Prescott's Antelope Hills Offers Variety, Quality and Cooler Climes

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 unfathomable low 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 hacking at the white ball while the tires on your golf cart are melting.

Should the later side of the sword strike you down this summer, head north towards the higher elevations of Prescott and reap the ample golf rewards that the 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 one time territorial capital of Arizona offers up a civilized yet old western feel like few other towns in the great wide west. Antelope Hills will naturally be the focus of any golf trip to Prescott, what with a North Course and South Course that offer up two totally different playing experiences. The entire golfing facility is built upon what was once the old Heart-Bar Ranch - name after two lakes on the property that took on those respective shapes.

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.

The South Course, which open back in 1992, is a links style golf course designed by Gary Panks that features wide open playing conditions and classic links style mounding around the fairways and greens. It comes as little surprise that with their variety of holes, cooler climes, and almost unbelievably low greens fees, the Antelope Hills Golf Courses are becoming increasing popular places to play golf.

"When I first came here in the early 1990's, we were doing about 65,000 rounds of golf a year," says General Manager Ed Noe. "Now we are doing close to 100,000 a year. With more rounds, we have more money and with more money we can make big improvements to the course."

Like the new irrigation on the North Course, which has the venerable old Lawrence Hughes layout looking the best it has looked in over 30 years. True to form, the 8th Hole on the North Course is one of the most recognized, venerable holes in northern Arizona. The lake that one has to carry off the tee is actually the old Heart Lake from Prescott's ranching days.

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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