Friday, May 18, 2012


Raven Golf Club
Phoenix AZ
A first class experience at non-first class rates
The Raven Golf club  (formerly  Raven at South Mountain)  is under the management of OB Sports and it is a greatly improved place to play.  It was designed by  Gary Panks and David Graham and they did a wonderful job  creating a course that, as my friend Sheldon said ,“meets the 3 f’s:  fun friendly and fair”
Is it a parkland course?  Or a desert course?  The  rolling fairways are generous and most of them are  lined with Georgia Pine trees. In fact over 6,000 of them were planted when the course was built in 1995.  There are some areas where desert washes have been created, but you won’t think you are in the Sonoran desert when you play here.
The undulating greens are all very large- varying from 29- 41 yards deep, most being between 36 and 39 yards deep.  That alone could make a 3 club difference in an approach shot, and there are numerous pin positions making it a new experience each time you play here.
It is  fun and challenging for all skill levels-- as it ranges from 7078 yards from the tips down to 5759 yards from the front tees.  There is only water in play on three holes  but the deep bunkering  adds whatever challenge is missing from not enough water.   Just how deep are they?  Well you will just have to get in a couple to find out.- Some of the bunkers even seem invisible from the fairways so be sure to keep your eye in the yardage card they give each player.
The yardage card is very helpful but nothing like the  hole by hole description on the website, which has comments about each hole with pro suggestions about the best strategy for each hole.  They should include this info on the yardage cards they give out to the players.
Today the course was in terrific shape and  the word is that it has been in wonderful shape all season, under the management of OB.
It has a first class practice facility  with plenty of good clear targets on the range and an outstanding area to practice your short game.  It has won many awards including being rated 4.5 stars (out of 5) by Golf Digest
Rates vary from $55 in summer to $150 in peak season of winter.  These rates currently include $25.00 proshop credit and $10.00 lunch credit--  which reduces the cost for the day. There are wonderful discounts that are nearly 1/2 off with an OB Sports card. A bargain compared to many of the  first class a golf facilities of Scottsdale
 The Raven Golf Club – Phoenix, 
call (602) 243-3636 or 
It is located just a few short miles south of Sky Harbor Airport

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Aussie Chiller Golf Hat
I mostly write about  Golf Travel.  However Once in a while I come across a product that I think  is worth knowing about and I just tried a new golf hat called  the Aussie Chiller
It was developed in, you guessed it, Australia, and it looks like a brimmed cowboy hat but it has one awesome feature.  Its made from  a chamois like fabric.  The one I tried has the fabric perforated  (its sold with unperforated  as well) On those brutally hot days you just dowse this hat in chilled water and voila, you cool off.
I was out on one of those hundred degree days  in Phoenix, wearing my new hat and on the third hole I just soaked it in cold water, put it on my head  and my body temp dropped noticeably.  What a relief. It even seems to stop sweat before staining the hat.  Pretty nice!!
Their webiste says it packs flat in a suitcase and returns to its original shape, but I didn’t try that.  It has has an elastic headband so in windy conditions it won’t blow off your head.
I would guess these hats will even be a wonderful  in the rain because of the slow water absorbtion rate.
I have been wearing wide brim hats the last couple years because I was constantly forgetting to put sunscreen on the back of my neck and my ears.  This hat protects these spots--  and I don’t have to worry about sunscreen.  I was wearing a “bucket hat”  but I am now switching to this Aussie Chiller. On hot days you just can’t beat it.  It comes in a few different colors and my wife even says “it looks better than those bucket hats you have been wearing, dear”