18 Holes of Championship Golf
Address: 36460 N. Encanterra Drive
San Tan Valley, Arizona 85140
Club General Manager: Kirk Kokoska
Club Manager: Helmo Brandstatter
Director of Golf: Mark Black
Superintendent: Scott Anderson
Course Designer/Architect: Tom Lehman
About This Course:
18 Holes of Championship Golf
Managed by BlueStar Resort and Golf
Par 72 – 7176 yards from the tips
Rating/Slope: 74.5/135; 72.3/131; 70.8/127; 69.5/124; 71/123
Encanterra Country Club may be the state’s most successful private club
It’s no secret the last six years have not been particularly kind to Arizona’s golf industry. Residential real estate struggles coupled with a sluggish economy overall have made life for even the state’s most-vaunted private clubs challenging.
Yet, despite the turmoil, a relative newcomer off the beaten path has quietly staked its claim as one of, if not the most successful private club over the past decade. This club is Encanterra Country Club located in the San Tan Valley. In just six short years, Encanterra has added 600-plus members, including 275 golf members, and has collected a trophy case of honors that would make any club in the state envious.
Developed by Shea Homes, Encanterra Country Club opened in this formerly obscure part of the East Valley in 2008, near the height of the economic recession. Undaunted by the news of the day, the club pressed forward with an ambitious plan to create an exceptional, world-class private club experience at a fraction of the cost of the established premier clubs elsewhere in the Valley.
“Coming to market during such a difficult time, we knew we had to out-perform everyone in terms of quality and value. And, that was not going to be easy. The bar was set pretty high by those who came before us,” said Levi Shill, General Manager of Encanterra for Shea Homes. “We put together a great team, and they gave us an outstanding plan. Fortunately Shea Homes had the horsepower to see it through from vision to reality in terms of the infrastructure and expectations.
“Today, however, it is really the club’s membership that makes all the difference. We’ve got a tremendous community of people here who are energetic, open and like to have a good time. With this type of atmosphere, it’s easy for new members to feel at home. And, that…as much as anything else…has spurred our growth.”
The first element of this plan to come online was Encanterra’s award-winning Tom Lehman-designed golf course. Knowing the quality of the golf course would be paramount to Encanterra’s early success, Shea Homes opted for a core-golf land plan that kept development to the periphery of the golf course and ensured members of enjoying a truly classic design. Lehman was then set free to use his imagination to create diverse risk-reward and shot-making challenges within this generous canvas. As a result, the golf course was named among the ‘Best New Private Courses’ in the nation by GOLF Magazine, Golfweek, and LINKS Magazine.
Additionally, Encanterra was selected to host many of the state’s most prestigious golf events, including the local qualifying round for the 2014 US Open Championship.
The result is an immensely functional “village” that moves easily from indoor to outdoor and from function to function. Accented by native stone and timber as well as beautiful tile and detail work, La Casa serves as an extension of the members’ own homes and affords them access to a host of cutting-edge amenities such as the world-class Alvea Spa; a state-of-the-art athletic club, including a women-only workout center; a fully-equipped sports shop; tournament-quality tennis facilities; contemporary indoor and outdoor swimming pools; a full-service concierge and lifestyle team; a professional business center; private lounges and a wide variety of dining options ranging from an inviting coffee shop and well-stocked wine bar to casual club fare and elegant restaurant dining.
Offering all of this at a price well below others in the market, has propelled Encanterra to the forefront among Valley private clubs.
Recently, Encanterra made a clean sweep in the golf categories of Arizona Foothill’s annual “Best of Our Valley” rankings. The private club earned top honors in the Best Community/Development, Best Clubhouse, Best Golf Community, Best Private Golf Club, and Best Golf Pro Shop categories.
In addition to these honors, Encanterra Country Club is the reigning No. 1 private club ($25,000 and Under) in the state according to Avid Golfer Arizona and the No. 3 private club in Arizona by Arizona Business Magazine.
