TPC Scottsdale - Champions Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.0

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 71
Scottsdale, AZ
Website
Date Last Played: July 20, 2009

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TPC Scottsdale - Champions Course Review

TPC Scottsdale is home to two outstanding 18 hole courses (the Stadium and Champions Course) and the PGA Tour's FBR Open. Both courses have been carved out of the Sonoran Desert and are surrounded by the majestic McDowell Mountains. Of the two 18s, the Stadium course better known and seems to be more forgiving and in much better condition. The Champions course is fun, has a true desert feel to it, and is more challenging and unique. We actually liked the Champions course more than it's better known sister. The 7115 yard par 71 Champions course meanders over natural ravines and picturesque foothills with five par-3’s and a diverse variety of par-4’s and par-5’s to thrill golfers of all skill levels.

The Champions course is carved out of the Sonoran Desert and leverages the terrain to make it fun and interesting - no homes to contend with, lots of dessert carries, wildlife, colorful desert fauna, and plenty of natural areas waiting for your ball. Control, course management and club selection are key to scoring well on this beauty. In addition to the desert, you'll find dog legs, water, plenty of risk reward opportunities, and deep and steep bunkers with soft sand.

The fairways were in very good condition with the rough was cut very playable. The greens were also in excellent shape and good sized with plenty of slope and some undulation. They were fast and true when we played.

Number 5 is an example of what you're up against when you play TPC Champions - it's the number 2 handicap at 477 yards (par 4) with a sharp dog leg left. The landing zones are narrow and surrounded by desert all the way to the green. Off the box you need to make a tough decision - take the safer but longer right side or try to land left on the smaller part of the fairway that is split by the desert - either way you go, miss right or left or short and you're in with the rabbits, cacti, and sand and hitting long is not much better. The approach to the green will also be tough with bunkers protecting the front side and desert brush and sand the rest of it. Very fun hole I had to play twice! And #18 is a fantastic and very pretty finishing hole with water down the left side - accuracy off the tee is critical here and the approach shot can be challenging. An outstanding 18 holes that we are anxious to play again - and a real bargain.

Click here to read our review of TPC Champions Course. We spent 6 days in Scottdale and played 150 holes, went hot air ballooning, kayaking, off-road jeeping, and lots more fun things - here is a link to Golfing In Scottsdale article.
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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 7,115 73.7 140
Blue 6,653 71.3 133
White 6,127 69.0 121
Red 5,342 69.8 120

Course Information

Course Architect:
Randy Heckenkemper
GPS:
No
Beware of water on 3 holes and the 67 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.0 out of 10
Beauty:
9.0
Difficulty:
8.0
Variety:
10.0
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
9.0
Condition:
8.0
Front Nine Rating:
9.0
Back Nine Rating:
9.0
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$39.00 to $130.00

Service is excellent, the grill has a great patio and view of the 18th hole, and the pro shop is well stocked.

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking. 

 

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