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Verrado Golf Club Course Review

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Course Review - Verrado Golf Club

Ich dien! Ich dien!At Verrado they certainly come to serve in any language. They not only pamper the greens, fairways and cacti, but also the guests with their legendary service.

Service – the one adjective most often used to describe Verrado. The staff is attentive. Seemingly every desire a player could have – from having an attendant greet you at the bag drop to a player assistant delivering a new sleeve of balls to you on the 12th tee to the ranger raking the sand trap for you after a frustrating errant shot – is taken care of seamlessly, flawlessly and without any discernable effort on the part of the guest.

It is a spectacular new golf course laced through the foothills of the White Tank Mountains. Crafted by renowned designers John Fought and Tom Lehman, Verrado is a must play for those seeking the very best golf the Sonoran Desert has to offer. From jaw-dropping views and rugged natural beauty to exceptional conditioning and the finest guest service in the business, Verrado has it all. Verrado’s mountainside setting features massive rock out croppings, large desert washes, intimate box canyons, and considerable elevation change (from 1,100 to 3,600 square feet). A very mature landscape palette was created by replanting more than 2,000 mature native trees on the course, along with numerous saguaro cacti and other natural desert vegetation.

The 2nd hole exemplifies the exceptional topography upon which the course is built. This par 4 runs along a rugged hillside with lovely long-range views of the Valley of the Sun as its backdrop. The hole plays uphill and dares you to hit driver off the tee. However, one must weigh the risks and rewards in doing so. A large collection bunker guards the right side of the fairway at the very start of the landing area. Big hitters can attempt to rip it past the bunker, but it’s a carry at least 260 yards from the back tees. The smart players usually lay up short of the bunker as a seemingly “safe” tee shot to the left may put players’ scores at even greater peril. What looks like desert shrubs from the tee are actually the tops of some rather large trees growing at the bottom of a huge ravine, about 60 feet deep. The ravine cuts sharply into the fairway from the left just past the bunker, and the fairway runs right up to its edge. In either case, the second shot will be a daunting uphill approach into a shallow green that perched on top of a ridge line. The green has a severe false front, meaning anything short will come rolling back down the fairway. Being long is even worse. Directly behind the green is a sheer cliff with nothing to stop a golf ball except the clean desert air.

When you finish your round you will realize you just had a great round of golf with 18 unique holes that were a blast to play and challenged you with all the elements - desert, water, sand, cacti, trees, elevation changes, and massive rock formations. The entire time you were also spoiled with all the amenities and service a private country club would offer. To complete a magnificent day go have a drink with a wonderful meal, and enjoy all the comforts of home that The Verrado will give you.

Signature hole: Every hole at Verrado is unique and has its own personality. If you asked 10 people which hole is the signature hole you might get 10 different answers and 10 different reasons why they feel that hole is the signature hole. From the spectacular and challenging 2nd hole to the unique 8th hole where there is a huge rock formation (mountain-like) on the left side and the best shot is to drive the ball over this natural, yet massive land feature and cut the angle to the green, to the finishing hole on the front nine where water swallows up many approaches to the green, and then some dramatic elevated holes on the back nine. However, we have chosen the fabulous finishing hole as the signature hole. So save your best drive for last because you will need it.

The 494 yard (from the tips) par 4, finishing hole, plays downhill and straight toward the clubhouse, with panoramic views of the valley and a rare eastern exposed glimpse of the Phoenix and Scottsdale skyline. Par is an excellent score as this daunting par 4 that plays like a par 5 can jeopardize any friendly wager between friends. The tee shot requires at least a 240 yard drive to carry a bunker on the right side, but there’s plenty of room to the left for those who can’t quite make that distance. From the landing area, the fairway is 15 feet higher than the green. The severe slope means that even approach shots that land short could roll to the green. Players need a dose of caution, as there’s a beautiful lake that snakes along the righthand side of the green, and a couple of large bunkers to the left. The lake adds both beauty and challenge to the hole. It features a stone bridge, reminiscent of the famed Swilcan Bridge at St. Andrews in Scotland, and a cascading waterfall. The sound of the water creates a soothing environment that might even help calm the nerves of players trying to putt out with final strokes on the line.

Score Card - Verrado Golf Club

Other Information - Verrado Golf Club

Practice Facilities: A driving range, large putting green, and a separate chipping green with sand trap bunkers are kept in immaculate condition. Range balls are included.

19th Hole: Among the many amenities are Cocina, a stand along American bistro-style restaurant, providing a casually elegant dining experience for residents and guests; a full-service bar, covered terraces, arcades and an event lawn for special events, parties. Enjoy great service from the cart girl.

Clubhouse: The Clubhouse itself is reminiscent of a grand hacienda from Arizona’s territorial period and exudes a charm that transcends the centuries of Southwestern hospitality. Through ingenious use of indoor and outdoor living spaces, the clubhouse creates an inviting open air environment. It features an elegantly appointed golf shop, and private board rooms and meeting facilities, enabling guests to mix business with pleasure.

Awards: Golf Magazine – Top 10 new courses you can play. Sports Illustrated – Number 1 course you can play in Phoenix.

Tournament: Hosted Stroke Play Championship 2004

The Players:

  • Designer: John Fought and Tom Lehman
  • General Manager: Jeff Perry
  • Director of Sales: Doug Foss
  • Head Golf Pro: Brad Petrick
  • Superintendent: Bill Zeglin

Grass type: In the winter: Rye grass fairways. Poativ greens. In the summer: Bermuda greens and fairways

Recommended handicap: From the tips, it stretches nearly 7,300 yards and gives the accomplished player a rigorous test of golf. But Fought and Lehman put four tee boxes on each hole, giving players of all abilities a fair chance at par. In fact the forward tees on each hole connects with the fairway, taking all forced carries out of the equation. Any level golfer will enjoy the playability while still be challenged by the great layout.

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

Comments by Meridian Guests:

  • “I enjoyed the layout. There were so many different types of holes that presented unique challenges. I could play it many times and not get bored.” “Lots of risk to reward holes.” “Service, Service, Service. We were never treated so well, except by the staff at Meridian, of course.”
  • “They built the course into the landscape. I found myself completely at peace while soaking up sunshine and becoming completely engulfed in the round of golf.” “Just an overall fun and rewarding experience.” “Worth the drive, enjoyed the practice facility, clubhouse, restaurant, service, and just loved the layout.” “We played 36 holes – The first 18 ate us up because we played from the tips, then we got smart and had a great time when we moved up a tee box and really enjoyed the course.”
  • “Our group was very skeptical to play because we did not like the other Raven course (South Mountain), but this layout was 100 times nicer and we had a great time.” “When you factor in the service it is a premium plus caliber course.”

The Drive: It is a little bit of a hike to the west side of town, but the golf course is only a few minutes off the highway. It is a quick 45 minute drive and worth the trip.

Verrado Golf Club

4242 North Golf Drive
Buckeye, AZ. 85396

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