2019 Media ClassicTalking Stick - O'odham • WeKoPa - Saguaro • Mountain Shadows
2019 Media Classic
Bruce Vittner – GWAA
As you fly into Phoenix Airport, you can’t help but notice the iconic Camelback Mountain just to the north. It was on the other side of that mountain where we spent four days of sheer enjoyment at Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley, a tiny community next to Scottsdale.
It is the shadow from Camelback Mountain and Mummy Mountain that garnered the name of this iconic resort that was first opened in 1959. Each afternoon you watch the sun dip below the mountain and watch the temperature drop. It’s not bad, however, when the temperature is a warm 70 degrees in December while the sun is shining as it does over 330 days per year.
Mountain Shadows has a rich history of Hollywood celebrity visits and the property served as the location for television shows including a Monkees episode. Since it was one of the few properties that were open year-round, it became a great dining and entertainment place for the locals who began moving to this arid and warm climate from other parts of the country.
The original golf course was designed by Jack Snyder and built in1961. It was a short course, par 56, and worked its way up towards the mountain and then back down. It quickly became a favorite for those Hollywood celebrities and socialites who were drawn to its seclusion, challenging greens and unique desert setting.
The golf course was redesigned by Forrest Richardson to make it a par 54 Short Course that is challenging and fun with holes ranging from 75 yards to the fifteenth hole that measures 180 yards from the back tee. The seventh is the one that measures 75 yards, but most of the yardage from the tee to the green is a pond.
We saw many couples playing the course, and also many juniors. It is not easy. The tees are well designed and the greens and green surrounds are well manicured, but many of the holes have desert waste area in between the tees and greens. For more information you can visit www.mountainshadows.com or call 855-485-1417.
The other three courses we played were Long Bow Golf Club, Talking Stick and We-Ko-Pa in Fountain Hills. Long Bow in Mesa is a robust test of golf, so pick the correct tees to play. It was in perfect condition and is highly regarded and is only twenty minutes from downtown Scottsdale.
Talking Stick was the course for the second day. This Coore-Crenshaw design is located minutes from downtown off the 101 and was in wonderful condition. It is a flat course, but the weaving holes and natural trees and bushes made each hole unique. They have two courses on property and a large casino is right next door.
Our last course was We-Ko-Pa’s Saguaro course that has been rated best course in the area by Golfweek in eleven of the past twelve years. I’ve played their other course in the past, and that is a great design as well. That evening we went to Fort McDowell Adventures that is just down the road from the courses. They also have a casino right near the courses.