Sunday, March 16, 2008

Playing Firerock in Fountain Hills AZ

March 16, 2008

Earlier this week I played golf at Firerock Country Club in Fountain Hills AZ. This course is private and is right next door to Eagle Mountain. It is the only private golf club in Fountain Hills, to the best of my knowledge, and it boasts lots of elevation changes and some sweeping vistas of the valley and beautiful views of Red Mountain. The homes around the development are glorious and provide views in and of themselves.

The first hole is an uphill par 4 with a gentle dogleg to the left. It yielded an opening par for me. Hole # 2 is a long par 3 across a ravine and requires all carry. I hit it pin high, 80 feet across this subtle undulating green and snaked in my birdie putt. I was one under par and ready to head for the clubhouse. “How did you do today?” They would ask and I would simply answer “1 under for the day”.
But I went on to #3, a spectacular downhill par 4 with sweeping valley views and water to the right of the green, and pared that too. The greens of Firerock are subtle and challenging to read and really add a unique challenge to playing there. They are quick and true, just the kind of greens I love to putt on. The entire course is in wonderful condition.

I did have three bogies on the front nine so I made the turn with a 38. The back nine which is every bit as wonderful, wasn’t so kind to me today. I hit some errant shots and had a couple of three-putts and carded 46 on the back for a total of 84 on the day—generally a good day for me. I have met a couple members there and I am glad of it, because I truly love playing there.
As I was headed for the first tee box Andy De Sollar, the head pro, stopped me and said that Firerock is rated 101. It was a cute thing to say, but it did make me think about Firerock in the context of all the top 100 courses I have played. If I were given the opportunity to go back and play all of them, I would rather play Firerock than several of the courses on that Top 100 list.