Stripe Show

Stripe Show, Mesa. Designer Unknown. 1978.

Apart from being set hard against the 60 on one side, this is actually a pretty nice spot for a 9-hole executive course. There are rolling hills and a nice pond that several holes play over and around, as well as many mature trees.

Unfortunately, you get the feeling that none of those trees has been trimmed since the course opened 45 years ago. The 9th hole—the course’s second par 4—is particularly overgrown. It’s fine that trees protect this 255 yard par 4 at the corner, keeping people from trying to drive the green (also protecting the eight tee and seventh green); but the trees are so thick that even a laid up drive must be in the left half of the fairway and that drive feels like it’s coming out of a chute. It’s a bit much.

Worse, the thick trees throughout the course are likely not helping the poor soil conditions. In general, unless I’ve played a course numerous times, I’m hesitant to mention conditions. But the greens at Stripe Show were truly poor—either lacking grass in large sections or, when they had grass, having it so long and unkempt that it was not easily distinguished from the fairway cut. Growing any kind of grass in Arizona isn’t easy, especially at $15 green fees, but even in Arizona grass needs to see the sun to grow.

Lastly, of course, there’s the name. This was previously known as Freedom Golf Course, which was shameless pandering. Golf has enough of the Woods and Lakes and Hills, of course, but surely we can do better than Stripe Show.


Claustrophobia on the tee at #9