Encanterra Country Club is a private, gated community developed by Shea Homes. It features single-family homes from just over 1,200 to nearly 4,000 square feet, and within the project there are both all ages and age-qualified areas. To learn more about the spectacular Encanterra lifestyle and available residential options, please visit www.encanterra.com or call 800.685.6494.
By by Alice and Danny Scott
Encanterra Country Club reflects the spacious grandeur of its surroundings with spectacular views of the Superstition Mountains, a wealth of recreation, and a high degree of luxury. The entrance is one of the most inviting in the valley. The iron and wood gate opens to multiple waterfalls cascading to streams and ponds.
Residents Tim and Patricia Reynolds were hooked the moment they entered Encanterra, after searching for the right relocation from Colorado Springs, CO.
The 60,000 square foot La Casa clubhouse is the most beautiful in the world. The patio is uniquely divided into a myriad of private cozy sitting areas that members and guests can enjoy with lush, meticulous landscaping and jaw dropping views. Cuisine, wine caverns and friendly service make it a busy community spot.
Encanterra has the friendliest driving range where everyone seems genuinely happy. Why not? They have the great Tom Lehman designed course to look forward to with generously wide-open fairways. Even the rough is well manicured. Strategically placed bunkers are not that difficult to navigate – no Mick Jagger heavy lips here. While miniature Swilcan bridges span gentle streams and the Superstition Mountains hug the horizon lulling you into golf euphoria, beware the fast greens with subtle undulations and perhaps sadistic pin locations that challenge the best of skills. Kudos go to the maintenance team for their perfect course conditioning.
Hole #3 Par 5, 582 yards from the tips: This is your first test of length and strategy and the longest hole on the course. The fairway seems to narrow as large bunkers guard left and right. A lake that borders #3, 4 and 5 will intimidate those attempting to reach the green in two. The green hugs the lake with another bunker for additional penalty. The two-tiered green slopes to the center with ridges that will feed the ball into areas unwanted. Pin location and green familiarity are tantamount to a good score.
Hole #6 Par 4, 504 yards from the tips: This is a difficult test for those who are distance challenged. It takes two tremendous shots to reach the elevated green in regulation, especially with the severely sloped apron, bunkers and lake. One positive aspect is that the large green itself is minimally sloped. A sound par is a big victory here.
Hole #14 Par 3, 206 yards from the tips: One of the best views and sounds from cascading waterfalls and gurgling brooks sooth the golf beast within. The water only comes into play short or left. The ideal swing would be a right to left trajectory avoiding sandy trouble and feeding onto the green, regardless of pin location. The expansive clubhouse appears inviting just over the horizon of this difficult par 3.
Hole #18 Par 5, 525 yards from the tips: This closing hole brings you into full view of patrons on the patio awaiting your excellence or foolery. A wide fairway is narrowed by two large bunkers on each side. A long second shot must navigate the bunker series, which teasingly challenge you to go for the green in two. Too long and you will find the lake that surrounds the green from right side to the back. A small bowl within the green complex will send the ball into a difficult putting situation. The best approach would be to make this a three shot hole for Pete’s sake, but the irresistible urge to go for it is often too much to constrain. A par or birdie should be given a free libation in the clubhouse. Just saying!
The Encanterra course is so enjoyable that but for the excitement of relaxing at La Casa, you hate to see the round end. While the exclusive country club atmosphere makes Encanterra a great escape for a day, membership has far more than simple privileges. Besides the impeccable golf and practice facilities, a pool, tennis courts, athletic center, women only workout center, indulgent spa, new activity center, and lifestyle concierge make it difficult to decide how to schedule each day. Good Life concerts have included Doobie Brothers and Kenny G. Next up, is Heart. Models are open and selling fast. Members say once they move in, they hate to leave “the compound”. Check out the gallery and course tour online. Seeing is believing how gorgeous it truly is.