Address: 660 West Fairway Drive
Mesa, Arizona 85201
General Manager: Jeff Lessig
Head Golf Professional: Scott Wright
Course Superintendent: Greg Thomas
Course Designer/Architect: Billy Bell
About This Course:
18 Holes of Championship Golf
Managed by BlueStar Resort & Golf
Par 72 – 6,887 yards from the tip
Rating/Slope: 72.5/131; 71.7/129; 70.8/124; 70.0/121; 68.7/117; 73.1/126
by Jerry Rose
For a club that has been a mainstay of the Valley since 1948, Mesa Country Club shows no signs of slowing down. A quick visit to Mesa Country Club on a recent Friday afternoon gave a revealing look behind the gates.
The first thing to be noticed was the palpable buzz around the club. The weather was nice and every patio was filled with club Members enjoying the day. They ran the gamut from young professionals to established members and families. There was an easy sense of familiarity and friendship in the air. However, with the popular Member-Member event starting the very next morning, there was a lot of gamesmanship going on. Good natured ribbing and a few well-placed verbal jabs were getting the players into the right frame of mind for an event that has proven to be as strong on laughs as it is on competition. And, make no mistake, these members come to play.
Mesa Country Club is home to golfers of every ability, but it has garnered more than its fair share of accomplished players. A half dozen or so are currently competitive on one of the professional tours, and many more have made their mark among elite amateurs. Athletes from other professional sports and top Arizona entrepreneurs also are well represented in among the membership. Rest assured any new member who wants to get in on a game, will have no problem doing so. Luckily, Head Golf Professional Scott Wright knows the membership well and can help pair players of similar ability to keep the blood-letting to a minimum.
“Our members love the club because they can play fast. They almost never need a tee time. And if they want to get in on a game, there’s nearly always one to be found,” said Wright. “Of course, if you just want to go out to have a good time with friends and family members, we can accommodate that, as well. This club belongs to our members and we make sure it suits all of them.”
At the heart of the club is its exceptional Billy Bell-designed golf course, which was updated by Tripp Davis a few years back. It is a true “core-golf” layout without intrusion of any type from other development. The course plays up and down the city’s namesake mesa, giving it a surprising amount of elevation change and outstanding variety to its golf holes. However, members find it an enjoyable course to walk and the views the elevation provides are spectacular. At about 6,900 yards with wall-to-wall grass and tree-lined fairways that bend both left and right, it puts up a tremendous defense of par, requiring players to hit shots sometimes more akin to those of a Midwest golf course than one in Arizona. The greens are generally small, but receptive. And, they roll fast and true. The result is a gem of a golf course where players are only limited by their creativity and talent. A handicap kept here will definitely travel.
Despite the club’s popularity, rounds of four hours are exceedingly rare. Most finish in a touch over three hours without the slightest bit of hurry. And, when members finish their rounds, they are likely to find a hearty crowd gathered on the clubhouse patio to cheer them in. Afterwards, cold drinks and plenty of laughs seem to be the tradition as no one appears to be in much hurry to depart. Truthfully, in terms of golf and camaraderie, Mesa Country Club is what a private club should be – a great place to have a good time.
Located along the borders of Tempe and Scottsdale in northwest Mesa near the intersection of the 101 and 202 Loops, Mesa Country Club is easily accessible from downtown Phoenix, Scottsdale, Arcadia or any city in the East Valley. The club offers a variety of membership options to fit a wide array of lifestyle needs, including equity memberships, seasonal memberships, young executive memberships and business or corporate memberships.
In addition to golf, the club campus includes three dining options, six lighted tennis and Pickle Ball courts, a junior Olympic pool, fitness center, and golf practice facilities. To learn more about Mesa Country Club, please visit www.mesacountryclub.com or contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org or 480.964.1797 to arrange a tour.
By By Alice and Danny Scott
Hidden behind the walls along Country Club Drive in Mesa is a timeless treasure for golfers. Celebrating 65 years, Mesa Country Club is still a well-kept secret for some, but that is about to change with the hype of all the summer renovations. Fairways were lengthened to account for advanced club technology. Redesign brought bunkers back in play with good sand (perhaps an oxymoron for some golfers). Vibrant red geraniums and purple petunias mix with more bouquets of color lining patios and circling tree trunks as more planting continues. Billy Bell’s design during the Golden Age is now a golden opportunity for members to play day after day. What is so amazing about the course is the number of very mature trees with so many eucalyptuses, you might expect to see a koala bear. Nothing about it feels like a desert course. The elevations are another surprise. Built around the plateau for which Mesa was named, it is a fun roller coaster ride, up and down tees to greens.
Hole #7, par 3, 198 yards – The tee box of this signature hole is perched at the top of the coaster ride, flanked by a cascade of canal water down a 30 foot concrete embankment. The sound might soothe anxiety of hitting over the canal dissecting the landing area or entice one to grab an inner tube for an exhilarating ride. The kids in us never leave. Concentration is a must however to target the right side of the green as major sand bunkers guard the front side and behind while tall trees block the left side in front and back of the canal. This is one of the best par 3’s in the Valley.
Hole #9, par 5, 546 yards – The closing hole on the front nine is a testament to course management. A nice drive is required to reach the elbow of the fairway to head back to the clubhouse. Hidden in the trees on the right are two ponds that swallow any errant shots. Big hitters are enticed to go for the green in two, but the flowing fountain in the third pond on the left side makes it tricky. The two-tiered green slopes from back to front so ball placement below the hole is a must for good scoring. This is a great wrap up hole for the front and preps for the adventure on the back nine.
Hole #10, par 4, 417 yards – The launching pad from the tips backs up to the veranda of the clubhouse on the highest point of the mesa, looking down over a generous fairway that is split by the entrance driveway with cars passing back and forth. Patrons on the patio have ringside seats to witness the good, the bad, and just plain ugly. The tee boxes are so close that the sounds of the drives reverberate off the walls and back to the golfer, accentuating the result. The broad valley view and cheers or jeers from the spectators make this a fun hole to start the back nine. Keep your cool under pressure and don’t forget the fairway bunkers and those surrounding the green.
Hole #16, par 3, 154 yards – This hole also crosses the entrance driveway. It is straightforward except for distance calculation. The hilltop tee box, while entertaining with views of the course, requires personal divination of yardage gained by the drop in flight. If windy from the north, cranial confusion can lead to higher scores and frustration. Choose well!
The fairways, greens, practice facilities and clubhouse are maintained to a level expected of a fine country club. While the detailing is upscale, there is nothing snooty about the members. People of all ages, juniors to nineties, multiple generations of members and newcomers alike are most welcome. The 19th hole gives the best wide-angle view of the course from the expansive patio overlooking holes 9, 10 and 18. It is the perfect spot to mingle and chat. Fire pit blazing with warmth and ambience, good food, good people, great golf - who knew such a wonderful place hid behind the walls? Call for a tour and check it out.