Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain GC, Phoenix. Forrest Richardson with Bill Johnston, 1989.

The short but perilous 9th

In his excellent book Routing the Golf Course, Richardson relates that his original layout for this site (well, I’m speculating) featured a 6/6/6 par configuration, but that the developer feared no one would take a course with 6 par 3s seriously. I don’t know what all was changed to alleviate those concerns but I have to believe the awkward 14th is one result. The hole sort of looks like a drop shot par 3 from the tee, until you realize that it’s a narrow bit of fairway at the bottom of the hill, not the green. The green is pushed about 80 yards left of that landing spot, behind some trees (and, now, an apartment building). The green can be driven—if you’re willing to take a blind line over an occupied building. On the other hand, this course offers quite a few holes I do really like—the down and up 7th, the short 9th to a very shallow and sloping green, and the par-4 12th where I’ve hit everything from wedge to 5-iron for my second shot, depending on the line and length of my drive. Old pictures I’ve seen suggest that most of this course once played through open desert land. Unfortunately now it mostly plays through homes and in a few spots they built them uncomfortably close. But you still get some good views and quite a steady diet of fun and unusual holes.

Arizona 6th Decile [2019]

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