WHIRLWIND GOLF CLUB - Devils Claw 480-940-1500
Arizona Golf Course Review
Whirlwind Golf Club at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler features two beautiful championship courses, both designed by Gary Panks. This property is managed and operated by
Troon Golf - the leader in upscale course management, with an obvious commitment to superior service, amenities and playing surfaces. Both courses at Whirlwind - Cattail and
Devils Claw, are upscale desert layouts that are wonderfully conditioned from tee to green. The facilities at the golf club, as well as at the relatively new Sheraton Wildhorse Pass
Resort & Spa, are heavily influenced in architecture and design by the Gila Indian Community, which also operates three casinos in the general area. For more information on the
WildHorse Pass Resort & Spa - click here.
The wonderfully appointed clubhouse features locker rooms/changing areas with showers for men and women. A spacious pro shop is stocked with tasteful attire and golf
accessories. A putting green is situated directly in front of the clubhouse, and another is located at the practice center, which provides a complimentary grass range plus a short
game area with sand bunker. Also on property is the Sivlik Grill - a restaurant and lounge that serves a fine breakfast and lunch menu, and an outdoor patio affords spectacular
views of the courses.
On course golfers will find that the layouts are well marked, with yardage blocks in the fairways at 100, 150 and 200 yards, plus 250 on par fives. Sprinkler heads are measured to
the center of the green, and especially nice is the presence of yardage indicators near the cart paths every 20 yards or so from the landing area on par fours and fives - to near the
greens. Each tee box has yardage blocks, and pin placement sheets on the carts provide info on the days hole locations. Finally, ice chests are mounted to each cart, and hole
diagram booklets are complimentary with each paid green fee.
Devils Claw Golf Course
The Devils Claw provides 5 sets of tee areas, with the tips measuring 7029 yards with a slope of 131. Alternate sets play to 6487/126 slope, 6034/121 slope for men and 127 for
women, and 5540/114slope. The mid or silver tees are recommended for the mid-handicapper and average golfer, and are very playable with no par fours in excess of 393 yards.
This course features some mild elevation changes along a rolling terrain, with landscaped tee areas and abundant sand waste areas. As is true on the Cattail, the carries over
the landscaped desert areas though frequent - are quite short in length, and the fairways are usually generous. Two tiered and ridged putting surfaces are the norm on this course
, making pin placement recognition a vital component to scoring well.
The opening hole is a reasonable par four that doglegs gently to the left, with an uphill approach to a fairly open green complex. A short carry over desert is necessary off the
second tee, to a well bunkered fairway the leads to a double tiered putting complex. As the 11th and 17th handicaps, these two holes afford an opportunity for a good start. Fairway
bunkers are located in strategic landing zones on the first and second shots of the long par five third. Played as a three shot hole, the best approach can be played safely to the left
side of the green of this number one handicap. The beautiful par three 4th features wonderfully landscaped tee boxes, and presents plentiful room around the putting surface -
another good scoring hole. The fairway bunkers on the left and another far right define the fairway on five, which turns to the left near the 150 area and plays uphill on the approach.
A beautiful mountain backdrop frames the green on six, which is a long dogleg right par five with an extremely undulating landing area. The right side is trouble off the tee. The
green complex on seven is even more inviting, as a small cascading waterfall highlights the landscape. There is bail out room short left of the putting surface, which is defined in
front by a rock retaining wall. Number 8 tees off to a wide fairway with the 100 yard area providing a good landing zone. The approach on this short par four is simple if you can
avoid the bunker complex to the left. Nine is perhaps the most interesting hole of the layout - a long par four with a fairway split by a formidable desert area. The landing area along
the left is more expansive that it appears from the tee - with about 60 yards of fairway stretching from the 185-125 section. It is a risky shot, but if successful will result in a shorter
approach. From the right side the fairway is obvious, and leaves an uphill second shot to a well bunkered, double tiered green complex.
The back side begins from a slightly elevated tee and plays to a generous fairway that leads to a green that invites run up shots - a very score-able hole. Eleven is long on the
scorecard (444 yards from the tips), and longer in reality as it plays uphill. The putting surface slopes right to left. The par three 12th also plays uphill, with plenty of room around
the green providing considerable opportunities for up and downs. A lay up to the center of the fairway between sets of sand traps in the 130 yard area will leave a simple approach
and a good scoring opportunity on 13. Get greedy and the bunkers may prevent a par score here. Long hitters who can carry these trays to the 70 yard area may as well go for the
green on this short par four. There is plenty of room greenside on the par three 14th, but golfers will need to pay attention to the pin placement as this putting surface is obviously
two tiered. The 15th fairway is also generous, but desert immediately left and a bunker short right in front of grassy swales mean the approach must be extremely accurate. The
16th plays to a raised, undulating fairway, with the double tiered putting surface perched behind a depression that makes up and downs a challenge. Mountains in the background
create a picture perfect golf scene Strategic bunkers squeeze the landing area of the rolling fairway of the par five 17th, which ends near the 130 yard area with a section of desert
cutting across. The green complex is a challenging one, with bunkers and mounding all around. The landing zones on 18 will leave some uneven lies on this rolling, undulating
fairway. The putting surface is also quite ridged, resulting in some interesting putts on the closing hole
Devils Claw is the original design at Whirlwind, and like its sister course provides outstanding conditioning with special attention paid to the landscaping near tee boxes and
greenside. Each hole is named in both English and native Gila River Indian, indicative of the culture that is factored into both the golf course and Sheraton Resort property.
For more information on this course and a link to it's website - click here.