by Larry Berle
There are less than 20 public golf facilities on the Golf Digest Top 100 list and Troon North in Scottsdale AZ is one of them. There are two courses here, Monument and Pinnacle and today we played Pinnacle. Both are wonderful and most would agree they are among the best in the Phoenix area. Troon North sits just below the iconic Pinnacle Peak here in North Scottsdale and winds it way through large boulder fields, Saguaro Cactus and ravines that create breathtaking views.
If you are looking for bargain golf, this is not the place for you but if you are looking for an outstanding golf experience with great value, Troon North may be just the place for you. In the peak of the season the greens fees are $225 and you should book early because these courses fill up (if you are looking for a bargain come play it in the heat of the summer like I did today).
These two courses have been re routed since they were first created and the two back nines became Pinnacle and the two front nines became Monument. If you want easier, play Monument. If you want a challenge play Pinnacle.
Paying attention to the hole names may give you a clue as to what you are in for, such as the par three number six, called “Carefree” which overlooks the nearby community of Carefree, Number ten called Pinnacle brings you face to face with the iconic Pinnacle Peak. and of course the 609 yard par five, fourteenth is called Cross Country. (need I say more)
There seem to be more than a fair share of forced carries over desert washes and at some point you might mutter “enough with the up hill holes.” You may even mutter this on the first green— as you look at the fairway below that you just played. It does have its fair share of uphill holes but there are plenty of level and downhill holes as well. As you stand on the tee box of number three (the highest point on the course) you will be treated to a vista that will take your breath away. Mike Friend the director of sales at Troon North told me “you can see forty miles from this tee box” and I believe it. But don't let it capture your attention for too long because this golf course demands your concentration at all times.
Most of the greens are larger than usual and at least three of them (#3,#5,#11) have greens over 40 yards deep. To give you some perspective the average field goal in the NFL is 36 yards(the 11th green is 47 yards deep) and the longest field goal in history (made in the mile high city) is 64 yards. Some of these pin placements could have a four club difference. If you don't like cross country putting, pay attention to the pin placements.
One unique feature of Troon North is it seems to be in a weather bubble unlike the rest of Phoenix with Bent Grass greens year round, compared to the rest of the valley which have bermuda greens most of the year, overseeded with Rye in the winter (snowbirds expect green golf courses) — so even in today 104 degree heat, its in wonderful shape.
Troon Golf has instituted “Time Par” for all of the courses it manages and for Troon North it is 4:24. We finished todays round in 4:10 a great pace.
If you want to see what I am talking about before you get here visit
and watch the flyovers.
In a few weeks I am going to return and play Monument— watch for my comparison.
If you go:
10320 E Dynamite Rd
5 tee boxes from 7025 yards to 4833 yards
Or contact Troon Golf and have them set up a complete trip to many of the best courses in the area.