Prescott Lakes Golf Club: Tough Track is Easy on the Eyes
PRESCOTT, Az. - Prescott finally has a classy public course. Well, it's semi-private, but that must also mean it's semi-public.
At over 5400 feet elevation, Prescott Lakes has gorgeous views of the Granite Dells rock formations and San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff. The temperature feels great in the summer as it is 15 to 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix.
Hale Irwin gets the credit for the design of Prescott Lakes, his first "Signature Golf Course" in Arizona. He has even named all the holes to recognize the history of the ancient petroglyphs. The six different sets of tees, ranging from 4715 to 7216 yards, all have carved rock markers ranging from black bears to roadrunners.
The current club house and restaurant are temporary, and the proposed one is to be built next year, along with a fitness center. The staff at the pro shop and outside services could not have been more accommodating. In fact, they even made a trip out to see if the group was happy and needed anything. The truth was, everyone could have used more golf balls to replace all the lost ones.
This is a course where an errant shot is not even worth looking for. Natural arroyos with natural grasses and vegetation are the norm, and even a few inches off the fairway can mean instant penalties to your score.
Hitting across arroyos is the name of the game, especially on number 8, the number 1 handicap hole. Not once, but twice, must one hit over arroyos before finally reaching the green. It's a 600 yard par 5 from the tips, and placement is everything.
The number 2 handicap hole is number 11, and it's a very easy birdie hole for many women, as it is a downhill 433 yards. Just don't hit too much on your second shot, or you are in the surrounding water.
Most of the water holes are on the back, with the par 3 number 12 being one of them. Since it's usually breezy or even windy at Prescott Lakes, this can make for a tough shot, especially from the back tees of 180 yards. If you don't hit the water, you are likely to end up in one of the strategically placed traps that surround the front and back of the green.
The signature hole is the number 18 par 5, uphill challenge, with water the entire length on the right, and mean vegetation on the left. Add to that a narrow fairway, and a trapped green. This comes after 17 holes of concentration and hard work, so the 19th hole which you can glimpse on your way up the fairway looks real inviting.
If the arroyos and vegetation are not enough of a challenge for the most stalwart golfer, then the greens are. They are relatively new and therefore quite hard. The balls don't check up, and they are fast to putt.
Prescott Lakes is an impressive new course, l/2 hours north and west of Phoenix. The wildflowers in September were absolutely gorgeous, and credit should be given to the design team for maintaining the historical petroglyphs found when carving the course.
They incorporated the petroglyphs into identifying each of the l8 holes as well as the six tee marker locations. They also created "pocket-parks" to preserve the boulders that contained petroglyphs that were originally grouped together through the Prescott Lakes community.
Prescott Lakes is located only 10 minutes from the town of Prescott, where many hotels, motels and restaurant await you. Prescott is a fun little town, full of history, with a town square. It's worth spending the night, playing Prescott Lakes, dining at one of the many establishments, then attacking the course again the next day. You will not tame it the first time!
Call 1-877-643-3501 for tee times at Prescott Lakes Golf Club, which is located at 315 East Smoke Tree Lake. They also have a website-www.prescottlakes.com Greens fees are fair and reasonable, so call now.
July 3, 2001