The 8th Hole at Antelope Hills Will Force You to Keep it Below the Pin

By Shane Sharp, Contributor

PRESCOTT, AZ - Summer golf in the Valley of the Sun is a double edged sword. On one side of the sword there are the some of the best tracts in all of Arizona available for the playing at reasonable prices. On the other side of the sword is the fact that its 110 degrees and if you were to step outside of yourself for just a moment, you'd have to ask yourself just what the hell you're thinking.

Should the later side of the sword strike you down this summer, point your SUV north towards the higher elevations of Prescott and reap the ample fruits that Antelope Hills Golf Courses have to offer. With 36 holes of championship golf, and temperatures that will be 15 to 20 degrees cooler than the concrete jungle, a trip to Antelope should be in your golfing plans for the summer. Throw in the fact that pound for pound, Prescott offers up more good places to chow and quaff a pint than any place outside of Flagstaff and its a no brainier.

The north course at Antelope Hills, which opened in 1956, is one of the granddaddy's of golf in all of northern Arizona. Like many courses of the time, the North Course is traditional in its layout and characteristics. Fairways are tree lined and greens are small, fast and true. True to form, the 8th Hole on the North Course is one of the most recognized, venerable holes in northern Arizona.

The Hole: The 8th Hole at the North Course of Antelope Hills Golf Courses. A scenic par-3 that plays 160 yards from the tips.

Architect: Lawrence Hughes, 1956.

The Layout: Brought to you by Terri Richardson, an assistant pro at Antelope. "The 8th is a short, straight par-3 with large Poplar trees on the right side. There are some other beautiful trees out there, but we're not sure what they are. They look like Cottonwoods but they're not. There is a 148 yard carry over a pond to the green. The green is severely sloped from back to front, and usually rolls between a 10 1/2 and 11 on the stimpmeter. There is a greenside bunker to the left and a little bail out area to the right."

The Strategy: The mantra on the 8th has to be stay below the green. So for both the low handicapper and the average golfer, the strategy hinges on club selection. "You must stay below the hole," warns Richardson, "otherwise you are dead." Grim forecast for those who go gorilla on their tee shot.

The Average Golfer: Has a much clearer shot at the green according to Richardson, who points out that the white tees are off to the side and take the trees out of play on the initial "launch" of the tee shot. The tips are set back amongst some of the mystery trees, and an ball with too much loft can clip a few branches.

Don't Play: "To the left or long," repeats Richardson like the broken record that is never heard. If you fly the green, it is conceivable that your uphill chip to the downhill green could get legs and roll into the drink.

Play the Hole: "Late in the afternoon," says Richardson, "when the lower sun angle brings out the beauty of the hole."

Inside the numbers: The 8th Hole is the No. 17 Handicap Hole on the North Course. But for any golfer who confronts a par-3 with an all water carry, hole ratings are, well, overrated. According to Richardson, the 8th plays to about a 4.0 scoring average from the tips, and a 3.5 from the whites.

Wanna Play?

Classification: Public
Guest Policy: Open
Dress Code: No tank tops or cutoffs.
Season: Open all year
Tee Times: Accepted 7 days in advance.
Earliest Time to Call: 8:00 AM
Pro Shope Phone: (520)776-7888
PRO Shop Opens: 8:00 AM

Shane SharpShane Sharp, Contributor

Shane Sharp is vice president of Buffalo Communications, a golf and lifestyle media agency. He was a writer, senior writer and managing editor of from 1997 to 2003.

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