By Jason Skoda, AmateurGolf.com Player Staff
The name alone brings expectations and Troon North Golf Club does not disappoint.
Troon is a worldwide brand that permeates excellence and Troon North is arguably the franchise’s signature course in Arizona.
The course is set in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak and creates a terrific backdrop for one the state’s top maintained and challenging 36 holes. On this outing we had the pleasure of testing our wares against the Monument Course, which has five set of tees to test golfers of every level of play.
[photo on left, Troon North Monument Course, No. 16, Par-3]
It doesn’t take long to get the flavor of the course as the first two holes are surrounded by saguaro cacti, tough lies and plenty of hazards in the form of bunkers, but when you step to the third tee you realize what fun, and the pure natural beauty of the land, the round is going to be as the 556-yard, par 5 dogleg right is one of the signature holes in Arizona.
Smack dab in the middle of the fairway is a jutting boulder that can serve as bumper, shooting your ball in any direction, if you hit the ball down the center of the fairway. It has to be seen to be truly appreciated, and makes you question club choice as it looks closer than it actually is because you don’t realize how big it is until you are on top of it.
From there the second shot is through a narrow alley of desert trouble up to a difficult green. The hole's design gives a peak into course designer Tom Weiskopf’s true vision and what to expect the rest of the round, as the challenges are only outdone by the sonorant setting.
The fourth hole has another rock formation, this one about 75 yards from the hole, which can create some frustration on approach shots that look to be on line but end up in a hazard rather bounding toward the green.
It’s all in good fun, and as with all Weiskopf courses -- what your eye sees might not actually be what is in store as angles, swells and deceptive greens wait on the back nine.
The par 4, 426-yard 12th looks to be tame off the tee but the fairway tends to funnel the ball toward the area in between the bunker on the left side and if you navigate yourself around that one five more surround one of the smaller green.
After that the vistas, rock formations and general beauty can take your focus away from the task at hand as it is hard to find a prettier threesome of holes than 14 through 16 than what is found here. The stretch ends with the par 3, 244-yard 16th hole, which features an elevated tee and views that define Arizona beauty.
Behold the view, grab a club and make sure to make a full shoulder turn in order to get the ball to the green!
And much like the experience of playing Troon North, you won’t be disappointed.