Review & Ratins of Talking Stick North Course in Scottsdale
Talking Stick Golf Club is home to two championship 18 hole courses - North and South. The Golf Club is owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and Arnold Palmer Golf Management operates both golf courses in the true spirit of Arnold Palmer – with pride, consideration and honor. And from our perspective they do an excellent job - the course is in near perfect condition and very well maintained.
Each of the 18s at Talking Stick has it's own personality and unique playing characteristics. According to Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the designers, "Talking Stick Golf Club’s North Course, with its broad, angular holes, rewards thoughtful play through the rise of its many options according to one’s level of skill. Its low profile, slightly crowned greens and close-cropped approaches encourage running as well as aerial assaults. The South Course with its tree lined fairways and raised greens defended at the sides offers a more straightforward style of play. It presents its challenge and strategy in an open and clear-cut fashion." Crenshaw and Coore sculpted the course out of the flat desert sandy terrain with scrub trees and brush, lots of wild life (coyotes, ground squirrels, road runners, and more), and no homes.
Some of the awards and accolades include:
The North Course is a links style design with huge wide open fairways and big greens and it's longer and a tad harder than the South Course which is a traditional tree lined course. The McDowell Mountains provide a beautiful background frame for the course. The North Course is a par 70 with 2 par 5s, 4 par 3s, and 12 par 4s and 3 sets of tee boxes ranging from 5532 to 7133 yard plus a combo yardage of 5945.
The front nine of Talking Stick Golf Club is your opportunity to warm up, relax, enjoy your round, and end the nine with a good score. Most of the homes are straight ahead of the tee box and you can see what you're up against - which is some huge natural and sand bunkers. The fairways are flat which gives you some extra roll, the fairway landing zones off the tee box are huge, and the greens are flat to a small false front (great for a bump and run) and putting surface is typically relatively flat but with subtle breaks. That said, you need to avoid the bunkers and stay in the fairway. A couple of the holes that we liked on this nine included:
The back nine on Talking Stick's North Course has some roller coaster fairways, better variety, some very interesting holes, and greens that are much tougher than the front thanks to severe contour (like a roller coaster around the fringe and some steep slope). Some of the holes that we really liked on the North Course include:
Talking Stick's North Course is home to huge greens (27 to 41 yards deep and 18 to 31 yards wide) that range from flat with subtle breaks to steep slope, ridges, and lots of contour. Bunkers around the greens put a premium on your approach shots and the normal speed of around 12 can make putting a tad difficult. The greens were in excellent condition, a little firm, and ran true. A joy to putt.
The bunkers at Talking Stick help define the course and make it challenging. Most of the bunkers are huge, steep and deep. The sand varied from thin to thick and deep and fluffy. In addition to the traps you'll need to stay out of the natural sand bunkers and the dessert sand and sage.
The fairways are very generous off the tee at the North Course of Talking Stick and they were in excellent condition when we played. The front fairways are mostly flat while the back has some fairways with lots of contour. The is no rough - the fairways end in the desert's natural sand and scrub brush.
Rates: $80.00 to $150.00
Service is ok, the pro shop is well stocked with everything you need, the grill is good, and the practice facilities are more than adequate. The nearby Talking Stick Casino & Spa has a good Stay & Play
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!
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.