Sanctuary Golf Course at Westworld: Still Room for Improvement

By Maggie Edwards, Contributor

Scottsdale, Ariz - A recent addition in November of 1999 to the Scottsdale golf community is the Sanctuary Golf Course at Westworld. The course is a collaborative effort of the City of Scottsdale, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Sun Corporation. It is located on a 99-year land lease right in the heart of North Scottsdale, bordered by the Arizona Canal and the McDowell Mountains to the north. It is situated in a new neighborhood on a narrow strip of land, but the houses are only prevalent on a few holes.

Sanctuary Golf Course
Sanctuary Golf Course brings you up close and personal with the desert in Scottsdale.
Sanctuary Golf Course
If you go

The architect, Randy Heckenkemper, took great advantage of the natural terrain, utilizing the native cactus, mesquite trees and wetlands. He distinguished Sanctuary by being the first Arizona golf course to obtain Audubon Signature Status. There are protected areas in the natural desert, which means playing an errant shot as a lateral rather than hacking and chopping up the terrain.

A low handicap woman golfer should play the men's whites or blues at 5573 and 6050 yards, respectively. The forward tees for women are only 4926 yards with a 118 slope. There are even junior tees and junior rates as well. Sanctuary also allows walking! Imagine golf as a sport with the possibility of exercise.

The 10,000 square foot clubhouse includes a pavilion for groups up to 150 people, and the views and setting are very panoramic. The staff seems to be well-trained and provides service beyond what we have expected in the past from a public course. As is the trend, the new golf courses are catering to the golf consumer with a nice selection of golf clothes and "tools".

Because Sanctuary is located on a limited amount of land, everything is quite handy, including the range and putting green. The starter provides complete information and a pin sheet, and off you go down the hill to an undulating par four bordered by protected area on the left. The second hole is the number one handicap for both men and women, and it's a shame that no one listed to Frank Lloyd Wright years ago when he was so adamant about placing power lines underground. Of course, they are not buried, and how that does detract from the otherwise wonderful views in that part of Scottsdale!

The course has many sloping fairways, undulations, washes and rocks if you don't find the fairway. Only one hole, number eight, a par 3, has water. The finishing hole is a 90-degree dog leg, and trouble awaits if the ball strays from the green stuff. It's uphill, with a wash coming into play on the second shot. The houses line the left side near the tee box and remind me of California row houses-same on number 9. Other than those two holes, the neighborhood is not part of the course.

There are five sets of tee boxes, the tournament tees being 6624 yards with a 135 slope. Greens are good, course is well maintained, and the highest rate is $108 between December 24th and April 4th. Otherwise, it's $40 in the summer and $70 to $80 in the fall. There are also twilight rates, and walking knocks off $13.00 from the greens fee. Burgers are good, and the servers are friendly.

Try Sanctuary for a change of pace; it's a fun course which offers plenty of challenges for everyone. After golf, you're very convenient to good restaurants and bars in the Pima and Frank Lloyd Wright area.

Location: Located 2 miles east of the intersection of Pima and Frank Lloyd Wright in northeast Scottsdale. Go north on Thompson Peak Pkwy; take a right at McDowell Mountain Ranch Road. Take another right at 105th St., and follow around to l0690 East Sheena Drive. Call 480-502-8200 for reservations.

Director of Golf: Jay Haffner
Head Pro: Richard Wright

Maggie Edwards, Contributor

Edwards grew up in Glenwood Springs, Colo., playing golf and skiing, then moved many places, the most recent of which was Boston until landing 11 years ago in Phoenix. She has been writing for two years for golfarizona.com, reviewing courses from the women's point of view. One of her favorite reviews was Chaparral Pines in Payson because it is so gorgeous and such a great golf course. An eight handicap, she likes to play competitively and hates to play slow.


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