Legacy Golf Club in Phoenix receives new management, new attention to detail

By Scott Bordow, Contributor

PHOENIX -- Legacy Golf Club has been one of most player-friendly courses in the greater Phoenix area for a long time.

Legacy Golf Club
Legacy Golf Club's new management team is bringing upgrades to the Phoenix facility.
Legacy Golf Club
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With its wide fairways -- some stretch 50 yards across -- inviting greens and low prices, the par-71, 6,946-yard layout designed by Gary Panks has been one of the go-to courses for local residents.

The facilities at Legacy, however, were nothing special. But that's about to change.

Under the auspices of Raspberry Golf Management, which took over the property in March, the Legacy is getting a facelift.

The second floor of the banquet center is being renovated, a golf academy and training center will open in January and both the restaurant and the greenside grill are getting new menus.

"Raspberry Golf Management's business model is to find responsible solutions to meet the challenges of operating a golf club," said John Prengaman, the general manager at Legacy. "They want to exceed customer expectations and provide a quality golf experience, so we're doing the things needed on this property."

The first order of business is the renovation of the second floor of the banquet center, Prengaman said. Two balconies are being added in order to accommodate larger groups for weddings, banquets, anniversaries and more.

"There's a market here for that so it made sense for us," he said.

Golf academy and performance center

The new banquet center will be open in mid-September. Not long after that Legacy will unveil its golf academy and performance center. The center will include five bays where players can stand indoors and away from the elements, but hit outside. The indoor and outdoor bays will include 3D teaching technology used, as Prengaman said, "to improve the performance of any player."

"It's going to be state-of-the-art back there (on the south side of the range)," Prengaman said.

The performance center will be run by the Raspberry Golf Academy and is on track to be completed in late November with a grand opening in January.

Raspberry also is working on the golf course, located on Baseline Road in south central Phoenix. The holes themselves aren't being changed, but the layout is getting some maintenance.

In Phoenix-Scottsdale, many desert golf courses are narrow to the average golfer. Hit a drive 15 yards wide and it's lost in the desert and golfers pencil in a penalty stroke.

At Legacy, however, the fairways are wide enough to land a 747 and the greens are in terrific shape and roll pure, but they break far more than the read might suggest. It's not unusual to have a two-foot break on a four-foot putt.

The best hole at Legacy is the 558-yard, par-5 18th. The original Heard Ranch grain silos to the right once ranked as the tallest structures in Maricopa County. Of course, most golfers will be more concerned with the water left and the out of bounds on the right.

Legacy is located just down the street from The Raven Golf Club and, truth be told, always has stood in line behind its neighbor. One reason for that: The Raven's terrific facilities. But the improvements at Legacy -- the additional space in the banquet center and the new performance academy -- will certainly improve its standing among Valley golf courses.

The facilities will be first-rate, the fairways will continue to welcome golf swings of all persuasion, and the prices won't severely dent the wallet. Plus with 328 rooms at the Legacy Resort and several stay-and-play packages, the convenience will be off the hook.

That's about all a golfer can ask for, isn't it?

Scott BordowScott Bordow, Contributor

Scott Bordow is the golf columnist for the Arizona Republic. Follow him on Twitter at @sbordow.

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