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 Alice and Danny Scott
General Manager: Ryan Eckroat
Course Superintendent: Arnie Galvez
Course Architect: Gary Panks
18 Holes of Championship Golf
Par 72 – 7282 yards from the tips
Rating /Slope : 74.1/127; 72.1/123; 69.5/121
For Tee Times: 520.723.1880 or
6100 W. Merrill Ranch Parkway
Florence, Arizona 85232
Widespread vistas of Superstition Mountain, the San Tans, and a range of smaller buttes, serve as the backdrop for this fabulous course in Florence, Arizona. A beautiful, wide waterfall marks the entrance, welcoming you to the Anthem community. Managed by Troon Golf, Poston Butte has brilliant green fairways, creating a real oasis in the desert.
If driving from Phoenix, take plenty of water for the road and make sure of your route to arrive with enough time to enjoy the great practice facilities where range balls are included in the price of green fees. You will be amazed at the growth in the east valley. Anthem at Merrill Ranch and the surrounding communities are like a whole new metropolis minus the skyscrapers.
Pyramids marking the holes and tee boxes, reflect the tower shape of an Apache ruin atop a hill in Florence where Charles Poston resurrected a fire temple and called it Poston Butte. Known as the “Father of Arizona” due to his influence on Abraham Lincoln to create the territory of Arizona in 1863, he was buried at the summit.
The front 9 of Poston Butte is wide open to the desert, while the back 9 provides some lucky homeowners the entertaining view of golfers along with magnificent landscapes. On one hole we heard the old, familiar sweet sound of construction that has been missed in the valley for so many months. It clanged with hope for renewed prosperity, developments and maybe an uptick in the economy.
Hole #3, par 5, 616 yards. A cross breeze makes this an even longer par 5. A huge fairway bunker at the crotch of the dogleg right shouldn’t be a big problem with all the room on the left, but use caution as some balls are naturally drawn to it. Approach the green from the right to escape the beach guarding the front left. Check out the pin placement to maneuver the steep hill in the green.
Hole #5, par 4, 354 yards. This is a shorter version of number 3 with regards to the dogleg and fairway bunker placement. Avoid this one at all costs. It is huge with an unusual geometric shape. The green has 2 tiers with a severe slope back to front. A bunker behind vacuums in any long shot balls and makes the pop out difficult without rolling back down and off the green – unfortunately, the voice of experience on this one.
Hole #10, par 4, 466 yards. Grab what you need on the turn and behold your first water hazard on the left side of 10. Across the shore is a very impressive and elegant community center of Anthem, in full swing with soft music at the pool. Ensure a narrow approach from center left or you must fly over the greenside bunkers in front right to position a successful putt.
Hole #17, par3, 169 yards. You’ve got to love the challenge of an island green. It almost makes you giddy to look at it. Don’t go right and don’t go left. Don’t leave it short and don’t go long. Anything but a nice target iron will be swimming. Tromp across the wooden bridge to sink your birdie or make your par as the ducks watch in amusement.
Unique to a desert course, all the fairways are framed by extensive red gravel with natural desert foliage making the lies easier when you miss the fairway and thereby extending the acceptable target areas. We found most pin placements to be strategically challenging and maybe sadistic on a couple holes, adding to the fun and leveling the playing field. Our friend Freeman, maker of 45 hole-in-ones agreed but still amazed us by his accuracy to the pin.
The Greenside Café offers drink specials, sandwiches or salads and efficient service in a lovely patio setting. Watch players on the ample practice range and green with the majestic mountains all around. A full service restaurant with upscale amenities is planned for the future. Visit their website for a fly over course tour, specials and more. Discount tee times are available at www.bookthebutte.com.
While we wouldn’t want to commute every day for work, the great golf is well worth the drive. It was a beautiful day at Poston Butte.