Address: 48456 West Highway 238
Maricopa, Arizona 85139
General Manager: Brady Wilson
Head Golf Professional: Rolland Vaugn
Course Superintendent: Tyler Green
Designer/Architect: Fred Couples and Schmidt-Curley Design
About this Course:
18 Holes of Championship Golf – A Troon Golf Experience
Par 72 – 7517 yards from the tips
Rating/Slope: 76.2/141; 75.1/138; 72.6/131; 70.6/126; 68.5/121; 71.7/124
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes continues tradition of quality, refinement and innovation
Just when you thought that Ak-Chin Southern Dunes couldn’t get any better, you visit and notice something new and innovative while on property. This year, that trend persists as one of the Valley’s most up-and-coming Clubs continues to garner regional and national attention. This Troon-managed facility is the place you NEED to visit this season.
To refresh, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes went through a multi-million dollar enhancement project the summer of 2014 to improve course playability. The main focus of the renovation project was aimed at improving the course's playability for leisure players while maintaining the challenges and shot-values enjoyed by experienced golfers. To ensure the integrity of the award-winning design at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, original course architects Schmidt-Curley Design and Fred Couples were brought in to lead the project that involved a complete bunker renovation. In all, 83,000 square-feet of bunkers were removed from the course's original total of 480,000 square-feet. Major improvements also included significant turf expansion between many of the forward tees to eliminate unnecessary forced carries for those choosing to "tee it forward" or who are still learning how to consistently hit shots in the air.
The net result of the course enhancements; the AGA re-rated the golf course and the rating/slope from the “Tips” received a more difficult rating and slope, the “Black tees” have stayed the same and “Gold, Blue and White tees” received a lower course rating/slope. “These new ratings confirmed what we set out to do at the onset of the project: to make the golf course more playable for the average player, while maintaining and increasing our championship pedigree,” stated Brady Wilson, General Manager at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes.
A true testament to its championship pedigree, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club has proudly played host to numerous major tournaments and events since its celebrated opening in 2002, serving as an annual U.S. Open qualifying site, several top collegiate Men’s and Women’s golf tournaments and home of early-stage PGA Tour Q-School tournaments. And while the “Tips” – which stretch the course to nearly 7,600 yards – have challenged some of the most skilled players in golf, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes’ five sets of tees still provide novices with both a unique challenge and an unforgettable day of golf. Simply stated, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes doesn’t just offer desert golf; it presents golfers of all skill levels and abilities with the very best of championship golf in the desert.
This year, ACSD and the Ak-Chin Indian Community brought in a new fleet of Club Car golf cars, specifically equipped with the state-of-the-art Visage GPS system and USB charging ports, allowing you to always stay connected on social media, or to email the boss during your “business meeting.” You can also have your favorite music playing on a portable bluetooth speaker, which can be purchased in the golf shop.
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club is the first facility to name a course with a “#”, for #miniDunes, which is their six-hole short course built directly on the driving range. The concept of using a “#” in the name was to increase the social media presence of the course and to promote the course’s primary rule; to HAVE FUN. This innovative idea has already spread throughout the country, with several other courses building these “mini” courses to help grow the game.
The new season also brings a fresh perspective online as ACSD transitions to AkChinSouthernDunes.com and a completely new website design and layout. This dynamic site is responsive to any device, computer, tablet, or mobile, which previously was managed by two completely different sites and two different looks. On the website, you will find videos from Fred Couples’ 2014 Grand Re-Opening visit, testimonials from golfers and tournament directors, as well as ever-changing value-add packages.
An exciting new addition to ACSD’s value-add packages is the “Dunes Day Double Play.” This package allows golfers to book two advance rounds to ensure they get the second round in before dark and not be at the mercy of the jam packed tee sheet like typical replay rounds. The popular “Oakley Shades of Golf” package continues with a modified sunglass frame to a “lifestyle piece” that is perfect on and off the golf course. Lastly, the “Shake, Rattle, & Show” package highlights everything the Ak-Chin Indian Community enterprises have to offer in terms of entertainment. The package includes one of ACSD’s world famous milkshakes, two (2) movie tickets to Ultrastar’s Multi-tainment Center and a $20 voucher to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, to accompany your round of golf.
The Ak-Chin Indian Community, which owns the nearby Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino and the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle, has brought together championship-style golf and world-class gaming and entertainment. Gaming and golf packages are now available through Ak-Chin Southern Dunes and Troon Golf Vacations, creating a truly exciting and multi-faceted destination option, pleasing to a wide range of visitors. The course sits on 320 acres of Sonoran Desert land that was once a part of Ak-Chin's original May 1912 reservation before it was removed by Presidential Executive Order in late 1912. Nearly 100 years later in 2010, the Community recovered its sacred land when they purchased Ak-Chin Southern Dunes after it was originally developed as a private club. The course currently boasts several coveted accolades that include Golfweek's list of the "Top 100 Resort Courses," "Best Courses You Can Play," and "Top Casino Courses," as well as Golf Magazine's list of "Top 100 Courses You Can Play."
Whether you are a first time visitor to Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, or one of their lauding fans, you’ll be sure to concur with Golf Magazine’s recent lofty rankings and will see firsthand why Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is dynamically changing the nature of the dunes, and the experiences created here.
By by Alice and Danny Scott
Southern Dunes Golf Club started out as a private all male club with the exclusive features of a classic showcase that one would expect from Fred Couples. However, it soon became all access and then public. It’s funny how the economy changes things. One thing that didn’t change was the quality of a fantastic track. Now owned by the Ak-Chin Indian Community and managed by Troon Golf, the sloping fairways with 109 wind-swept sand dunes and prairie grass form a tricky layout for any golfer. Every hole is challenging and marked with both the tribal and English name.
Hole 3, par 5, 575 yards “Wildhorse” – This very demanding hole has vast bunkering the entire left side which is mirrored by gnarly grass wasteland. Keeping the ball on the green stuff is paramount. Go for an accurate drive to the right side of the fairway, but not too far as you might guess. A well-positioned second shot to a pretty generous fairway provides reasonable access to the two-tiered green, sloping back to front. You may want to keep the stallion in the stall and pony up to a par on this Wild horse.
Hole 4, par 3, 165 yards “Willow Tree” – Accuracy is a premium on this short hole. The two-tiered green has a gentle slope but the angle from the tee boxes makes for a difficult club selection. Aim for the center of the green and take your chances at holing a putt, rather than pin seeking, as a slight error in calculation begets trouble with bunkers surrounding front and back. Bring your pail and shovel to dig out if you must.
Hole 14, par 4, 323 yards “Beautiful Surroundings” – The view of the Estrella mountain range in the background is astounding against the tree-framed picture of this short par 4. It is definitely a risk/reward offering. A layup of 150 to 170 yards to a small fairway is the better judgment for big hitters wanting to go for the green as heavy mounding hides any safe landing zone. Aim just to the right of the heart shaped bunker and then take heart on the approach shot to the elevated green. The entire right side is guarded with a sand waste bunker and the foreground is dotted with an array of small and large bunkers as if all 109 were placed on this one hole. You might say to yourself, I’m Larry from Peoria, not Lawrence of Arabia. Take your lump of sand and enjoy the view.
Hole 18, par 4, 463 yards “Champion” – If you managed to stay out of the bunkers and met the challenge of the course, you will feel like a champion coming to the closing hole. From the elevated tee box, the golfer views the clubhouse and welcoming fire pit. The fairway is wide and generous, teasing the golfer to rush in like a horse coming home to the stable. Don’t be too relaxed though as a hidden lake on the right side of the fairway will catch many errant tee shots as the duck gallery quacks with laughter. Ultimately, the green is surprisingly large for a friendly finish to an exceptional golf course.
On a cool desert afternoon or just for the ambience, the fire pit lounge area serves as a perfect 19th hole to watch the returning champions, or a gorgeous sunset. Stay and toast or meander in to the Grille 109 (quantity of course bunkers) for sports viewing, another fireplace and great food. Service is excellent among staff members, from the welcome to the farewell.
Three creative specials now featured: Southern Swing at Southern Dunes, Ocotillo and Whirlwind - Three rounds of golf for one great price to play the premier courses in the East Valley of PHX! - $250 now through January 16 and $325 from January 17 through April 13, 2014. Oakley Shades of Golf - Pair of Oakley Flak Jackets with G30 lenses and milkshake with your round of golf - $159 now through January 16 and $179 from January 17 through April 13, 2014. Day at the Dunes - Breakfast, 18 holes of golf, lunch and replay - $169 now through January 16th and $189 from January 17 through April 13, 2014.
Grab your friends and clubs and head to Ak-Chin Southern Dunes for a golf experience only “Boom Boom” could envision to challenge us.