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Arizona Golf Course Review

Eagle Mountain Golf Club - Arizona Golf Course 06

Eagle Mountain, in Fountain Hills, is a "must play" desert style layout, nestled in the foothills of the vast high Sonoran Desert. Unlike conventional desert courses, Eagle Mountain presents few forced carries over natural waste areas and ravines. The finely sculpted tee areas face generous rolling fairways, many bowl shaped, funneling slightly mis-hit shots back towards the center of the fairway. Good bounces are the norm here. The elaborate green complexes feature wonderfully conditioned Bermuda Tiff Dwarf putting surfaces (seasonally over-seeded with Poa)  - with gorgeous mountain and high desert scenery forming the backdrop. Scott Miller designed this par 71, 6800 yard layout using the natural terrain that incorporates rolling hills, lush valleys, desert washes and natural box canyons.

Eagle Mountain Golf Club - Arizona Golf Course 06

We found Eagle Mountain to be challenging yet fair, with vistas and conditioning that rival the top upscale courses in Arizona. . Four sets of tees with distances varying from over 6700 to 5065 yards, and slope ratings in the 139 - 118 range, allow golfers of all levels to chose a distance that suites their game. The green tees, at 6191 are a good test for the average golfer, with 4 par fours at over 400 yards. The key to scoring low here is to perform well on the 5 par threes, four of which play at under 160 yards (from the green tees). The 4 par fives are rated as the 11th through 14th handicaps, and also present ample par/birdie opportunities. When the wind is up, the par fours are especially tough. Beginners and high handicappers may opt to play from the white tees (at least on the long par fours), which will make the round infinitely more enjoyable.

Eagle Mountain Golf Club - Arizona Golf Course 06

Your work is not finished once on the green, as many of the putting surfaces are sloped or ridged. Pay attention to the days pin placement - which is available on the scorecards that indicate front, middle and back hole locations. Subtle mounds and depressions near the putting surfaces make chipping close to the hole difficult if you miss on the close side. The fairways are well marked, with yardage plates and sprinkler heads measured to the center of the green, and permanent markings on the cart paths is a much appreciated feature. Note that the black and white stakes near the center of the fairway serve as targets, and do not indicate distance on any of the holes. Ball and club washers are standard on each cart. Arrive early and take advantage of the complimentary range balls and practice green for putting and chipping.

Eagle Mountain Golf Club - Arizona Golf Course 06

The first hole is a good opener - a par five that plays downhill all the way, and is reachable in two for big hitters. The mounding on both sides of the fairway helps direct your tee shot towards the middle on number two, but a double tiered putting surface will make you earn your par. The longest and most difficult par three of the layout follows - a huge bunker left and a back to front sloped putting surface makes this a tough one. Keep it below the hole! The easiest three-hole stretch on the course consists of a par 5, 3 and 4 on holes four through six. The fourth is a gorgeous par five that features a wide bowl shaped fairway and a downhill approach - quite reachable in two. The fifth also plays downhill and is just 136 from the green tees. Aim for the large stake, or just right of it on the mid-range par 6 sixth, which bends to the left and plays to an undulating green protected by mounding to the right and a huge bunker left. This is another beautiful mountain shot. The 443 yard (from the tips) par 4 seventh is a dogleg right, and is the number one handicap of the layout. If the wind is up, this hole is very difficult to reach in regulation. Once there, you will find the putting surface to be quite undulating. A rather simple par three precedes a tough finishing hole on the front. This par four plays over 400 yards from the tips and green tees, and 397 from the whites. It doglegs to the left about 160 yards from the pin, and plays uphill into the prevailing wind.

Eagle Mountain Golf Club - Arizona Golf Course 06

The tenth is one of only two holes on the course with water hazards. A wide fairway with plenty of room left and mounding directing balls back to the middle on the right should leave you in good position to approach a green well protected by the hazard and sand bunkers. At 435 yards from the green tees and 413 from the whites, number 11 is the longest par four of the layout. The green is multi-tiered, making par a great score. A short desert carry greets you on the 12th tee box. The fairway is generous and at 489 yards (green tees) this is one of the most par-able holes on the course. However, an uphill approach and the serious bunker complex that fronts the green makes this a 3-shot hole for most golfers. Short is better than long on the par three 13th, which plays from an elevated tee area. Fourteen is one of the most interesting holes in the state. Despite the distance posted on the scorecard, this one plays extremely tough. A well hit tee shot is necessary here, as the approach must carry a desert ravine with little room for error. The initial shot also plays over desert area. This trio of holes (12 - 14) is played in one of the most gorgeous sections of golf environment that you will find in Arizona! The shortest par three on the course follows, but plays tough for an 18 handicap. A desert carry and a huge green-side bunker on the right create the challenge here. Players from the tips will have a difficult tee shot on 16. The green and white tee areas provide significant advantages as they are 77 to 97 yards closer with the desert taken out of the equation. Seventeen requires a desert carry but is quite manageable if you make it to the fairway. An approach from the left side is best. The closing hole is a gorgeous par four that plays downhill all the way to the green. If you are approaching the tee area near dusk, the mountain backdrop presents spectacular vistas with reddish hues complimenting the green of the fairway and deep blue of the lake to the right. This is the highest point on the course.

Eagle Mountain Golf Club - Arizona Golf Course 06

Great vistas, wonderful conditioning and upscale facilities are the trademarks of Eagle Mountain. The clubhouse is very upscale, and amenities include a yardage/hole diagram booklet with tips on how to play each hole, and ball/club washers on each cart. Stay afterwards for a drink or a bite to eat, as the restaurant presents outstanding views. This is a facility that will allow you to leave Arizona with beautiful memories of high desert-style golf etched in your mind. It was our last round of our trip - which turned out to be excellent planning! Eagle Mountain is ranked #1 Public Golf Course by Ranking Arizona 2006.  Highly recommended.

Eagle Mountain Golf Club - Arizona Golf Course 06

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Note: Photos in this review were provided by Eagle Mountain Golf Club

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