17405 E Desert Vista Trail
Rio Verde, AZ 85263
Located at 165th St. and Dynamite Road, this course is a bit north and east in Scottsdale, but well worth the drive. This gem opened up in the economic downturn and the infrastructure around it has been slow to develop, but the roads are now paved, there are a few houses but no clubhouse. Its golf only out here, some come out with your foursome and plan to drive to your favorite watering hole after the round.
This course can play from 5400 yards to 7200 yards depending on your tee selection. There are no blind tee shots here, you can see where you need to hit it, and there are sprinkler heads tell you the distance to the middle of the greens. The tricky part is finding out how much roll your tee shots are getting to make sure you do not run through the fairways on the line you hit it. Lots of fairway bunkers define driving areas and you generally have a bit of a carry to reach each fairway depending on your tee choice. Greens are firm and fast, with run off areas that give you options on your pitch shots.
Number one starts you right off with driving bunkers you should try to hit over to have the best approach to the green from the left side of the fairway. The third hole is a par five birdie opportunity if your lay up stays out of the deep fairway bunker left. Hole #4 is a short wedge shot without wind, par three that will kill you if you don’t hit the green. Its narrow, well bunkered and very tough to make a putt on. #7 gives you the choice to lay up left of go for the green with your driver, smart players lay up. #8 and #9 are long par fours to finish the front side.
The back nine is no easier. It starts out just like the front with a good par four and a tough par 3. While none of the par fives here are easily reachable, they can be had if you hit a great drive and an accurate second shot. Hole #13 plays uphill but is fairly generous if you go for the green in two and miss it short. There is sand and OB all along the right side. Hole #16 gives you another lay up or go challenge. If you hit driver, keep it left of the green for the easiest pitch shot. #17 is a 626 yard par five that only the very long hitters should even consider going for, just lay up and stuff a wedge. Then keep your drive left center on number 18 so you have a better angle to this green with water right.