2775 N. 15th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
This is the oldest of the Phoenix Municipal golf courses having been designed by William P. Bell in 1935. In fact it’s the third oldest course in Arizona, and lies very near downtown Phoenix at 15th Ave and Thomas Road. It is part of a large city park that includes a roller coaster and pond that is popular with scale model boat enthusiasts, hence the course nickname “The Yacht Club”. This course is flat and an easy walk for those so inclined. The Bermuda greens are small, well bunker-ed and don’t give up nearly as many birdies as the length of this layout would indicate. There are five par threes and three par fives in this par seventy championship course that plays from 6000 to 6500 yards. There is an accompanying executive 9 hole course as well that is very popular for those with time constraints. Mike Swartz is the Head Golf Professional here and a fine golfer who played on the PGA Tour. John Dodd has been a fixture as a PGA Teaching Professional at the driving range here forever. He may have even consulted with the designer in 1935 for all we know. Bob Lytle has been the Head Greens-keeper at Encanto for the last ten years and does a great job, but some of you may cuss him if you play it in the winter when the over-seed is thin and its damp around the greens. Bob Martin has perfected the “Chunk or Skull” pitch shot seen frequently here. The Mulligan Grill is a popular post round gathering spot here.
You can start your round at Encanto with a birdie at the par five first if you avoid the OB left and the water right. Lay up at the short par four second to leave yourself a short wedge shot. Play to the center of the par three third and don’t try to cut the left corner at the dogleg left fourth hole, the trees have grown up. Favor the right center of the green at number five if you want to make a two. Fairway bunkers lining the landing area at the short par four sixth keep you honest off the tee. #7 is just a short iron par three but the large green makes club selection crucial. Bomb it up the left side if you want to try to reach the par five eight hole. You have OB staring at your left and right at number nine, but the good news is the new driving range fence on the left does repel golf balls. Its best to hit driver here or your second shot to this sloping green is no bargain.
Drive it long and left on the tenth hole to get your birdie, and just hit to the center of the green on the 160 yard eleventh. A left to right tee shot at #12 may get you in range of this 500 yard par five. If you go for the green and miss it, left and short leaves the best pitch shot. Avoid the right trees on number thirteen and you will have a short iron to a small sloping green. At 225 yards, #14 is the last and longest par three here. There is a lake left that you need to avoid off the tee on the long par four fifteenth. The green slopes from back to front so hit enough club on your second or you will be chipping. If you can move your drive right to left you will have a shorter iron into number sixteen. It’s a deep green so get it up to the hole. A left to right drive will keep you out of jail and the trees left of number seventeen but don’t go too far right or you will find a bunker. The green here is elevated and falls off abruptly if you go over. A long right to left tee shot will give you the shortest iron into the finishing hole which mounds in the middle and falls off to the rear.