SunRidge Canyon Golf Club (480) 837-5100
Arizona Golf Course Review
SunRidge Canyon's 6,823-yard, par-71, Keith Foster-designed golf course unfolds around the rugged ridges and shady canyons unique to the desert mountains that divide
Fountain Hills from Scottsdale, Arizona.
The golf course gradually descends on the way out before doubling back to climb up the slope on the way in. This subtle elevation change lies at the heart of the dramatic golf
experience at SunRidge Canyon. Golfers also discover that it wasn't so much created by a bulldozer as it was carved out over eons by the relentless pressure of wind and water.
Foster had the good sense to follow Mother Nature's lead, and in the end, the beauty and challenge of SunRidge Canyon is unlike any other desert golf experience in the Valley of
SunRidge Canyon's Spanish hacienda-style clubhouse provides an awe-inspiring setting for post-golf beverages as well as, receptions, awards banquets or any other type of
special event. In addition to a savory selection of mouth-watering fare, guests are treated to an indoor/outdoor ambiance complete with neatly manicured desert landscaping in the
foreground and sweeping mountain views as far as the eye can see. There is a live bagpipe performance every Friday evening at sundown and live music on Friday & Saturday
A brand new 1600 square-foot state-of-the-art performance center has been constructed to house Hot Stix Golf, which is headquartered at Sunridge Canyon Golf Club, and comes
complete with indoor /outdoor hitting bays and a host of high tech gadgets. Hot Stix Golf features state-of-the-art technology that allows Master Club Fitters to view a golfer's ball
flight and match his/her swing to the right set of clubs. Sunridge Canyon also provides a list of experienced teachers and professional golf instruction.
The complimentary grass range is quite expansive, with target greens, and a putting green and short game practice area are adjacent. At "tee time" golfers are greeted by a
friendly ranger who provides info on the intricacies off the course. Pin placement sheets are also provided. For first time visitors the 150-yard stakes on the par fours and fives are
especially helpful as targets, and can certainly save some strokes. The 90 degree rule is generally in effect - which helps facilitate 4 to 4 1/2 hour rounds (or less).
The topography at SunRidge is quite rolling, with mounded fairways and large green complexes that feature strategic bunkering and gentle undulations. The desert and
surrounding mountains are always in view. Carries over desert areas are frequent from the back tees, though most are quite short. Sufficient landing areas are the rule rather than
the exception, and the front tees are user-friendly, with the exception of some forced carries on the par threes. The 4 sets of tee boxes are beautifully sculpted on each hole, and
measure from 6823 to 5122 yards. The back and middle tees play between 6403 and 5944. The slope rating varies from 142 to 128, allowing golfers an opportunity to choose
their medicine, and make to their day as challenging or as docile as they desire. The layout at SunRidge Canyon unfolds slowly, and becomes more dramatic as the round
progresses. Many of the middle and certainly the closing holes present awe-inspiring vistas, as the fairways meander into box canyons and over and around arroyos towards
greens that are defined by age-old stands of mesquite, ironwood and palo trees.
The opening hole plays easily if you stay to the right side off the tee. Grass swells will engulf approaches that land short of the green. The second has a wide landing area past the
short desert arroyo that must be cleared off the tee. The rolling fairway slopes right towards the desert, while bunkers on the left warrant consideration. The third is a dogleg right
par five with lots of room on both sides, all the way to the green. Stay clear of the fairway bunker on the right side of the fairway on the par 4 fourth, and you should have an easy
approach and possible birdie opportunity. This is a nice opening stretch of holes, that allows golfers to warm up and to get a feel of the course before it becomes demanding. The
long par four 5th is the number 1 handicap of the layout. It is tight off the tee, with fairway mounds funneling shots towards the center. The green is challenging as it slopes
noticeably right to left, with two bunkers protecting against an approach from the right side. Par it and get out of town! You must carry a deep ravine on the par three sixth - short is
not an option here. The short par four seventh plays downhill, and there is more fairway than it appears off the tee. There are two carries featured here, one off the tee and another
over the ravine 50 yards out. This is pretty tough for a 15th handicap hole. The eighth is an easy hole from the whites and front tees (168/156 yards), but plays long from the backs
and championships (243/235). Coming in you are confronted by one of the most interesting holes on the front. After a tee shot over a dry creek bed, you have two choices. Aim for
the 150 stake and play for the green on your third shot, or hit a fairway wood over the hazard that is about 125 yards out. There is about 50 yards of fairway between the green and
The tee shot on ten must clear a pond from the back tees, and the hazard extends along the left to near the 100-yard marker. Numerous fairway and greenside bunkers provide the
challenge on this very short par four. A dogleg left follows, with a desert wash crossing near the 150 yard marker left, and 190 out to the right. The smart play is to lay up just right
of and past the left fairway bunker, and before the desert arroyo. A ridge runs down the center of the green so pay attention to the pin placement. There is some bail out room left
on the short par three 12th, which is all carry over desert. This precedes the longest hole of the layout, which measures between 578 and 441 yards. The rolling fairway slopes
right to left and there is an arroyo to clear 200 yards from the green. Afterwards, a water hazard lurks all the way past the green, and bunkers guard the left side. The beautiful little
waterfall on the right is frequently the habitat for great Blue Herons. Number 14 is a spectacular hole. Water in front and along the right will challenge your entry to the green on the
pretty par three. The tee boxes are elevated and the view from on top is gorgeous. There is some bail out room short left, but it's sayonara if you are long.
The fifteenth looks intimidating off the tee, but there is actually more room than it appears on the right side. The fairway slopes right towards the bunkers, so a shot towards the
150 stake is the prudent play here. The approach is tight, with a little bail out room right. The narrow fairway on 16 slopes right to left off the tee and an arroyo crosses about 140
out. The approach plays uphill to a putting complex featuring 3 pot bunkers short and 1 long. The seventeenth plays from an elevated tee and is almost all carry over a canyon, with
ample room to the right. Players on the forward tee get a significant break here, as the front tee box is on the other side of the drop-off. Take note of the extremely undulating green
( see very first picture). Eighteen is a challenging finishing hole. There is ample room off the tee, but distance is important here. The approach plays extremely uphill, with
considerable bunkering around the green.
A day at SunRidge Canyon is well spent. The Two Guys Who Golf get more requests about this course than any other on our Arizona golf vacation destination site. It is a quality
layout with upscale conditioning and amenities. Great rates of $40 to $65 are advertised during the summer, making this an incredible value. It is approximately 20 minutes from
downtown Scottsdale and 30 minutes from Sky Harbor International Airport making it an ideal location for a round on arrival and departure days, and well worth the trip.
Click here for the Two Guys Who Golf informational page for this course with a link to its website (if available).