Saturday, January 30, 2010

Superstition Mountain AZ

Superstition Mountain
Apache Junction AZ
We all know that the state of golf today isn’t the greatest. Play is down and memberships at clubs is hurting. Superstition Mountain, which takes its name from the ancient Pima tribes name for the surrounding mountains, in Apache Junction is no exception. But this may be a case where it truly benefits the public golfer who is looking for a private club experience.

Superstition Mountain is located about 25 miles east of the Phoenix airport, brushing against the base of the rugged Superstition Mountains and bordered by the 2.9-million-acre Tonto National Forest. It is a very private, upscale, housing community with 2 Jack Nicklaus design golf courses, Prospector and Lost Gold.
It has hosted 7 Champions and LPGA tour events. So, you may have seen it on TV.

Originally founded by Lyle Anderson, it has fallen on hard times in this economic recession, fell into bankruptcy and has recently been purchased by James Hladky, out of that bankruptcy for $13.5 million. I would guess that the elegant, 50,000 square foot old world clubhouse alone cost over $13 million to build. In 2008 the operation lost over $4 million and in 2009 lost almost $1 million. Mr. Hladky has dropped the initiation fee to $15,000, and hopes to attract enough new members in the next few years to take it back to private.

Part of their plan is to rotate one of the courses into public use every day.
The members keep a private course and the public gets access to a private club. “Everyone wins”, said one of my member playing partners. “At least there is now a plan to get things here back on track.”

I played the Prospector course, today, with my friend Paul Inderbitzen and two resident members from Superstition Mountain. This course has generous, friendly fairways which are in superb condition and large greens with very subtle, hard to read breaks. The greens play fast, which I love. The desert frames many of the holes but a few of the holes resemble Midwest parkland courses with fairways adjacent to each other. There is plenty of room for your tee shots and plenty of challenge once you get up to the greens. It has five sets of tee boxes stretching from 7225 yards to a very woman friendly 5223 yards. We played it from 6300 today which still presents plenty of challenge. The inspirational vistas of the surrounding Superstition Mtns are worth the trip alone.

Number 18 may be the prettiest hole on the course. A slightly raised tee overlooking a par 5 ribbon of green with water down the left side. There are several other beautiful holes some that are framed by the mountain vistas. It’s a wonderful site, seeing your ball soar against a mountain background.

Play late enough in the day to bask in one of their breathtaking desert sunsets. You will be glad you did.

If you go: visit
Phone: 480-983-3200
Fees: high season (winter) $165 Mon- Thursday
$180 Fri and Sat
Twilight: $85 and 95 weekends

Saturday, January 23, 2010

SeeMore putter latest stats

In 2009, five players using SeeMore putters on a regular basis on the PGA Tour finished in the top 80 positions on the money list. All told 10 players in the final 125 on the money list used SeeMore's patented and proven RifleScope alignment technology at key times during the season, including 3 victories and eleven top 10 finishes.
SeeMore also had 2 of the top 20 on the final 2009 LPGA Tour Money list use its putters prominently
SeeMore originally became recognized when Payne Stewart won the 1999 U.S. Open playing a SeeMore putter. Stewart one-putted the last three holes to win the championship by one stroke. He sunk what's considered to be the longest putt in Open history on the 18th hole to win the tournament. See my previous posts for my review of SeeMore Putters

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ritz Carlton At Dove Mountain golf club


It’s luxury personified.

Come for the golf, stay for the elegance, the comfort,
the cuisine—and the desert.

The Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain, with 209 guest rooms and 44 casitas, opened for business less than a month ago. This beautiful resort is luxury personified, its design a stunning balance of contemporary and southwestern elements. We stayed on the Club level, where we enjoyed cocktails and appetizers in the evening, and Guava juice and a pineapple-banana smoothie for breakfast—the perfect way to start the day. If you want elegance combined with an active outdoor lifestyle, topped off each evening with great dining, then this is the place for you.

Golf course
The Ritz Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain is world-class. In February, it will host the Accenture Match Play Championship for the second time. Jeff Ogilvy, the defending champion, told us about changes to the course, a Jack Nicklaus design nestled against the Tortolita Mountains and routed through a forest of saguaro cactuses. (MIGHT MENTION CHANGES HERE—IF THEY ARE IMPORTANT)
In typical Nicklaus style, there are many uphill approaches to elevated greens with lots of undulation and a wide variety of pin placements. They will be a true challenge for the top 64 players in the world, and are a fair challenge for you too—if you play from the right tee boxes. The choices range from 7800 down to 5300 yards. The fairways are firm, so the length is not as harsh as it appears on the scorecard, but watch out for those rolling greens. One thing surprised me—no yardage book and no GPS on the carts, so you have to pay close attention to where you are going and work out distances for yourself. There are actually 27 holes of golf here, but the third nine is not open yet.

There were 14 travel writers on this trip. The first night, we all had dinner at Cayton’s in the golf clubhouse. It may be the most spectacular clubhouse I have ever been in, and I saw some good ones while playing the top 100 golf courses in the U.S. It’s 45,000 square feet of pure luxury. For the second year in a row, I had the short rib sliders, Cayton’s to-die-for signature dish. Short rib sliders?! You’ll be begging for the recipe after the first bite.

The second night we had dinner in Chef Joel Harrington’s Core Kitchen, the hotel’s most elegant restaurant. I had the Sweet Potato Puree, an outstanding soup, and Wyoming buffalo medallions with garlic fries. Never had buffalo before, but this was outstanding. Joel is a creative, passionate and exuberant chef who visits all the tables and explains just why his dishes taste so great. If you didn’t believe in his gastronomical magic before, you will after you talk with him. He even graced our table with a side of avocado fries. New to me . . . but yum!


The 17,000 square-foot spa and fitness center offers a selection of treatments that reflect Dove Mountain’s peaceful natural surroundings, including wellness counseling, body (IS SOMETHING MISSING HERE?) and anti-aging therapies. The fitness center is open 24 hours a day. I had a massage from Edward, who is strong and specializes in deep tissue sports massage. He dug deep into muscles that were tightening up after a round of golf.

Hiking trip and desert jeep tour
At 7 A.M. we took a one hour hike into the foothills to learn about desert wildlife and see a beautiful sunrise over the Sonoran desert. Our guide was superb.
This was followed by a 90-minute jeep tour through the desert, where we learned about the medicinal values of various cactuses and even tasted some of their flowers. Then our guide found a tarantula, which we held in our hands. That was an experience. I had come for the golf, but the hike and jeep ride are not to be missed
LocationDove Mountain is 30 minutes north of the Tucson International Airport, 80 minutes south of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, or 15 minutes from Marana Regional Airport. Just a few miles away is the Pinal Airpark, where the major airlines are parking excess planes as they cut capacity. There are thousands of planes there, but don’t try flying in—unless it’s to deliver a plane for storage.

Oh, did I mention the pools? You will just have to go see them for yourself!
for more information visit

Friday, January 1, 2010

More on Tiger

Word is out today that Tiger has checked into a addiction rehab clinic here in Arizona. The question is this!!! Does he really feel a need for rehab? Is this just the "public Tiger" doing what he thinks the public wants to see? or as a friend of mine asked the other day: is he there to meet new women? See my blog post 2 posts ago where I discuss his use of the media for his gain and his desire for the media to lay off when it goes against him