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Golf Course Reviews

This is a very good club in the North Scottsdale area, with one of the better golf courses. The first 12 or so holes are great- fantastic routing, nice changes in elevation, creative bunkering. My issues start around hole 13 or 14... right when you run across a sign that says "Gambler's Ridge" or something like that. Usually names on holes or sections of a golf course are a "sign" of bad things to come, and this is no exception. The routing here gets silly- the holes play steeply on/up/down the sides of a pretty substantial hill/mountain, with massive elevation changes and blind shots galore. There is a par 5 that is just horrible- you drive to a fairway 100 feet below the tee box then your next two shots are up about 150 feet with carry in between. It ends w/ a tiny green perched way up on the hill. As one of my buddies said, "If i never have to play that hole again I'll be very happy." The whole "gambler's ridge" section of the course just doesn't work IMHO. The last hole is a beast of a par 4, perhaps worthy of an "unfair" label. It's 500+ yards from the back, with the first shot uphill and the second on the flat. If you aren't tour long you aren't reaching this hole with anything less than a big driver and a big 3 wood.
This is definitely one of the better courses in the state, and would arguably been one of the very, very best if the designer hadn't flubbed up the last third of the course.
One thing of note- this club has the best practice facility I've ever seen. The driving range is awesome, the putting green is decent, and the short game area is fantastic w/ multiple greens and places from which to do pitch and chip shots. If I had unlimited $$$ I would join here just for the sake of improving my game... The on-course facilities and clubhouse are also great.
The senior staff here is not the nicest to non-members- they need to work on customer service. I was very surprised how snippy the manager in the pro shop was last time, especially given they are reportedly very short on members. The younger staff is incredibly friendly and helpful.
I played this course as a guest during summer reciprocity. GCS charges guests more than any other club in the reciprocity program... why? No idea. They probably have an overly-inflated opinion of what they have ... hence not enough members. IMHO of course.
I've played a lot of private and public courses in town. This course is perhaps on the same level as estancia (or not quite) or Troon. It's in the tier below the best clubs in AZ (Stone Canyon, Desert Highlands, Whisper Rock).

15 great holes..a couple of goofy holes prevent me from giving it a fifth star.

Beautiful to look at, and a great course to play


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