Sedona Resort: Golf on the Rocks

Architect Gary Panks crafted a spectacular course at Sedona Golf Resort that climbs a ridge along the Mogollon Rim, part of the Colorado Plateau in picturesque Northern Arizona.

The layout gives the golfer incredible views of Sedona’s famous red rock formations in the Village of Oak Creek on the south end of town.

The course, which plays to a par of 71, stretches to a very playable length of 6,646 yards from the blue or championship tees. It has played host to the Southwest Section PGA Championship and several events of the Arizona Golf Association, the amateur body in the state.

The beauty of the surroundings and the famous Sedona vortex sites, spots where the earth’s energy is supposedly increased leading to self-awareness and various types of healing, can produce a relaxing and vitalizing round of golf at the same time.

Other than playing at say, Pebble Beach, Augusta or St. Andrews, this is about as close as a golfer can come to the feeling of playing a round in a cathedral.

Sedona is located off Interstate 17 about 120 miles north of Phoenix, and the 4,400-foot elevation makes the area much cooler than the Valley of the Sun during the summer months.

Sedona Golf Resort,where Gary Pearce is the head pro, sits on hallowed ground. John Wayne and other famed celluloid cowboys rode this terrain as far back as the 1930s. In between the first and 18th holes at Sedona Golf Resort are the remains of the handmade red rock wall from Sedona’s original homesteads.

All around the golfers are towering rock formations of red sandstone, created by Mother Nature through iron oxidation. Enjoy the golf but don’t forget to drink in the views available from every spot on the course.

Especially gorgeous is the 210-yard, par-3 10th, the signature hole. The golfer plays from an elevated tee to a green that has Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock as a backdrop. The hole, rated No. 10 on the card, is user-friendly because tee shots that miss to the right often get a generous bounce onto the green.

The monster par-5, 623-yard fifth, the toughest hole on the course, and the 448-yard, par-4 eighth hole give the golfer a bit of Scottish Highlands golf in the high desert because they share a multi-tiered, 17,000-square-foot green.

Another challenge is the 439-yard, par-4 15th, which rates No. 2 on the card. This hole requires a long drive to a narrow fairway with two sand traps on the right side of the landing area. An arroyo runs across the fairway 120 yards from the green, which is protected by a yawning trap on the left and four smaller bunkers on the right.

The 338-yard, par-4 18th hole can be reached from the tee on occasion by the long hitter, with the risk-reward factor coming into play in the form of a lake and four bunkers on the left of the green. For those who lay up, there are five more bunkers on the right side of the fairway.

And there is plenty of other golf in the area.

Practically next door at the foot of famed Bell Rock is another picturesque course, Oakcreek Country Club, which was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jr.

Also in Sedona is picturesque Seven Canyons Golf Club, designed by Tom Weiskopf, winner of the 1973 Open Championship at Troon and a noted golf course architect.

Verde Santa Fe Golf Course, located about 15 minutes southwest of Sedona in Cornville, is more of a desert-style course in the Verde Valley, with views of Mingus Mountain and the Black Hills that range from historic Camp Verde to Cottonwood. This is where Gen. George Crook and the U.S. Army cavalry chased Geronimo and other Apaches in the 1870s.

Canyon Mesa Country Club, across Highway 17 from Oak Creek and Sedona Golf Resort, is a 9-hole, par-28 layout that is good practice for your short game and comes with all the scenic beauty of the championship courses.

The Sedona Golf Resort offers all the amenities of a full-service resort, but there is a multitude of places to stay in the area, from bed-and-breakfasts to upscale resorts.

Among the best are Amara Resort Hotel and Spa, L’Auberge de Sedona Resort, Poco Diablo Resort Sedona, Creekside Inn at Sedona, Boots and Saddles Bed and Breakfast, Briar Patch Inn, Apple Orchard Inn, and the elegant Enchantment Resort.



Story courtesy of The Sports Xchange, TSX Golf Editor Tom LaMarre

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles