The Wigwam resort west of Phoenix, Arizona: Redo of signature course as good as Gold

LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. -- Celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2015, the Gold Course at The Wigwam resort just west of Phoenix has a new look, thanks to a restoration by Tom Lehman.

A friend of The Wigwam's ownership team group of JDM Partners (which includes former Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo), Lehman sought to restore architect Robert Trent Jones Sr.'s original design using old drawings, while moving course features such as bunkers to adjust for today's technology and the length of the modern player.

Some yardage was added and bunkers were removed to challenge the better player and make the course more playable for the mid- to high-handicapper. With thick rough and plenty of water, the 7,430-yard par 72 is plenty tough from the back tees. Unlike most golf courses in Arizona, the Gold Course (as well as the other two courses at The Wigwam: Patriot and Heritage) is parkland, not desert golf. In this case, it means thick rough for those who miss the fairway, but no hitting out of rocks or around cacti.

Home of the collegiate Patriot All-American as well as other top amateur events, Wigwam Gold is straightforward, but difficult to score on. There are several long par 3s and par 5s, including the 272-yard, par-3 second, and 660-yard, par-5 10th.

Dec 22, 2015

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Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.