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
Head east all ye golfers past San Tan Flats and the wild horse crossing sign to the golf oasis at Poston Butte. Named for the hill that is visible from most holes, where Charles Poston is buried at the base of the pyramid that served as an Apache worship center. Convincing Lincoln to name our state a territory, he became “Father of Arizona”; hence, this is a storied place where you can write your own short (hopefully short, but maybe long) golf story.
Just as you ask, “Are we at the border yet?” the cascading waterfalls sing your welcome to the Poston Butte Golf Club at Anthem. Prepare for a melodious round by arriving early and hitting the range. Balls are included in green fees. Make time for the practice green which displays the same nice condition as the course and try the long sloping putts, as you will most assuredly face a few. The same may be said for the bunker routine and chipping is always wise to refresh before a round. Poston Butte covers it all, before during and after play, making it well worth the trek in. What else would you expect from a Troon Golf managed facility and a Gary Panks design?
Hole #7, par 3, 152 yards from the tips: Deeply sloping back to front, this two-tiered green is laced in the front and right by a complex bunkering design. The wind is shifty so if in doubt, club up and you won’t have to pop out. Then again, if you overshoot, the ride back down to the cup can be swift and silly.
Hole #9, par 5, 544 yards from the tips: Bring the front nine back to the clubhouse with a sweeping dogleg 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.
Hole #11, par 4, 416 yards from the tips: Bite your lip and avoid the massive bunker in the middle of the fairway, 150 yards to the green, as its upper lip is stiff. Breathe a sigh of relief, only to be surprised about the hidden bunker behind it, though not as bad with an open mouth for an easy out. Drive right on this hole and then fly the green clearing the additional three front bunkers or you might want to spank Panks.
Hole #17, par3, 169 yards from the tips: Perhaps the “hole” reason so many people play here is to experience this truly rare island green giving illusions of TPC Sawgrass. Short and concise shooting is a requirement as is admiration for the surrounding beauty. A wooden bridge serves as the walk to glory or doom, passing fish jumping and a variety of aquatic birds feasting, floating or fanning their feathers. Many a hole-in-one is celebrated here. Five have been reported in the first two months of the year. There are however, definitely more balls in the water than land on the green, according to Lance, the outside service supervisor. The divers have great retrieval rates given 230 some odd rounds a day. It is an easy shot or it is a hard shot. It is golf – great golf! Go for it and post your hole-in-one at the shop where it is commemorated on the wall.
A full service restaurant with upscale amenities is planned for the new clubhouse to debut in 2015. Meanwhile, the Greenside Café serves daily drink specials and food with a view. Watch players on the ample practice range and green with the majestic mountain backdrop. The entire complex is akin to an arena surrounded by the distant mountains. The first few holes march forward into the Superstition range. One hill to the west appears strikingly like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Seen from many spots, players might suspect it to be the renowned Poston Butte, but it is Walker Butte. Poston Butte can be pinpointed behind the parking lot and then serves as an inspiration throughout the course. The pyramid shaped tee box markers and logo remind of the Poston legacy.
For more of the history, course flyover tour, and specials, see www.postonbuttegc.com. Discount tee times are available at www.bookthebutte.com.