From Our Editors
Golf courses, like rock albums and cartons of grade-A eggs, are meant to be appreciated in their entirety. But occasionally a stretch of holes distinguishes itself from the rest of the bunch. The reasons for this are many: it may be beauty, difficulty, or a reputation as the height of architectural balance and restraint, or perhaps a history as the site of some famous performance (or meltdown). Such stretches are rare and usually carry names that make them instantly recognizable to golf cognoscenti; holes 11–13, known as Amen Corner, at Augusta National and holes 15–17, known as the Bear Trap, at PGA National are famous ones. To this exalted echelon of golf holes SunRidge Canyon submits holes 13–18, dubbed the Wicked Six.
This hearty sextet comprises a pair apiece of par 3s, 4s, and 5s, and the common theme throughout is the near-constant uphill climb. Regardless of how golfers start the round, they may feel their confidence wane here as glutes start to burn, crisply struck iron shots fall short of their intended targets, and the shoulders of other players start to look mighty attractive for piggy-back rides. Add to this the prevailing wind that blows directly in the golfer's face, and you have a recipe for a round gone south.
Of course, the Wicked Six is only a third of the 6,823-yard, Keith Foster–designed golf course. The full par-71 layout arcs over the dry desert among rocky outcroppings, scrub brush, and tall cacti and swoops down the abundant ravines in the Valley of the Sun. If the course leaves golfers wrung out, they can always replenish lost energy with burgers, wood-fired pizzas, and cold beers at the Wicked Six Bar and Grill.