GRAYHAWK GOLF CLUB (480) 502-1800
Arizona Golf Course Review - Talon Course
Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale boasts one of Arizona top golf facilities, with two 18-hole 4 star championship courses as the centerpiece. The Raptor - the original design by
Tom Fazio, and the Talon by David Graham and Gary Panks, form a one-two punch that puts Grayhawk on the map as one of the area's top golf destinations. With Joe
Shershenovich at the helm as golf director, and with 2004 Masters Champion Phil Mickelson as a PGA Tour professional representative, this property provides facilities that are
hard to match.
The expansive, modern clubhouse features a pro shop that has been rated as one of the "100 Best Golf Shops in America" since 1996, as selected by Golf Word
Business. Wonderfully appointed locker rooms with showers are available for men and women, and are connected to a vast
lobby that also features meeting and special events rooms. The Fairway House is a multi-use facility that can accommodate 50
-300 people for a wide range of functions, and an adjacent outdoor patio has additional seating with ceiling fans for summer
months and a huge double sided fireplace proving comfort and atmosphere during the cooler seasons. The Quill Creek Café
and Phil's Grill provide a variety of fare and beverages (the Thai Chicken Salad is incredible) at reasonable prices.
The practice facilities at Grayhawk are about as good as it gets. A complimentary grass range stocked with golf bags full of
practice balls awaits players for a quick warm up. Three putting greens are on property, and a wonderful short game area near the
Talon course features a large sand bunker and chipping/pitching green. The conditions at the practice area are outstanding,
and the courteous service by the attendants (who will come to get you for your tee time), is worth mentioning. Also noteworthy is that Grayhawk is home to the
Kostis/McCord Learning Center (CBS commentators Peter Kostis and Gary McCord). Three day golf schools and corporate outings with customized
packages including clinics and exhibitions are available.
Both courses here have yardage markers near the cart paths posted every 55 feet - which especially helps when the conditions warrant cart path only. Recently, it
was decided to allow golfers to drive on the fairways with the 90 degree rule, during the hot summer months. In season (winter, spring and fall) however, the
norm is that carts have to stay on the paths. There also are yardages posted on sprinkler heads in the fairways, and pin placements are indicated by flags marked on green
diagrams that are posted on the back of each cart. Before teeing off, players can help themselves to tees, ball markers and green repair tools, and hole diagram cards are also
The Talon course is a mature desert layout that features an abundance of landscaped foliage, including thoughtfully designed tee
areas decorated with gorgeous wildflowers. And oh yes - the surrounding desert and mountains form postcard perfect backdrops and panoramic views on the majority of holes.
Many of the green complexes provide sufficient level areas and afford opportunities
for bump and run saves, from approaches landing short of the beautiful Crenshaw bent grass greens. Four sets of tee boxes allow golfers to choose from yardages
and slopes measuring 6973//143, 6391/133, 5867/120 slope for men and 133 slope for women, and 5143 yards/121 slope.
The Opening hole provides a plentiful fairway and a green complex that is open in front,
allowing for bump and run approaches. A lay up to the left center is recommended on two, as bunkers and mounding guard the right side. Pay attention to the pin location as
this putting surface is ridged and undulating. The par five third doglegs to the left, with
layered railroad tie bunkers guarding the green. After a short desert carry, the fourth hole also provides a generous landing zone, and
is a good scoring hole especially from the Palo Verde and Terra Cotta tees,
which measure 363 and 329 yards. The beautiful par three 5th plays from layered tees, to a putting complex fronted by a huge sand waste
area. There is room in the mounds and collection areas left of the green. These first five holes afford golfers an opportunity to get their game together before confronting
the course's number one handicap. A short carry over desert will find an extremely undulating fairway on this long par four. The second shot plays uphill with significant
Grip it and rip it and hope for a good lie. There is ample fairway off
the tee on seven, but moguls to the right and desert left make the approach a challenging one. The eighth is a gorgeous par three with desert wildflowers
bordering the tee boxes. The carry over desert is shorter than it appears, as there is plenty of room short of the green. The closing hole on the front is a mid-length par
five with an ample landing zone. The approach to an elevated putting complex
features a huge railroad tie sand trap that protects the front right portion of the green. There is some room in the collection areas immediately to the left.
Looking for a snack or beverage? A restaurant/snack bar is located at the turn, situated before the dogleg left par four tenth.
A tee shot played left of the fairway bunker will find
advantageous positioning along this rolling fairway. From here the approach to an open green is a simple one, allowing golfers to run
one up to the putting surface. Eleven is a mid-range par three that plays over a desert ravine with moguls and mounding
dominating the landscape. Long is a good option here. On number 14, the fairway ends at an
arroyo that crosses about 70 yards out. There is plenty of room short on the approach. The par four 13th is a spectacular golf hole that features a tee shot over desert to a
fairway bound by a wood retaining wall. The 100 yard area comprises a preferable landing zone, leaving a wedge or short iron to a green complex that drops downwards
on the right. Anything short will find the moguls and bunkers that guard the green. The wide undulating fairway on 14 is accentuated with 3 formidable bunkers that line the
right side from 135 yards in. The uphill approach features two more sand traps to the right of the green. Fifteen is a long par 4 with slopes on either side that provide a bowl
-like effect - guiding slightly off line tees shots back to the fairway. The hole turns left and plays uphill to a putting complex that is very receptive to low running shots.
The 16th presents a wide fairway that is squeezed
on the left near the 80 yard area by a huge sand waste bunker. There is room to the right, but an approach aimed over the center pot
bunker has the best chance of setting up a good scoring opportunity. Seventeen is a pretty par three that for all practical purposes,
amounts to an island green. There is some right, but golfers will find their wedge game challenged here. Eighteen is a beautiful
finishing hole that begins with a short desert carry to a wide fairway bound by sand traps on the right side. The water along the left
should not hamper the second shot, but must be taken into consideration on the approach, as it rests immediately left of the putting surface.
The five level waterfall that separates the 18th from the tenth holes is a tribute to the attention to detail that is afforded by the creators
and staff at Grayhawk. Located about 40 minutes from Sky Harbor Airport, this facility is situated in the midst of some of Arizona's
premier real estate. For more information on either of the courses at Grayhawk, visit our pages on our Arizona golf course listing
section - which provides a link to the Grayhawk website - by clicking here.