There is never really a bad reason to play golf, but sometimes there are better reasons. Being in Sedona is certainly one of the better reasons. Of course, with all that beauty around you, it is also easy to be distracted with the task at hand—getting the ball in the hole. Sedona is easily one of the most beautiful places on the earth and we are lucky enough to have it in our own backyard. But rather than blame my missed shots on the scenery, this duffer is sticking with the notion that my vortex rhythms were off!
Imagine the days of our nation’s history when Teddy Roosevelt was riding horseback through the scenic wonders of America. With his proverbial ‘big stick’ in hand, he was deeming National Parks all along the way. For whatever reason, he chose to overlook Sedona– one of the world’s most scenic natural wonders, surrounded by the Coconino National Forest. It could have been a Yosemite and Yellowstone but instead, it is a beautiful city in a beautiful state. And it’s not just a beautiful city. There is history and Hollywood, hiking and shopping, and artists and vortex’s galore. And there are golfer’s who crave the shot values and scenic landscapes in between camera clicks at towering buttes that frame a lush green putting surface.
Now that we have established the beauty of Sedona and learned a bit of US history, lets talk about that jaw- dropping splendor and exceptional challenge provided by the highly acclaimed, Gary Panks-designed, Sedona Golf Resort. Located in the heart of one of the most captivating regions of the Southwest, the thrilling 6,646-yard, par – 71 is widely considered among the world’s most unforgettable golf experiences. Winding around the famed red rocks of Sedona, each hole provides a unique adventure.
No wonder this championship Sedona golf course receives a continuous four- star rating from Golf Digest and is truly THE “must play” in ‘Red Rock Country’. Sedona Golf Resort boasts dramatic elevation changes that range from 3,960 feet to as much as 4,260 feet, offering players elevated tees, raised greens and challenging approach shots. As the course winds around Sedona’s crimson cliffs, each hole presents a unique challenge, governed by its own set of circumstances. No matter how many times you play, there’s always something surprising and new to look forward
to as you golf Sedona Golf Resort. Aside from the fantastic golfing experience, you can spend countless gazing time in the first class, 17,000 square foot clubhouse. The indoor restaurant/lounge is beautifully and comfortably appointed with outstanding golf course views out of expansive picture windows. There is an outdoor patio, locker/shower areas for men and women, a complimentary driving range, a short game area with practice bunker and 2 putting greens. The pro shop is quite large and features a nice variety of golf accessories and attire.
I found the layout to be player friendly, with mostly wide landing areas. The times I strayed too far left or right however, the recovery was tremendously difficult. The trick to scoring well here is in reading the greens successfully. As physics would have it in this mountain terrain, putts will generally slope away from the elevated areas and towards the clubhouse. The Pro Link GPS on all carts is helpful in providing accurate info from tee to green, but in the end, it was up to me to make adjustments allowing for uphill and downhill shots.
Number five is extremely long (623-yard fairway) and the number one handicap hole, but at least it plays uphill all the way. The beautiful homes on either side are buffered by desert areas, on a hole that leaves no choice but to grip it and rip it. Three good shots can reach the green.
Hole seven plays downhill with a gorgeous mountain backdrop providing a traditional postcard view. But, if
you have seen photos of the Sedona Golf resort, the picture likely was of the tenth hole. This is a drop dead gorgeous, par three that plays towards the reddest of the Red Mountains. When you approach the tee and see Cathedral Rock in the background to this 210-yard par-3, you know Gary Panks had a fun time designing this!
There is plenty of room on the 13th fairway before a pond that rests on the left from about 100 yards in. It is difficult top see the fairway from the slightly elevated tee area, but I guarantee you it is there. The last par three is on the 17th and is also the shortest and most score- able. Bunkers horseshoe around the green on three sides and there is a water hazard situated far right, but I still found plenty of bail out room.
The closing hole plays a beautiful uphill approach and features a green that fronts the gorgeous clubhouse, with a water hazard to the left. There are so many scenic possibilities at Sedona Golf Resort but this is certainly a memorable way to finish a great round.
Sedona Golf Resort will test you to play smart golf as it winds through junipers, past water features, elevation changes and tempts you with risk- reward holes. Miss a putt, blow a chip, slice a drive…you could not have picked a better place to do it. For more information on Sedona Golf Resort, with the elevation changes, rolling terrain, top notch conditioning and panoramic red rock mountain vistas, visit www.sedonagolfresort.com.