Ten reasons why a tee time at Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale is worth the hefty green fee
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's become a cliche to say Troon North Golf Club is one of the best golfing experiences in Arizona, if not the country.
Any list ranking the top courses in the Valley shouldn't be taken seriously if it doesn't include either Troon North's Pinnacle Course or Monument Course, whose links-style layout is an ode to the British Open.
The scenery is spectacular, the courses are always in immaculate condition and the service is first-rate. Maybe that's why golfers don't mind shelling out more than $200 to play Troon North in the busy winter months.
So here's our own top 10 -- the 10 best reasons Troon North is worth the hefty price tag:
The Monument Course
Somehow, designers Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish took a golf course in the middle of the desert and turned it into British Open golf.
Okay, the winds don't blow that hard, and there's no seaside views, but golfers can play bump-and-run shots onto most of the greens, and the names of the holes are a love song to the Open. The par-5 ninth hole is the Hell Bunker, and No. 18 is St. Andrews.
Troon North's forecaddies
They don't come cheap -- a forecaddie for a foursome costs $30 per player -- and they're only available from December through April, but what a treat.
Troon North's forecaddies will read greens, find lost balls and help golfers navigate the best way around the Monument or Pinnacle Courses.
The club itself
Troon North's clubhouse is more than 2,500 square feet and nicer than most of the custom-built homes in the area.
The Dynamite Grille offers great views of the desert and serves a mean Kobe beef slider. Oh, and the rental clubs are first-rate, not old sticks that should be tossed in the nearest dumpster.
Like a challenge with the flat stick in hand? You'll love Pinnacle.
Most of the greens are elevated, tiered significantly, sloped from back to front and protected by long, deep bunkers. A 60-foot putt isn't uncommon. It's probably also worth mentioning that the greens run as fast as a bathtub surface.
Troon North's Monument Course has two drivable par 4s less than 310 yards -- the 299-yard 15th hole and the 306-yard sixth -- but three of its par 3s are more than 200 yards, including No. 16, which measures a ridiculous 244 yards from the tips and drops about 50 feet from tee to green.
Monument isn't easy, but one thing is certain: You won't be bored.
The multi-million-dollar homes surrounding the courses
So what if the homes are a pipe dream for anyone but the uber wealthy? It's a kick to check out the huge pools, beautiful landscaping and first-class touches.
Gawking is encouraged, but golf balls in the back yard aren't.
No, not the golf course. The hole: The par-5, 564-yard third hole at the Monument, so named for a huge boulder that dissects the middle of the fairway.
The boulder is approximately 35-feet high and has a bad habit of catching balls and releasing them backwards or sideways.
McDowell Mountain on one side, the Valley on the other -- bring a camera.
The Troon North Web site
Okay, so going to www.troonnorthgolf.com isn't like playing the course. But the Web site has a very cool flyover of every hole on both the Monument and Pinnacle Courses.
You'll feel like you're playing a golf video game.
The drive home
Because it doesn't matter what you score, how many balls you lose or how much green you peeled from the pocket. You'll leave Troon knowing you had the pleasure of playing at arguably the best golf club in the Valley and on one of the best golf courses in Arizona.
December 8, 2011