Par 72 – 7229 yards from the tips
Men’s: 73.8/143; 72.8/140; 71.7/135;
70.6/132; 69.7/128; 69.0/125; 67.7/120; 66.7/118; 64.9/115; 63.3/112
Women’s: 77.3/137; 75.2/132; 73.8/126; 71.8/126; 70.0/123
By By Alice and Danny Scott
Gather your golf gear and buddies for a round at the new Tegavah Golf Club. Formerly known as Vista Verde Golf Club, it never really made prime time until now. Purchased by Shea Homes along with the surrounding area, this desert course was renamed for the tribal translation of “gathering place”. Northeast of Scottsdale, it is a literal oasis with the Four Peaks and McDowell Mountains standing guard. Throughout the round varying sunlight reflects a rainbow of hues over the horizon.
Designer Ken Kavanaugh embraced the beauty of the land by minimally carving out a natural routing with fairways split by arroyos. Subtle changes of elevation enhance the Sonoran character of this playable track. The expansive practice range and putting area set the stage for the pervasive scenic beauty throughout the course.
Hole #3, par 5, 545 yards from the tips
The back patio of one of the few homes already constructed on Tegavah sits at the end of the fairway, in the elbow of the dogleg right, a primo spot for the inhabitants’ entertainment. A lone bunker is a great target to avoid. A narrower fairway to the left of the bunker allows a closer look at the transitional area and far away green. To the right is safe, but will ensure at least a three shot hole. Bunkering and mounding add to the excitement as the elevated two tier massive green awaits the approach. Anything long will fall off the back and require a delicate pitch, as the green slopes downhill from back to front.
Hole #7, par4, 340 yards from the tips
This short par 4 invokes the temptation of driving the green, depending on the tee box from which you launch, but a generous landing area runs diagonally to a wash that meanders from tee boxes to behind the elevated green. Bunkers left and right highlight the dangers of going for the gold from the tees. A drivable par 4 may prove to be too much as desert sand and rocks will surely sting a bad swing. A nice layup with mid iron to hybrid gives you a better chance of a good score. But wait, we didn’t come here to lay up. Sometimes we make bad choices, but oh, the bragging rights when we pull it off.
Hole #13, par 5, 555 yards from the tips
Angled fairways create a dichotomy of thoughts on many of the holes on this course. Some might perceive angles and demons. The first par 5 is again shaped diagonally from left to right with bunkers attracting even the best of drives. Keep the drive toward the middle to right side and perhaps, depending on length of drive, you might have a chance to go for the green in two. However, the split fairway is at a distance that would initiate a layup because the tall saguaro and cacti that sits in the middle of the transition is imposing from anywhere. Choose wisely your angle of approach or the demon will haunt your decision.
Hole #16, par 5, 626 yards from the tips
The longest hole on the course presents many challenges. Length obviously being one, but a strategy for tackling the half moon shaped fairway that ends like a dot of a question mark, is paramount. The sweeping dogleg left fairway has two bunkers placed within most golfers’ tee and second shots. Mr. Kavanaugh must have had a rough day, instilling agony of reaching this formidable green. If you manage two great shots, a wash interrupts your good thoughts and introduces you to the elevated two-tiered green, angling away from you. The green is larger than it appears but a bunker awaits any short shots. Hopefully, the angelic cart girl is nearby to relieve the anxiety of this hole.
Tegavah’s temporary pro shop has everything you need until the full clubhouse is built. People rave about the foot long dog when making the turn. The patio delivers relaxation with outdoor sofas to enjoy a libation and inhale fresh air complete with the mountain views. Shea Homes will offer a social membership for those who want to gather and linger here. To get on the interest list, go to www.shearesortliving.com.