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I have to put a plug in for this golf course, there have been major positive changes. This is a traditional old school layout, another Billy Bell design (he of Papago, Torrey Pines, etc.) dating from 1936. It is a unique setting in the center of Phoenix and historical neighborhoods. Beautiful historic homes and downtown high rises are some of the views from the course.

It is a great course to walk and very playable. The greens are the defense here, if you get out of position it's pretty much a 3-putt waiting to happen. The course is in the best condition I have seen it in 20+ years (of course it will be torn up in a week for overseeding...) And they are finally in the process of refurbishing the bunkers, the new ones are great, better than many of the upscale resort courses.

They have completely remodeled the restaurant and bathrooms and they are both first rate. The value is exceptional for the current product, go have a throwback day!
Just have to put a plug in for this course, perhaps the most overlooked course in the PHX metro area. It has become one of our favorites from the huge portfolio of courses we have access to here. As one of my playing partners puts it, this course checks all the boxes. Conditions are generally excellent year round (including bunkers, no small detail in the desert), the setting is beautiful with the Estrella Mountains as a backdrop, there is little development near the course. It is a very walkable course and a terrific Gary Panks design. They have a better than average practice facility. There is a new concessionaire onsite that runs a good restaurant and on course service. Finally, it is one of the very best values around, right now it is only $24 to walk, $10 more to ride.
We played 10/7, the last day before closing for overseeding. As has been the case all summer, the course was in excellent condition, the only real room for improvement is some of the bunkers need work. The new restaurant/pro shop had very recently opened and is one of the nicest facilities anywhere in the Phoenix Metro area. The restaurant has an excellent menu and beer selection, Along with having one of the very best views and setting in town, there are already non-golfers that are showing up just for the food and ambience.

The practice facility is ready to open and will be one of the best as well. It is fair to say that this is now perhaps the premier public golf facility anywhere in AZ. Between the old school William Bell layout, the conditioning, and the facilities, it can't be beat.
I have been playing this course for about 20 years, it's only a couple of miles from my house so I have played it quite often over the years. However, it had fallen out of favor due to the declining conditions. I have played it twice in the last couple of weeks and the course is in the best shape I have ever seen it. There is new management group that just took over that seems very committed to restoring the course and customer service overall.

This is an old school style layout, very straightforward with mature trees and is a good course to walk. There is a fair amount of OB and water on a few holes that help up the slope/course rating. The practice facilities are adequate, the driving range has been restored as well, used to be a challenge to find grass to hit off.

The greens are fairly slow (8-9+ or -) but they are uniform and well conditioned. Likewise the fairways, in the past they were hard, dry with many browned out patches, now they are uniformly green and well conditioned. They have started mowing the fairways and growing some rough to better define them. The bunkers are as good as any in town, better than some of the pricier resort courses.

For under $20 to walk, this is a great value, check it out.
Played a few weeks ago, this is a newer layout located on the Pascua Yaqui reservation west of Tucson. The course was designed by Notah Begay, not sure if he has done other courses. As such, there is no development around the course and it is set in treeless desert terrain. The course is really not walkable, it is spread out in quite a few areas due to the terrain. Conditions were impeccable and it doesn't appear the course gets a lot of play. It was a very good value, the fee included range balls, bottled water, GPS in carts. The practice areas are excellent as well. One thing to keep in mind playing for the first time is that there is a fair amount of water that is not visible/obvious from some tees and approach shots. The GPS has a flyover feature that you should consult on holes that do have water. There is a lot of bunkering in green complexes and framing tee shots. Bunkers were excellent. Very enjoyable round, pace of play good, conditions excellent, service excellent, try this one out.
In a desperate search to avoid post-overseeding conditions, we drove out to Sun City West to play here the day before it closed. This was a really good experience, I was pleasantly surprised at the course, it has a lot of movement in the fairways and the green complexes are relatively difficult, with lots of bunkering on many holes. The course is very aesthetically pleasing, mature palm trees and bunkers frame most of the shots nicely. There is a lot of rockwork around ponds and perimeters of some fairways that is likewise very attractive. While surrounded by housing, it is generally set back well from the course. Good bunkers, good greens, good experience, good value, worth the drive.

