The Legend Trail Golf Club: Troon Does it Again in Arizona

By Will Waldrip

Scottsdale, AZ - Troon Golf prides itself in providing each golfer two things: outstanding customer service and superior playing surfaces. The Legend Trail Golf Club lives up to these lofty expectations.

Legend Trail opened for play in 1995, and will be a public facility for at least another five years. At that time it will be up to the residents if Legend Trail remains a daily fee course or falls unto the Scottsdale golf theme of privatization.

When you arrive at Legend Trail, your bag is immediately handled by the outdoor attendants. You are then pointed to the clubhouse where friendly employees check you in. On your way up to the desk pick out a souvenir from Legend Trail's large selection of logo apparel.

After you have checked in, head over to the range to loosen up. You will find a neatly stacked pyramid of balls waiting. When your tee time arrives, the starter informs you of the daily pin placements, and wishes you good luck. A little extra luck couldn't hurt on this course.

When you open your yardage book on the first tee, you will find that "Nature 's Bounty" is your first challenge. It is a par 4 with fairway bunkers that seem to swallow any tee shot down the right side. If you avoid the bunkers, then par looks like a good possibility, that is, until you reach the green. Legend Trail's bent grass greens are smooth and fast. If you are good enough to read these undulating greens, then the next step is finding the right speed. A putt that you barely set in motion may end its journey twenty feet past the hole.

If you have managed to keep your sanity through the first three holes, don't count on keeping it much longer. "Arizona Sunset" is perfectly named, this hole faces due west and if you are playing at dusk you may be greeted with an unmistakable Arizona sunset. Don't get caught up in the view, you have some work ahead.

The green is nearly unreachable in two for the average weekend golfer. Don't be in any hurry to get to this green. It is severely sloped from back to front and its two tiers are separated in elevation by nearly 3 feet. If par was your score don't get too excited because you have a delicate par 3 and a short par 4 before you reach the second and last par 5 on the front.

This par 5 is a nightmare for most amateurs. "Water Chant" is its name, and swallowing golf balls is its game. This is the only hole that brings water into play, and thank goodness it is. If golf course architect Rees Jones had used more water, this course may have become impossible to play. The tee shot looks harmless. That's because you cannot see the water that is lurking over the hill.

When you get over the hill and you are lucky enough to see your ball in the grass, prepare yourself for a long second. The green is reachable, that is if you can hit a long iron or even a three wood 225 yards with right to left movement and with enough height so it lands soft enough to stay on the green. Not many of us have that shot in our bag.

Number nine is named "Promised Land," another short par 4 that leads you to the clubhouse. Be sure to grab a snack at the bar before you head off the back. The selection is great, and the sandwiches are even better.

After filling your stomach, and before you tee off on number ten, you might be thinking to yourself, this course can't get any harder. You are right. The back nine is open for scoring. All the par 4's are a driver off the tee and a short iron into the green. With properly placed approach shots birdie is an option.

Your first test on the back comes from #16, "Echoes of Time." This 530-yard par 5 looks innocent, but as we all know, looks can be deceiving. The fairway is divided into two sections.

To clear the ravine that separates the sections of fairway requires a tee shot that lands about 270 yards. For most, the green is not accessible in two shots. A properly played tee shot leaves you with 250 yards. Another ravine and a bunker which are directly in front, protect the green.

As you walk off the green and peek at your course booklet, you realize that the next hole is another par 5. Yes back-to-back par fives. The first two shots on #17, "Dancing Shadows" are very similar to #16.

A ravine divides the fairway in two, but it is out of range for most of us. This green is bunkered on both sides and the front is left open. Be happy with a par and head off to "Finishing Touch." This par 4 allows the golfer to finish on a good note.

When you have finished writing down your birdie 3 on the scorecard, head into the restaurant for a few drinks or a good meal.

If you are down on your game, help is close by. The Jim McClean Golf Academy located at Legend Trail offers the Super Station. This technology allows the novice and professional to be analyzed to determine minute or dramatic changes that need to be made to your swing.

Green fees range from $35-145, including cart. Whatever the price, it is well worth it. The course ranges from 4,912 yards to 6,400 yards.

Yes, Legend Trail certainly lives up to its expectations of outstanding customer service and a superior playing surface. Natural, relaxing, and highly memorable are the words that best describe Legend Trail.

Will Waldrip

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Legend Trail

    Rodney Young wrote on: Apr 25, 2011

    I believe The Legend Trail Golf Club is now a Scottsdale Golf Group property.