Kokopelli: Phoenix, Arizona Golf Course Review
25 Sep 2014
see also: Kokopelli Golf Course, All Course Reviews

The Kokopelli Golf Club is the "old reliable" place to play in the Southeast Valley of Phoenix.

The course is always in good shape, tee times are spaced enough that there isn’t a lot of wasted downtime on the tee box and the layout has some of more intriguing holes in the area. It adds up to being on the most underrated courses among the 220 in the Valley.

The 22-year-old course, which was designed by Bill Phillps, has four sets of tees – as long as 6,716 yards (par 72) from the tips – that gives the players several options on how to play a hole. The first hole is a perfect example as the opening par 5 is a long dog-leg right that lines the driving range. The easy play is to hit a hybrid or low iron some 200 yards out, but a well placed drive along the right side can cut most of the distance off as long as it stays out of the range that seemingly keeps boring into the fairway.

It’s a good example of the options the golfers are presented with on the tee box on this track. One of the more intriguing decisions for the long hitters comes on hole No. 11 where the 306-yard dog-leg left can be infuriating and exhilarating all depending on where that drive ends up. The easy play is out to the right where a good drive leaves an easy look into the elevated, but small green. The kicker is whether or not to go for the green. The neighboring houses come into play as the angle of the drive has to start over the backyard and land somewhere in between the down slope of the end of fairway and start of the green, but the reward is the possibility of an eagle putt. If you got the distance then hammer away.

The signature hole - the picturesque 324-yard par 4 - doesn’t come with such a dilemma but offers the prettiest view on the course. The fountain in lake on the left draws your eye that way and the three bunkers in front of the uphill green forces the approach shot to be the right distance because there is very little room behind the green to keep anything long safe. One of the better greens on the course, and when pin placement is vital to one’s score, is No. 11. It is a big green – 31 feet deep – but that’s not really the case as the front of the green falls off pretty quickly.

The hope is the day you show up that the greens keeper is in a good mood -- because if he isn’t, good luck in staying away from a three putt. Kokopelli ends with a long, and tight finishing hole. Water runs along the left side and the range comes back into play on the right. The placement of the second shot on this par-5 is vital to coming home safely. It sort of defines Kokopelli in that the hole seems simple enough, but if you really take a step back to look at it there is a lot more intrigue than you originally expect.

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