Rancho Manana Golf Club (480) 488-0398
Arizona Golf Course Review
Located in Cave Creek, just 20 minutes north of Scottsdale, Rancho Manana offers a golf experience that will require your best game. It is a relatively short course, playing at just
over 6000 yards from the back tees - but one that packs some punch, as you wander up and down through the high Sonoran Desert. Elevation changes abound, particularly on
holes seven and nine. These par threes drop well over 100 feet, and feature incredible views of the surrounding mountainside. In fact, Rancho Manana is one of the most
photogenic courses in Arizona, with an abundance of postcard holes throughout.
The overwhelming characteristic of this layout is the tightness of the fairways, with desert usually bordering both sides. If you can hit em straight, you can score very well here.
There are very few blind shots - you can usually see what you are getting into. The three sets of tees play from 6004, 5407 and 4436 yards. For the ladies and seniors/juniors
playing from the front tees, Rancho Manana is very player friendly, as forced carries are almost non-existent from the Reds. Fair to good players should be able to score their
handicaps or better from the white and blue tees. There are many target shots, but with 11 holes playing at over 375 yards, there is ample opportunity to hit driver off the tee.
The par 4 first encourages a tee shot hit just left of the 150 stake, as it doglegs left on the downhill approach. Number two also plays downhill, snaking right then left before it
reaches the green. Bunkers right and left guard the putting surface. These are two very reasonable opening holes. The third plays tight with 2 fairway bunkers left and desert right
off the tee, and features an elevated tee that slopes back to front. The 4th par four in a row plays extremely uphill and is the number one handicap on the course. There is nearly a
90-degree turn on the approach, with the putting surface perched on top of a hill. The par three fifth provides a beautiful view as it plays downhill towards the mountains. The green
looks sloped, but is actually quite flat. The par five 6th plays downhill but the fairway is sloped severely from left to right. A couple of accurate lay ups should afford a short wedge
approach and a great birdie opportunity here. The seventh drops 120 feet off the tee, to a wide green with little depth. There is some bail out room short. A very short par four
follows. It is an easy hole if you can avoid the deep bunkers that front the green. The finishing hole on the front features another long drop from the elevated tee box. Short is better
than long here.
The backside opens with a dogleg left par four. The fairway slopes right to left, but there is more room off the tee than it appears. An elevated green protected by sand traps
demands an accurate approach. After a short and simple but pretty par three, you are confronted with the longest par four of the layout. It plays fairly open off the tee, with an
approach that bends left and downhill. There is a narrow waste area 20 yards out that fronts a small bell-shaped green. The water on the right runs all the way to the the green and
will come into play for anything hit to that side on number 13. The front tees really provide a break here. Water is also obvious off the tee on the par three 14th. This pond stretches
right up to the green along the right side, and is hidden from view near the putting surface. Be sure to approach from the left here. 15 doglegs slightly to the left, with another water
hazard running the length of the fairway on the right. The approach to a beautiful green complex is uphill. The par five 16th plays long at 556 from the back tees. It is a downhill
dogleg right with a very tight fairway that slopes right towards the desert. It bends severely to the right on the approach, with the green tucked between two bunkers. This is the
number two handicap, and a very interesting hole. After a simple uphill three, you will find an extremely challenging closing hole. The fairway is to the right side, then bends left
before an approach over a narrow creek bed. There also is water long right. If playing near the end of the day, take a look behind you for an unforgettable view on the rolling fairway
with a gorgeous mountain backdrop. This is one of the best golf course sunset views in the state.
Rancho Manana is a wonderful golfing experience. The conditioning when we played in mid-June was quite good, from tee to green. Color coded checkered flags denote pin
placement, and the visible 150 yard stakes make great targets on many holes. Ice chests are provided, and ball and club washers are standard on each cart. The hole diagrams
on the scorecards are also useful, as is the brief hole by hole descriptions. A beautiful putting green is near the clubhouse, which features a complete line of golf accessories and
equipment. Also highly recommended is the Tonto Bar and Grill, located adjacent to the clubhouse. Enjoy a fine meal with gorgeous views of the golf course. The outdoor terrace
provides seating right next to the picturesque 11th hole.
Click here to visit the Two Guys Who Golf detailed listing page with a link (if available) to this course's website.