in Prescott Valley
Nestled in the heart of Northern Arizona, StoneRidge Golf Course offers players scenic views and more than 350 feet of elevation changes from the highest tee to the lowest green. The course is carved out of the spectacular stone ridges and boulder outcroppings of Prescott Valley which makes for a breathtaking round of golf. You will either love this course or hate it. If you love elevation changes, tight fairways (on some holes), occasional long carries, and a thinking man’s course, you are going to love StoneRidge.
This course is a challenge for the advanced golfer as well as the novice, yet fair and rewarding. Remember that distances tend to play shorter due to the “Mile” high elevation, so your club selection will vary due to altitude and elevation changes on each hole.
By By Alice and Danny Scott
When temperatures soar in the valley, zip up to Prescott Valley where the air is cool but the golf is hot! Situated on Bluff Top Drive, there is no bluffing on this course. Bring your A-game for a sacred round of golf. Sacred, you ask? Built on traditional Native American land, respect for ancient burial grounds was a serious consideration in the way architect Randy Heckenkemper carved the StoneRidge course out of the desert canyons. A medicine man blessed each hole before completion. It might also be a sacred round for all the “Thank Gods” expressed for lucky bounces, birdies and an eagle.
The diversity of desert, valley and canyon landscapes, require a variety of shot strategies. The mile high altitude naturally creates the opportunity for dramatically elevated tee boxes such as number 8’s par 3. Special club contemplation ensues when the “windage” consideration exceeds that of the elevation. The key positive thought on the tee or fairway for many holes on this course should be “canyon carriage!” It is a big hitter’s delight, but aesthetically and mechanically fun for all. The air is fresh; the Bradshaw mountain views are fresher still.
Hole #5, par 4, 383 yards from the tips: Heed the GPS tip on this hole for premium placement strategy. The large landing area is deceiving since it slopes and then narrows to a small green guarded by a river wash and ravine. Shaped like an enlarged comma, this hole can produce expletives from players. The ideal shot is between 180 to 200 yards. This gives you a short iron into the small green.
Hole #9, par 5, 575 yards from the tips: A sizeable ravine separates the fairway of this uphill par five. The big hitters can ease up to the large wash if they perfectly place the ball on the left side. Anything right will disappear into the desert as the fairway slopes in that direction. It requires another uphill carry to a small two-tiered undulating green with hillside bunkers for protection. This must be a target approach shot to have a prayer of a par victory.
Hole #12 Par 3, 230 yards from the tips: Traversing the first two holes on the back nine may make you feel like a mountain goat, but the long par 3 12th is a straightforward tee box to green that is the closest consideration of anything flat. However, you face a large canyon scrub brush graveyard awaiting anything short, left or right. Windage and depth perception are two components that compound the difficulty of this hole.
Hole #18, par 5 630 yards from the tips: This is the mother of all finishing holes. The S shape from tee to green is due to the earlier mentioned consideration of burial grounds. Ladies get a huge distance advantage on this one, but the shots still have to be carefully placed to optimize the downhill roll and take advantage of the advantage. Drive up and take a peak before determining your target drive spot. Trees that border the ravine to the right side could block even the best tee shot. Second shots to the green are possible but require the best of execution. Getting close on the approach will not be good enough due to the false front of the green. If short, make sure your chip shot will reach the table or your ball will roll back to you and cause repeated chipping until you do. A good score on this hole is as satisfying as golf can get.
Head to the clubhouse after the round, where renovation is nearly complete to compete with the best of private facilities. Open to the public at reasonable rates, memberships are also available. Check out the summer specials online along with their latest great offer with special green fee and a sleeve of premium golf balls through July 31st. Must call or visit website to receive this special offering.
The spacious new banquet room will seat 120 and the Grille restaurant is cozy with a large outside patio providing panoramic views to make any event as memorable as the golf.
Heckenkemper brings individual character to each and every hole making StoneRidge a blast to play. Just 90 minutes from Phoenix, with temperatures almost 20 degrees cooler than the Valley, when you try it you will want to come back again and again.