Not the greatest course to walk as it is spread out to maximize real estate development (my buddy's fitbit said it was nearly 8 miles of walking) yet we finished the round in just under 4 hours.
Played on 10/20, about a week after the course reopened from a 6 month closure. The closure was primarily to completely replace the irrigation system, which was badly needed. They have also obtained rights to canal water to use going forward, a major improvement. So the entire system was replaced complete with a new pumphouse, a reservoir and the plumbing/sprinkling system. The course is still a little rough in places, mainly around where the reservoir was constructed but should recover rapidly and there will likewise be turf in areas that previously were barren. It should only get better going forward.

This is still the best executive course in the PHX metro area, or anywhere that I've seen, you will use pretty much every club in your bag. There is a lot of vertical on the course and the greens are small and very difficult when speeds are up. New, longer tee boxes were added on several holes that will increase the challenge.
Played yesterday, last day before closure for overseeding. This is a private course that like many others allows some public play in the off seasons. The course was pretty much impeccable, I've not seen such attention to detail anywhere, every bit of turf is edged where it meets the desert, every tee box has a aggregate path leading up to it, every place to park at tee boxes has embedded rocks, so there is basically no dirt anywhere through the green. Bunkers are outstanding, looks like Augusta almost, and tee boxes, fairways and greens all excellent. We walked the course, there are a few longer walks between greens and tees, but overall very walkable with a fair amount of up and down. Even though there are houses lining most fairways, they are well set back and screened quite effectively by the Sonoran Desert vegetation. The setting is outstanding, with views of Four Peaks, Superstition Mountains, McDowells and southern Mazatzal range.

The clubhouse facilities are outstanding, the starter told us they had undertaken a $6 million renovation a few years back, really a first class facility all around.
Just a quick update, was interested in seeing how the greens were handling summer conditions as the "Champion" Bermuda variety is new, I played on 7/3 and if there a better greens in town, I would like to know where! They are amazingly dense and consistent, yet roll beautifly. The fairways still have some thin spots from the new construction, but are coming along.
This is one of the very best courses in the Phoenix metro portfolio. Originally conceived as an exclusive private club, it fell into the public realm when economic conditions cratered. It has recently been been bought by the Gila River tribe and they are doing an excellent job at carrying out the original vision. The course was designed for walking and is an outstanding layout. There is no development around the course and you can generally only see the hole you are playing. There are a ton of bunkers on the course and they are the among the best in town. I played about 2 weeks ago and the course was impeccable. The greens fast (11+) and true, fairways and tee boxes excellent. Good service, good restaurant, good staff round out a top notch experience. The only thing I would like to see is the original walking trails brushed out and smoothed where erosion has roughed them up.
Played 6/19/2016, course in excellent summer condition given the above average temps recently. Greens fast and putt very true, fairways almost impeccable and tee boxes very good. The only knock on conditions here is the bunkers, they have virtually no sand and are hard and gravelly. This is a really good layout, no development on the course to speak of, good layout to walk. I would also point out there is very little shade on this course, it is more a desert links course with native vegetation, and little drinking water. I recall only one water location on each side.
Maryvale GC, now known as the Grand Canyon University course after a complete overhaul, is nothing like it was for the past decade+. Formerly a flat, open course with mature trees, it has been toughened up considerably, not the least of which was adding another 500 yards to now stretch it out to over 7200 yards from the tips. An old William Bell design (Papago and Torrey Pines are other courses in his portfolio), it has been refreshed by adding many bunkers (which are excellent) which frame the shots very nicely. Considerable dirt was moved and there is now a lot of movement and vertical in the fairways and many greens have been built up slightly. Most of the mature trees have been retained so it still has a parkland feel. Maybe the most interesting change is the putting surfaces. They put in Champion Bermuda, a relatively new "ultradwarf" Bermuda with fine texture compared to more traditional Bermuda. It has not been overseeded and is a very fast (probably running about 11+ right now), extremely true putting surface. A brand new restaurant and pro shop was added that is likewise very well done. A new must-play in Phoenix, especially with the reasonable pricing. Only complaint I had was the pace of play, and I will be back!
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