Trilogy GC at Vistancia, Peoria. Gary Panks, 2004.

The 4th fairway is wide, but the green requires a precise shot

When opened, this was one of my favorite courses and pretty easily the best bargain to be found around the Valley. Since then, the course has received a lot of positive press and the west Valley has been discovered as a destination, so it’s not always the bargain it once was. They’ve also built a lot of houses over the years and while the homes are virtually all well removed from the playing corridors, that never does anything for the ambiance of a course.

Those notes aside, this remains a really strong course with a good mix of holes, varied par 3s, strategic options, and good greens. The sixth is a wonderful par 4 played from an elevated tee to a bite-off-as-much-as-you-dare style fairway on the other side of a desert ravine, where you have to match the line and distance of your tee shot or find trouble (and a bad approach angle) through the fairway. But my favorite might be the fourth, a much less obvious hole in terms of strategic interest—I always appreciate a hole that doesn’t look like much but sneaks up on you. The back nine is also strong, particularly the finishing stretch of six holes from 13 on, mixing long, difficult holes with birdie opportunities. Even if the prices were similar (and even though west Valley prices are rising, they’re still cheaper), I’d play here over a good number of highly ranked Scottsdale clubs.

Arizona 2nd decile [2019]

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