dog and your favorite libation at the turn and proceed to the first water hole. Across the shore is one of many impressive parks at Anthem, which accommodates families and seniors in separate but easily crossable sections of affluent, yet affordable American living. And, homeowners receive discounted rates and advanced booking windows for tee times at the golf club.
Hole #17, par3, 169 yards from the tips: Here’s the island green, man. It almost makes you giddy to look at it. Don’t go right and don’t go left. Don’t leave it short and don’t go long. Anything but a nice target iron will be swimming. Up the number on that iron and march across the wooden bridge, footsteps echoing, to sink your birdie (like two in our group) and you will have a happy foursome all the way in!
Hole #18, par 5, 564 yards from the tips: Finish strong, uphill on this dogleg right. Big hitters must really grip and rip to have any chance of reaching the green in two. After the drive, the fairway rises the last 250 yards to a complex green with multiple tiers and subtle divides requiring accuracy to pin placement. Adding to the difficulty is a large bunker on the front right and a smaller one at the back. The course looks easy, but can bring you to your knees – literally when trying to emerge from a steep bunker.
In Troon fashion, a fabulous ration of merchandise is available in the pro shop. Right outside, the Greenside Café offers delicious special daily selections with efficient and friendly service in a lovely patio setting. Watch players coming and going with the majestic mountains as the backdrop.
Pyramid shaped tee box markers reflect the outline of an Apache ruin atop a hill in Florence where Charles Poston “Father of Arizona”, resurrected a fire temple and called it Poston Butte. It looks quite similar to the butte in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, which like this course has a magnetic draw that brings you back again and again. It’s a perfect day of golf at Poston Butte. See their website www.postonbuttegc.com for a fly over course tour, specials and more. Discount tee times are available at www.bookthebutte.com.