Arrowhead Country Club
The championship golf course at Arrowhead Country Club was created from several acres of orange groves. Although it does play through some residential areas, the course still offers an interesting game with plenty of space. The challenging, sloped greens are fast and difficult to read. Water hazards and sand bunkers also come into play on several holes. Many of the holes also offer beautiful views. Golfers who are members of any American golf course can play on the course, but it is also open to the public on Mondays. The Arrowhead Country Club offers practice facilities and a fully stocked pro shop.
|White (W)||72||6302 yards||76.5||134|
|Turquoise (W)||72||5750 yards||73.8||129|
|Black M: 73.4/126||396||533||202||387||433||572||205||396||381||3505||446||206||550||397||424||180||393||423||477||3496||7001|
|Blue M: 71.1/124||351||509||190||350||419||547||190||360||374||3290||420||175||525||360||390||173||370||385||460||3258||6548|
|Players M: 70.8/122||347||509||184||387||390||547||181||360||381||3286||414||175||525||353||381||160||393||385||450||3236||6522|
|White M: 69.6/121||347||485||184||343||390||523||181||354||350||3157||414||163||507||353||381||160||363||354||450||3145||6302|
|Turquoise M: 67.2/117 W: 76.5/134||325||476||143||324||348||483||156||308||317||2880||386||142||466||293||357||137||313||341||435||2870||5750|
|Mixed W: 72.1/127||325||441||143||309||338||483||156||308||317||2820||360||142||440||276||317||123||313||307||435||2713||5533|
|Red W: 70.9/125||300||441||134||309||338||431||135||247||309||2644||360||117||440||276||317||123||280||307||418||2638||5282|
Arrowhead CC - Arnold Palmer Design on Phoenix's West Side
Arrowhead Country Club is a private facility (tennis, fitness and restaurant, as well), one of the few located in the western part of the Valley of the Sun (Glendale, to be specific). Interestingly, there are TWO Arnold Palmer/Ed Seay designs (the only such designs in the entire state) within a handful of miles of each other: Arrowhead and The Legend at Arrowhead. I'll review the latter at another time.
Here's what you NEED to know about Arrowhead CC's design: Generous fairways, moderate to difficult green complexes due to mounding and bunkering which encircles large, heavily undulating putting surfaces. If you have played some of Mr. Palmer's designs in the past, you will find the course to be recognizable and enjoyable. As it is private, you'll need to play with a member OR you likely can find an event that will be scheduled there in the Spring, Summer or Fall, as the club tends to derive positive revenue from such events where their type of facility is so rare on that side of town.
Course conditions are usually mediocre to good. One issue has always been the fact that the course has a significant membership that plays a lot. The greens take a beating as said membership does an abysmal job of repairing their ball marks on those greens. There are also a couple of quirky holes which seem to be less about the design philosophy of Mr. Palmer/Seay and more about the routing constraints re: the homes surrounding the eventual course.
Last thing to know: This is an ARCIS Golf course. They are a golf/club management group based out of Dallas (which fronts Fortress Investment Group in NYC) and they took over most of the former American Golf properties sold to CNL Lifestyle Properties (in Arizona). Dizzy yet? Imagine being an equity member of Arrowhead or Tatum Ranch (Ancala was actually part of that group, too) When they were sold to CNL Income, who immediately farmed them out to a management firm called EAGLE or EAGL, which had simply AWFUL press and reviews - from players, employees, management and vendors. They have spent years trying to bounce back from a company that, if you can possible fathom it, was WORSE than American Golf in terms of fleecing players, members, staff ... and then lining the corporate management's pockets even more heavily. NOTHING I have read has shown ARCIS to be all that great of an upgrade. The course exists due to the element of privacy which is minimal, at best. What people are willing to pay for, huh?
An Amazing Design
First, a disclaimer - I haven't played here recently, but I did want to review the course, as I believe it to be a golfing gem.
So, to the golf. Though this is a flat, housing-community course (though one of the most miss-friendly routings of this type I've ever seen), don't let the cosmetics (or, lack thereof - no mountain vistas, etc) distract you from the fact that this is one of the most engaging courses you can play.
Beginning with hole 1, right through hole 18, this course offers the most incredible array of shot options, with most holes offering the golfer the choice of anything from a mid-iron to driver off the tee - and any choice can be the right (or wrong!) one. This course rarely takes driver out of your hands, but nor does it insist you hit it. Where most courses have an occasional risk-reward hole , this is the running theme at Arrowhead and it is done in such an elegant manner that most "safe" decisions merely costing you the opportunity to hit a flip-wedge into the green - you're probably looking at a 9/8/7-iron in, instead.
Coupled to the incredible layout, Arrowhead has consistently had some of the most consistent greens I've ever played. The greens have some pretty good undulation, without being unfair - this is important, given how fast these guys can get them rolling!
So, in summary, Arrowhead is a golfers golf course - it doesn't wow you with huge elevation changes or cityscape views, but it presents so many options that you can play back-back-back rounds there and feel like you've played 3 different courses. The 18th hole, which features heavily in the course photography, epitomizes the course design - water from almost-tee to a peninsula green (though not an island, you will have to cross water to get to the green, sooner or later!), where a 250-ish drive, in the right spot, can leave you in the most horrible of spots, decision-making-wise - you'll have about 200 yards to the hole, almost all of which is over water, or you can knock a 7-iron up the fairway, for a wedge over the water onto the green.
Saddle up and hand me my 5-iron!