VERRADO GOLF CLUB - Founders Course (623) 388-3000
Arizona Golf Course Review
The Founders Course at Verrado Golf Club west of Phoenix is an upscale desert layout designed by John Fought and Tom Lehman that opened for public play in January 2004.
The unique all inclusive pricing program includes 18 holes with cart, complimentary use of the practice facility including range balls, and one meal (breakfast, lunch dinner). The
beautiful clubhouse is the jewel of the Verrado residential community, and features a golf shop with men's and women's locker rooms, plus an incredible restaurant and lounge
called the Verrado Grille. We had an opportunity to enjoy lunch, which was of extremely good quality. The 18th green is situated immediately in front of this expansive clubhouse,
which affords wonderful views from inside or from the nicely appointed outdoor patio. The new course - The Victory at Verrado Golf Club - is a 18-hole championship course
situated one mile away with its own clubhouse and facilities.
The golf course is like two layouts in one, with the front nine playing along mostly level terrain with wide fairways leading to relatively flat green complexes that are very player
friendly. Some holes feature short carries, and the desert consistently defines the playing area. The back side plays into the mountains, with holes 11 through 14 featuring
significant elevation changes and rolling fairways. Many of the views on this side, from the tee areas and from many green complexes looking backwards, are of postcard quality.
Course accolades include:
- Golf Magazine, February 2005 "Top Ten New Golf Courses You Can Play"
- GolfWeek, June 2005 "America's Best 2005, Top 40 New Courses"
- Golf Digest, May 2008 "Power Ranking 4 1/2 Stars"
- Golf Digest, 2008/2009 Best Places to Play 4 Stars
The practice facilities include a large putting green, a short game area with sand bunker, and a grass range with complimentary range balls. On course golfers will find yardage
blocks visible on the fairways at 100, 150 and 200 yards (250 on par fives) and sprinkler heads that are measured to the center of the green. Daily pin placement information is
provided, and each tee area also has yardage blocks. Tiff Dwarf - one of the best strains that can be utilized on desert courses - is used on the large, mildly undulating putting
surfaces, with Bermuda fairways, tees and rough. Five sets of tee boxes spread out the yardage quite evenly, allowing golfers to choose a set that suites their game. Scratch
players can air it out from the 7258 yard Raven tees, which are sloped at 132. The silver tees play to 6833 with a 126 slope, and average golfers will enjoy the 6228 yard white tees
that play to a 119 slope (131 for women). An alternate (gold tees) set is sloped at 111/118 and the forward tee areas measure 5402 with a slope of 113.
The opening hole is a good starter, a 13th ranked par four that plays to a wide fairway and a simple green complex that affords bump and run opportunities on three sides of the
putting surface. The second is a bit more challenging, and invites a tee shot that approaches the 150-140 yard area, leaving an approach over the edge of a desert ravine. Long
hitters may elect to drive one over the edge of the right fairway bunker, with a simple wedge approach the reward. Number three is a long par three that plays from an elevated tee,
with plenty of room short of the green on both sides - good birdie opportunity here. Four is flat and wide open with lots of room greenside, but plays long from the all tee boxes as a
four par(478,454,421 & 350). The same terrain is featured on the par five 5th, but the desert squeezes the fairway a bit from 200 yards in. The approach is slightly uphill. Layered
bunkers right and left of the putting surface will create some tricky recoveries, depending on the pin placement on the par three 6th. This precedes a dogleg left par five that winds
around 3 sets of bunker complexes on that side, that come into play off the tee, on the second shot and on the approach. The tee shot on eight must carry a desert ravine to an
ample fairway that narrows on the approach. The second shot on this long par four is demanding, as anything to the right of the putting surface will find a home with the lizards
and snakes. The fairway on nine is generous, but the water hazard to the right from 40 yards in warrants attention. The area in front of and the green complex itself slopes towards
the hazard which rests just past the desert area
The tenth begins a gradual ascent into the mountains with the desert on the right creeping into the fairway near the 170 yard area. There are considerable sand traps along the
way, but there is more room than it appears past the bunkers that front the green. Eleven plays from a slightly elevated tee to a wide fairway that leads to a green protected by a
huge bunker short left - great mountain scenery here (see 1st photo in this review). Twelve climbs the mountain and doglegs left with an even steeper climb past the middle
fairway bunker. The area greenside slopes towards the desert area on the left. The tee shot on 13 is also uphill to a much tighter fairway. This short par for plays longer than the
advertised yardage, and features a green complex that is extremely ridged and undulating. Anything hitting the front will most likely roll back down into the collection area. From an
extremely elevated tee golfers will encounter a very score-able three par on 14. There is a good 20 yards of room in front of the putting surface, but long is gone here. Number 15
plays back into the valley with a beautiful mountain view available from the tee and on the approach. The wide rolling fairway on 16 slopes downward near the 140 area, then
climbs back up on the approach. This is followed by a pretty par three from a set of terraced tee areas - over a pond, with ample bail out room short left. The finishing hole begins
with a forced desert carry, and ends with a downhill second shot to a green complex with water to the right and behind. This hazard comes into play past the desert area about 100
yards out. The gorgeous clubhouse paints a wonderful backdrop to end the round.
This golf course is not far from central Phoenix and is a must play. The setting is quite dramatic - and you can count on this golf property to provide excellent service and
conditioning. For more info and for a link to the Verrado website, visit our page for them on our Arizona golf course listing section by by clicking here.