LONGBOW GOLF CLUB (480) 807-5400
Arizona Golf Course Review
Longbow Golf Club in Mesa is an OB Sports property, joining We Ko Pa and The Duke at Rancho Eldorado to provide a triumvirate of courses that are as varied in design as they
are in price structure. We Ko Pa is a true, upscale desert layout that is as good as it gets as far as public courses in Arizona. The Duke is a fine facility that can be considered a
great value course - and Longbow rests somewhere in between. Our immediately impression of this golf property is that it is one tremendous place for a golf outing. First of all, the
course is kept in wonderful condition, and the redesign by Ken Kavanaugh in 2002 (course re-opened in 2003) makes it both a playable course for novices, yet a great challenge
for the skilled player. To score well, golfers will have to stay out of the fairway bunkers, which are by no means merely window dressing. The sand traps are deep and contoured,
making recoveries for par a very difficult proposition. The fairway are usually quite generous, although rolling and undulating in nature. As with all good courses - good shots are
rewarded and offline shots are penalized.
The clubhouse features a pro shop and restaurant lounge that serves breakfast and lunch items - but the real amenity worth mentioning is the incredible outdoor patio which
affords nice views of the golf course. Seating can accommodate up to 200 people in a relaxing atmosphere, fortified by heated ceiling units and a fireplace for the colder months of
the year. During the summer, a huge fan and misters that circumnavigate the entire patio provide a comfortable environment, even on the hottest of days. Sunami shade
sculptures also provide relief from the sun and add an aesthetic quality to the outdoor area (a few are also located at tee boxes on the course). A permanent outdoor kitchen has
been added to the patio area, complete with grill and beer taps.
On course golfers will have no problem finding yardage indicators, as sprinkler heads that provide measurements to the center of the green are extremely plentiful. Longbow also
gets high marks for using permanent yardage markers on the cart paths at 100, 250 and 200 yards - a feature we wish more courses would consider. 150 yard stakes also
double as directional devices, and are very visible off the tees. Which also have yardage markers. The days pin placement will be one of three, with A, B & C areas posted on the
back of all carts. Pay attention to these hole locations, as the mildly undulating but often ridged greens can feature some tricky lag putts for approaches landing on the wrong
portion. The property includes a large putting green and also one for chipping, plus a spacious grass range with target areas. On our mid June visit the course was in great shape
from tee to green, with thoughtful landscaping throughout, especially near the tee areas. The terrain is quite level, and the desert areas that define the fairways are extremely well
groomed, affording a fighting chance for an opportunistic save.
The first hole is a dogleg left par four with a waste area on that side running the length of the hole. These desert hazards are topped with small stones that require solid contact
for efficient shots. There is plenty of room around the green for slightly offline approaches. The par three second is a beautiful hole that presents a good scoring opportunity - with
room short right of the sloping putting surface. Three turns 70 degrees to the right with a lay up to the 150 area the preferred play. Long hitters can carry the right fairway trap
leaving a wedge approach from the 110-75 yard zone. The wide but well bunkered fairway on four slopes to the left towards the desert. There is a huge, deep bunker short right of
the elevated putting complex. The long par five 5th is the course's # 1 handicap. This hole doglegs left around the desert, and plays to an undulating green with plenty of room for
error to the right.
Six bends in the opposite direction, and invites golfers to cut off as much as their distance will allow. The tee shot must breach the 270 yard area in order to clear the right fairway
trap, affording an opportunity to reach this par five in two. The average player will have to lay up to the right center while avoiding the bunker on the left near the 80 yard area, and
another on the right about 50 yards out. A chip shot from the area just short of the green should provide an easy up and down par or birdie. The right side of the green is a safe
play on the par three 7th, as a deep bunker short left discouraging tee shots to that side. The fairway traps short left and long right are extremely penal on number 8, which
encourages an approach to the open side of the putting complex on the right side. The generous fairway on nine ends with an arroyo angling across from the 200 yard area along
the right to the 150 are on the left. There is no reason in holding back from attempting to reach this par five in two, as there is plenty of room short of the putting surface.
A tee shot that hugs the corner of the desert area along the left will cut off some distance on the long par five 10 (626 yards from the tips). Avoid the sand traps and place the
approach on the correct portion of the left to right sloped green, and a good score could be the result. The narrow fairway on eleven encourages a lay up to the 150 area, and an
approach hit towards the back middle of the green is better than ending up short in the swales or greenside sand bunker. The simple par three 12th precedes a dogleg left par
four that invites golfers to cut off some distance by aiming to the left of the bunkers deep of the fairway top about the 130-140 yard zone. The hazard cannot be seen from the back
tee areas - but we guarantee it is there. The further you go to the left, the longer the tee shot must be to carry the water. Fourteen features a fairway which slopes right to left
towards the desert. The tough approach is to a double tiered green, with cavernous bunkers short left and deep right of the putting complex. The tee shot on 15 should be played
to the left center of the ample fairway. The beautiful white sand bunker left of the green complex will keep some slightly mis-hit approaches from landing in the water hazard that
rests immediately to the left. Number 16 is a pretty par three with a carry over desert - plenty of bail out room to the right on this one. A lay up to the 80 yard area in the left center of
the fairway will result in a great scoring opportunity on the short par four 17th. Shots played right of center will find encounter an approach that is partially blind. The tee shot on 18
should be aimed just right of the 150 yard stake - which throughout the course indicates advantageous landing areas. This hole plays long from all but the foreward tees, with par
being a very acceptable score.
Golfers will encounter a fair but challenging layout, with good conditioning and outstanding facilities and service. Great off season and shoulder
season rates are also available. For more information and for a link to the Longbow website, visit our detailed listing page on our Arizona golf course
listing section by clicking here.
For more information on OB Sports and its properties click here.