Whirlwind Golf Club a raging success in Phoenix, reader says
Whirlwind Golf Club is just south of Phoenix, off the I-10 towards Tucson. Nestled in the Gila River Indian Reservation with the Siera Estrella Mountains as its backdrop, the course is a hidden gem. Anybody visiting Phoenix should make the effort to play it.
Whirlwind consists of two 18-hole golf courses, Devil's Claw (7029 yards, slope 131, rating 72.8) and Cattail, the latter being the more difficult one (7218 yards, slope 132, rating 73.4). The reception is always very friendly; outdoor service meets and greets you at your car. Once you have signed in you can wander of to the driving range, putting area and chipping facilities, all of them in good condition. Through a beeper handed to you by the starter, you'll be notified of your starting time.
It is possible to walk, but I would recommend using a golf cart since the distances between the holes can be very long. Both layouts are true desert courses, even though both have some water that comes into play. Gary Panks was the designer and he did a wonderful job. On the front nine of Cattail there are only two really difficult holes. No. 5 (Lucky Shot, par 4, 337 yards) requires an accurate tee shot and second shot to the green. Desert and water can spoil your fun. No. 7 (Sleeping Giant, 599 yards, par 5) requires you to work hard and be accurate. The landing area for your tee shot is wide enough, but your second will have to carry a gully that crosses the fairway and land in a well-protected area to give you a good approach to the green. Good luck with this one.
The back nine starts with a good 245-yard par 3. Water on the right side of the green, wind often blowing into your face and a slightly uphill green make you think long and hard before you pull your club. The 14th (389 yards, par 4) is tricky because the water on the left side of the fairway makes you go for tee shots that quite often get you into trouble. If you're lucky off the tee, then your shot to the green has to be good because of the tricky sloping green. No. 18 (par 4, 450 yards) is good finishing hole. For the long hitters, aim slightly left of the bunker on the right; the ball will funnel down the slope to the left of the fairway, and this leaves you a great approach to the green.
Once you're done, enjoy the scenery and the quietness of the location from the terrace in front of the bar. For those who have gotten really hungry, the food is really good. All the staffers you meet before, during and afterwards are very polite and friendly. If you are still left with some money, hop over to the casino that is in close proximity; if you want to stay overnight try the Sheraton.
Hope you enjoy this course as much as I have the many times I have played there.
Play it again? Yes
December 11, 2006