It could have been any course, anywhere. I faced a slightly downhill shot into a breeze--- 160 yards to a back pin on a bluff, with a steep drop and water lapping below. Instinct suggested the seven iron, but my head preferred the six.
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - You've heard of this place and seen it on television as part of the Anderson Consulting World Championships and the Tiger Woods World Golf Challenge. Grayhawk has all the credentials to attract players seeking drama in desert golf. But if you aren't a big stick, and only a mere mortal, what's it like to play there---heaven or hell?
MESA, AZ - It's not often that playing a round of golf requires circumnavigating a small mountain. But, thanks to architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., at Las Sendas you'll have a grand time doing both. The "mountain" around which this course revolves is wild and rugged. According to local legend, it was named "Spook Hill" by Tom Mix, star of over 300 cowboy movies (mostly silent) prior to 1935. Apparently rattlesnakes regularly wandered off its rocky slopes into the screen cowboy's adjoining ranch, frightening his cattle. But ranches and livestock have since been supplanted by dense residential development and one very interesting golf course.
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Thinking of taking a golf junket to the Scottsdale area, but apprehensive about how brutal you've heard desert golf can be? No worries if you make Legend Trail your first stop! For one, this place is a stark contrast to many of the severe layouts in the area. Architect Rees Jones has provided comparatively generous fairways free of demoralizing cross bunkers. Fairway traps are set up parallel to the line of flight and with the exception of holes 11 and 12, there are no blind shots or long forced carries. The white tees are very playable at 6400 yards and, thanks to the management oversight of Troon Golf, you can bank on superb course conditioning and all around service.
Kauai, Hawaii - Not many bad amateur golfers can claim to have beaten Vijay Singh on a hole of golf. Singh does not know, of course, nor would he care, but I do, having made a par three to his seven on the 193/166/143/119 yard 11th at Poipu Bay.
Lihu'e, Kauai, Hawaii - Well designed golf courses need not shout their greatness with overtly difficult or spectacular holes. Instead, they quietly earn a player's respect through eighteen games in the forms of par threes, fours, and fives. Often, the sum of those parts creates a more memorable experience than any one hole.