36 Holes of Championship Golf North Course Reviewed
Address: 9998 Talking Stick Way
Scottsdale, Arizona 85256
General Manager: Steve Leonard
Golf Operations Manager: Bentley Nakasawa
Head Golf Pro: Min Park
Superintendent: Paul Blumke Course Architects: Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw
About this Course:
Par 72 – 7133 yards from the tips
Rating/Shope: 72.7/125; 69.7/120; 75.6/127; 66.4/115; 71.6/119; 64.9/113; 70.2/116
By By Nancy Howard
There’s a treasure amongst us, just east of Hwy. 101 on Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale. Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, with outstanding views of the McDowell Mountains, Four Peaks, Pinnacle Peak, Camelback, Red Mountain, and the Superstition Mountains, the ‘treasure’ is Talking Stick Golf Club with 36 holes of championship golf.
Located on and owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and managed by Arnold Palmer Golf Management, the club butts up to the Talking Stick Resort and Casino. For the purist of the game, this is a golfing experience you do not want to miss. Not one house is located near the courses, nothing but nature abounds during your round surrounded by mountain range views and grasslands on the links style North course.
Our golfing experience was truly remarkable and we enjoyed every minute, especially with the high winds that day, making it a “thinking man’s course” and a larger challenge. Challenging, yet fair, the greens putted true and held well, fairways were lush and the bunkering was thought provoking. It was easy to find trouble if you didn’t spend some time on your golf course management. And, it’s always nice to find a truly “women friendly” course. Don’t think you’ll be making up strokes on the par 3s though…they are the longest ever and don’t make life easy, however they are wonderful. It would be a fete to make or see a hole-in-one on one of these par 3s.
The Club offers the largest and most complete practice facility in the Valley along with private and group golf instruction. They are also the first Native American community to host a The First Tee facility in the state of Arizona.
Hole #2, par 5, 552 yards from the tips. By Mike Stockley – Offering more than just golf, the peaceful tranquility of this golf course allows you to take a step back and enjoy the nature of the course. This beautiful par five, with Pinnacle Peak and McDowell Mountains in the foreground, offers a great photo opp. Play down the left side of the fairway, but be careful it doesn’t take much to end up out of bounds. Guess that’s why they named it ‘Boundary’. The green is reachable in two with a great second shot. It’s a fairly small and relatively flat green and with the right read you might end up with an eagle on your scorecard.
Hole #4, par 4, 433 yards from the tips. By Mike Stockley – This was my favorite hole, as well as the #1 handicap on the North Course. Great layout but doesn’t offer many locations to play a safe tee shot. There’s a large bunker that consumes the middle of the fairway, and can easily get you in trouble off the tee. It doesn’t end there, if you’re going for the green that is surrounded by sand bunkers. This hole is challenging but makes for a wonderful golf experience.
Hole #12, par 4, 392 yards from the tips. Teammates, Michael (or affectionately called “Treeman”) and David’s favorite on the course. They call this “The Monster” though it is rightly named the Red Mountain Gambler. Hard to imagine not being in trouble on this one, par is sooo good here.
Hole #13, par 4, 391 yards from the tips. Had to be our most exciting fairway of the day due to seeing six wild horses to the left of the fairway. An awesome sight to behold, then returning to fairway we noticed the largest Jack Rabbit any of us had ever seen. Instead of Dutchman’s Trail maybe it should be renamed Wildlife Adventure. If you can keep your focus, you’ll have a birdie opportunity on this slight dogleg right hole.
The staff is outstandingly eager to please and always smiling with impeccable service from the bag drop throughout the day. Timing was perfect on the course with our cart ladies always showing up exactly when needed.
Talking Stick Golf Club has an elegant, yet casual, 26,000 sq. ft. clubhouse which houses the award winning, well appointed pro shop (make some extra time to explore it), locker rooms, private dining areas for groups and the Wildhorse Grille. Whether you are grabbing a bite to go or taking time for a leisurely lunch the food and ambience is excellent. Plus, hosting groups from 16 to 300 is one of their specialties, along with the wedding of your dreams.
At Talking Stick Golf Club, you are also moments away from experiencing all there is to do at the Talking Stick Resort. Recognized as a four-diamond resort in Scottsdale and known for providing nightly entertainment and music, the resort is a fantastic place to relax after your round of golf.
So, exactly what is a Talking Stick? The Talking Stick seen on their logo is a contemporary representation of the traditional O’odham (Pima) calendar stick. Carvers would record significant events and milestones throughout the year for the tribe, with each carving symbolizing something significant for the area.
Mark your own Talking Stick calendar with a round or two at one of the most unique golf experiences in the Valley of the Sun. A true treasure to behold in the game of golf.