Grayhawk Golf Club, Raptor Course

February 4, 2008 2:11:13 PM PST
You've heard of this place and seen it on television as part of the Anderson Consulting World Championships and the Tiger Woods World Golf Challenge. Grayhawk has all the credentials to attract players seeking drama in desert golf. But if you aren't a big stick, and only a mere mortal, what's it like to play there---heaven or hell? The answer: heaven and hell. The facility has two courses. The Raptor Course is younger and meaner than the Talon. Tee it up, take your chances, and accept the possibility of becoming golf road-kill. The Raptor has everything you love and hate about modern golf architecture. At 67-hundred yards (71-hundred from the championship tees), it has formidable length?6700 yards from the back tees (7100 from championship). If you miss the fairway, you'll find yourself in unplayable desert rock and flora. You'll find cross bunkering to please the eye, but your mood will change upon entering them. Greenside, they're extremely deep and profoundly sculpted, with thin, unforgiving sand. Finally, the huge mounded, rolling or terraced greens offer an abundance of pin placements. They'll mock many a well-conceived and struck pitch or chip. Stay below the hole and you're your sanity. If these qualities appeal to you, prepare for an adventure in sweet suffering, set on a superbly conditioned canvas of dazzlingly sharp, clean lines. Don't make Grayhawk your first playing stop when visiting Scottsdale, but show up when your swing and sense of good cheer are at their peak.