Designed by Pete Dye, the golf course at Red Mountain Ranch Country Club boasts 6,653 yards of fairway portioned into 18 picturesque holes. Twosomes can rev up golf carts and dart down paths on a competitive quest to out-thwack opponents on the course and out-swim them in the water hazards. Scenic views of the valley and mountains surround the open landscape, which is accented with Scottish mounding and hazards such as the 11th hole's watery expanse and the 4th hole's sand bunkers.
As head instructor at Grayhawk Learning Center, PGA Class A Member Jeff Yurkiewicz calls on more than 12 years of teaching experience to help players improve their individual games. Jeff perpetuates the thorough understanding of the sport he received from his mentors, both Golf Magazine Top 100 instructors: Paul Trittler, host of Golf Academy Live on the Golf Channel, and Peter Kostis, whose detailed commentary on CBS Sports telecasts keeps viewers informed as to each blade of grass’s exact length. In addition to his work with Trittler and Kostis, Jeff boasts an impressive playing resumé of his own, making appearances in both the 2003 Phoenix Open and the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol.
There's no perfect swing for everybody. That's why Troon North Golf Club Director of Instruction Doug Hammer tailors his teachings to each client's level, whether they're competing in professional tournaments or swinging their first nine-iron. In his 14-year career, Doug has polished his instructional technique on courses from Galena, IL to Seoul, South Korea, picking up extensive club-fitting expertise along the way. At Troon North's Callaway Performance Center—one of only nine in the country—he analyzes clients' swings with sophisticated cameras and software, helping them select clubs and other equipment to improve their game.
That extra edge may come in handy when they play either of the two 18-hole courses at Troon North Golf Club. Framed by picturesque sandstone mountains, both courses may have repeatedly made Golf Magazine's "Top 100 Courses You Can Play" list—but that's not to say that golfers will play them well. If balls stray on their way to the green, players will have to hunt them down in grisly desert sands riddled with cacti, boulders, and reptiles who do not allow mulligans. The Pinnacle Course finishes with an epic dog-leg left par 4, where long hitters will be tempted to cut the corner and leave a short approach into a green nestled behind a desert waste area. Though its rating suggests it's slightly easier than its sister course, the Monument Course features a handful of treacherous holes, including two par 4s that exceed 460 yards in length.
A PGA Tour instructor and former tour player, Rohan Teasdale enhances players’ power and control by making each golf swing biomechanically sound. He operates his training school, G'Day Golf, at McCormick Ranch Golf Club, where he works with players of all skill levels to lower scores through the use of video swing analysis and a strict diet of sautéed golf balls. In addition to adjusting swing patterns to improve efficiency, Rohan also tweaks other facets of the game to produce well-rounded players. More than just a coach and instructor, Rohan acts as a full support system and friend to each student as they strive to reach their goals.
Palm fronds rustle in the breeze at Continental Golf Course, where players traverse a lush landscape of Bermuda grass under the gaze of a picturesque mountain peak in the distance. Designed by Greg H. Nash and Jeff D. Hardin, the relatively short layout surrounds two lakes, with water coming into play on multiple holes. On the 360-yard ninth hole—the course’s second most difficult—a narrow fairway leads to a small green protected by a right-side bunker and feral golf carts picketing for caddy status. The course's most challenging hole, the par-4 18th, presents a 340-yard dogleg right replete with intersecting waterways at the bend. Although the course lacks par 5s, the diverse landscape presents challenges for golfers of all stripes, from greenhorns to green-jacket holders.
Before or after rounds, golfers can refuel at the restaurant or drop by the driving range to stretch out their swings or employ the sage wisdom of an on-site golf pro during lessons.
Course at a Glance: