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Gold Canyon Review

Gold Canyon Golf Course Scottsdale Arizona Gold Canyon Golf Course Scottsdale Arizona Gold Canyon Golf Course Scottsdale Arizona

Course Review - Gold Canyon Golf Resort

Uniquely situated at the base of the historic Superstition Mountains, Gold Canyon Dinosaur Mountain winds through three distinct canyons featuring dramatic elevation changes and breathtaking views that will leave you speechless or have you babbling for hours.

The course, which opened in 1997, also sports colorful, native high Gold fauna and an abundant wildlife population. Gold Canyon is immaculately manicured and maintained in tournament like conditions. The dramatic elevation changes are breathtaking. The severe slopes throughout the course will challenge even the highest skilled golfer in a natural Gold setting. Tiered greens challenge your short iron game to produce makeable putts. It is believed that the fabled Lost Dutchman Gold Mine is nestled somewhere near or on the course. The mine still has not been found but evidence of its existence is abundant. The natural beauty of the High Sonoran Gold in this area is legendary. Every green, collar, approach area, and tee is mowed by hand using state-of-the-art walk mowers. Fairways and roughs are mowed on a continuous basis. All bunkers, tees and cart paths are edged by hand at least twice per month. This attention to detail coupled with incredible natural scenery creates a magnificent Gold golf experience.

To pick a signature hole on the Dinosaur Mountain course is not easy because the course has 12 of the top 100 holes in the entire state of Arizona. If you ask 12 people you probably will get a dozen different answers. The dramatic elevation changes, delivers breathtaking scenery, and causes club selection to become a major strategic element of the round.

The 12th hole is as dramatic as they come especially when the sun starts to set behind the White Tank Mountains. An extremely elevated tee box presents the player with one of the best views of the Phoenix Valley to the west. A narrow fairway with a bunker in play to the right bottlenecks into a relatively large green with plenty of undulation. The key is to hit down the right side of the fairway while avoiding the trap on the right which seems to swallow many good rips from the tee. Favoring the right side will allow for an approach shot to the fat part of the elevated green, and will effectively take the left greenside bunker out of play.

The challenging 3rd hole is is a short dog leg par 5. Don’t be fooled by the distance, this hole is one of the toughest on the course, and is probably the most photographed. The drive is from a spectacular elevated tee box into a severely sloping fairway forcing your shot to roll towards the large set of bunkers strategically placed on the left side of the fairway. If you play away from the bunkers by hitting to the right side of the fairway you will be faced with a longer 2nd shot. The approach shot is to a highly elevated, very narrow, and severely sloped green. If your approach shot goes past the hole you will be faced with a downhill putt that may continue to roll past the hole and off the green. Par will usually win this hole.

The breathtaking, eye popping, 5th hole is a 200 yard par 3 with extremely elevated tees. Before you hit, admire the spectacular view of the valley, the fairway, the green and the Superstition Mountains. Being over 100 yards above the green with a good 150 yards of pure Gold fauna between the golfer and the fairway you must be careful to focus on your shot and not get lost in the scenery. When you finally tee off, it is a beautiful site watching the ball flying and cresting over the Gold washes and finally landing on the green so far below. Strong winds often come into play on this hole. Since you are so high above the green the ball floats through the air for what seems like an eternity. Depending on the direction of the wind you may need a wood or just a 9 iron to reach the pin. An enormous bunker guards the entire left side of this oversized green.

The dramatic 15th hole is picturesque and yet as strategic as they come. The tee shot is off a cliff with the fairway over 100 yards in front of and far below you. The fairway starts directly in front of you and goes from right to left with the green way over to the left. The further you can hit your tee shot the further to the left you should aim. The real big hitters have an outside shot at reaching the green. Going for the green requires hitting a blind shot over a mountain that must clear almost 300 yards. The safest play is hitting an iron straight ahead, but that will leave you over 150 yards away from the green. One of the best risk/reward holes you will ever play.

Score Card - Gold Canyon Golf Resort Dinosaur

Score Card - Gold Canyon Golf Resort Sidewinder

Other Information - Gold Canyon Golf Resort

Practice Facilities: Driving range and putting green. Range balls are included.

Instructional School: Resort Golf Schools

19th Hole: The Dining Room is called Kokopelli Restaurant. The snack bar is called Greenwoods Sports Bar. The banquet facilities can accommodate up to 300 guests. There is a drink cart.

Clubhouse: There is a full service clubhouse. The golf shop has the latest equipment and fashion.

Arizona Business Magazine: #1 Public Golf Course in Arizona in 2001 and 2002.
Four Star Ranking by Golf Digest Magazine
Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau: Top 5 Public Course in 97.
Top 10 Public Golf Course in Arizona-Arizona Republic
Most scenic golf courses in Arizona-Guest Informant

The Players:

  • Designer: Ken Kavanaugh
  • Director of Golf/Golf Pro: Scott Scherger
  • Superintendent: Stuart Penge

Grass type: Bermuda Grass with rye overseed during the winter months.

Recommended handicap: Since the course is a par 70 it seems to play longer than the yardage given. From the tips it is only a little over 6500 yards, but it plays much longer (like 7000 yards) and requires some massive carries off the tee. If your handicap is not single digits then don’t torture yourself. From the 6000 yard tees the course plays like most courses from 6500 and still is very challenging. From the front tees the course plays much easier and allows all skill levels to really enjoy their golf experience at Gold Canyon.

1 -10 Course Rating by Meridian’s Golf Specialists: 9 ½

Comments by Meridian Guests:

  • “One of the finest courses ever made.” “This course will challenge all skill levels.”
  • “Every hole is so unique, so good, so beautiful, so spectacular, so challenging.” “I never heard of Gold Canyon and I am glad I took the advice of Meridian’s staff. The course was a better layout than Troon, GrayHawk or the TPC Stadium and it was more fun. We also saved a few bucks. We were blown away from the dramatic elevation changes and the picturesque scenery at every turn.”
  • “The most fun I ever had.” “Visiting from the east coast I have never seen such a spectacular Gold setting.” “If you bring your camera don’t forget to bring lots of film because you may use a roll on every hole.”

The Drive: Well worth the 40 minute drive.

Gold Canyon Golf Resort

6100 S. Kings Ranch Road
Apache Junction, AZ 85218

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