StoneRidge GC, Prescott Valley. Randy Heckenkemper, 2002.

Looking back at the 14th, with #13 in the background

Judging a golf course is an entirely subjective enterprise, which I think should go without saying, but I raise the point here specifically because I can fully admit that there are a number of holes here that on other courses I might call goofy. Here, for whatever reason, I like them. Something about this site and the way the holes just recklessly tumble up the hills and down again just charms me. Maybe less so the more homes encroach on the course, but for now they’re still mostly at a remove—not great for the ambiance and views, but not actually impacting golf shots.

Depending on the time of year and how wet it has been, you may find the high desert areas are a sure lost ball; at other times, balls can be found and played more easily than down in Phoenix. Either way, it’s a tight course and there are a few blind shots, but the holes are fun, the weather usually cool, and the ball goes a lot further than it does in Phoenix. Little wonder I, and everyone else I know who’s played there, is willing to give this place the benefit of any doubt.

Arizona 4th Decile [2016]

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