The directions from the HI Express include passing a women's prison and a large greenhouse operation . . . it was much further from the freeway than I tho't, but that was all to the good, the closer to snug up to the mountains.
Oddly enough, I was able to walk right on and tee off . . . 8^D . . .
This is the back 9, from the clubhouse verandah. Hmmm. Not really into the mountains, and I don't see any tuff . . . the pro in the shop said something about water . . .
Ohhhhh. So you can see what we're dealing with . . . wide-open spaces . . . I figgered to lean on my driver and fairway woods and overpower the course in the thin NM air . . . that didn't exactly work out . . . that's the large commercial greenhouse at the end of the 1st fairway . . . $5000 fine for hitting in there . . . no danger of doing it accidentally, even after I smoothed a wedge 40 yds over the green.
This is the second tee . . . the course is not truly as flat and uninspiring as it looks here, but it IS true that the perspective is a little elongated from the extended horizon . . . I calmed down a little after my double bogey on #1 and smooth-smothered a drive to the left . . . I thot from the thin air I would still get my distance, but not for the first time nor the last this day, I was surprised . .. I looked for my ball up in those mounds indistinct on the left, but I found it 10 yards short, in the fairway, after several minutes. My 7 or 8 iron came up short-left . . .
I seem to remember a sand trap there . . . my ball wasn't in it, but I had at least 1 foot in it . . . but chipped in for a birdie . . . saw it all the way . . . so natcherly I figgered today was my day, and 2 or 3 birdies would be in order, but I was mistaken . . . I wasn't ever actually bored with the course, and a couple of holes kicked my can, but I wasn't getting the flight I felt I ought -- my timing must've still been off from inactivity
like on the par 5 # 6 . . . I thot and I think that EVERY par 5 is reachable in 2 in NM . . . from the tee that tree looks like a shrub, from the fairway it looks much more intrusive. . . bothered me . . . just as well to go around it, with that water there . . . missed the green in 3, up and down for par.
On the Par 3 #7, I was on the green, but couldn't get the tee, my ball, and the pin in the same shot . . . 8^/ . . .
The par 4 #8 you could say, that is, I say, is the first really interesting hole . . . I was off in deep rough on the right from the tee, kinda lobbed a half-7 past the green, up and down for par. . . had to play thru another single on this hole which always throws off my timing . . .
The par 4 #10 has a rather intimidating outlook to it from the tee, water and mounds making it look like there's no where to go -- I think once you've seen it from the green, looking back, tho' you'd realize it was all show and no real danger . . . missed the birdie.
11 is also troubling . . . the water makes you want to swing way right, just to be sure. . . which then makes the 2nd shot even tougher . . . bogey for me . . .
#12 heads straight up hill . . . I had a trailing wind and sorta popped up off the tee, but I tho't it would be near 300 yds . . .nope, not close . . . another case where I spent 5 minutes looking for my ball in the wrong place 100 yds too far down the fairway. . . hit a 5iron . . . missed the birdie . . .
So here, my camera battery died . . . I have to say . . . since the pro had warned me #17 was the showstopper, I was so upset it affected my game . . . I wasn't carrying extra batteries, even after the same thing had happened at Palmbrook . . . but here's the scan of the course map . . .
The par 5 #14 was my personal fave . . . it's only the #4 handicap hole, but the tee shot over the arroyo requires a lot calculus . . . elevated over the fairway, but of an uncertain distance . . . I was long past reckoning on 300 yd drives this day, but I could see I didn't want to go thru the fairway, nor come up short . . . in my perplexity I came out of my shot a little bit, and fanned the drive . . . it was barely enough to make it over the arroyo, 40yds right of where I aimed . . . I hit a 3wood uphill, up the leftside away from the arroyo, but it still rolled down to the right rough, just a half wedge away. That was my last missed birdie for the day.
The par 4 #17 is a gruesome hole. . . I hit 3 balls in the water . . . 2 off the tee before I could make myself hit it far enough right to get over (that distance conundrum again) then another in woods/water on the right with a 3wood trying to keep it a 3shot hole -- 474 yds.
So on the par5 #18, the only thing I cared about was getting to the green in two, so I hooked my 3wood 2nd shot into the lake . . . the 4th shot 3wood flared right of the green. I indifferently lobbed up to kickin distance for a bogey.
Would be a good course for a scramble . . . wide-open, but trouble can be found . . . a little elevation dynamic, but no eye-popping uniquity, if you see how I mean . . . there's usually some wind to keep the course interesting. . . greens were in great shape, but not particularly challenging, easy to read - - hey! that's not a bad thing!
A 3, tho, on the scottsdale standard . . .