SunRidge Canyon Fountain Hills, Arizona

January, 2002
SunRidge Canyon Website

FACILITIES
CONDITIONING
COURSE
STAFF
Pro Shop
10
Tee Boxes
9
Yardage Marker
10
Attendants
9
Range
9
Fairways
9
Pace of Play
9
Starter
9
Practice Green
8
Rough
9
Scenery
8
Marshals
9
Chipping Green
8
Greens
9
Architecture
9
PGA Pro
9
Carts
8
Bunkers
9
Challenge
8
Pro Shop Staff
9
Restaurant
9
Water Hazards
9
19th Hole
9
Overall:
9
Overall:
9
Overall:
9
Overall:
9

REVIEW:
The Phoenix area has long been considered one of the best destinations in golf. Boasting well over 200 golf courses, there is a track to fit just about every level golfer from the twice a year hacker to the PGA tour pro. The landscape in the Phoenix area allows for an array of different style golf courses. From the flat municipal courses in the heart of downtown, to the target golf desert courses in the valley, to the undulating elevation changes in the mountain foothill course layouts. One very distinct course, Sun Ridge Canyon, runs through the canyon in the heart of Fountain Hills just west of Scottsdale. The first nine running from the clubhouse down the canyon and the second nine returning to the top. This layout allows for nice vistas on most holes, in spite of the Sun Ridge Canyon’s co-existence with a large housing development.

Sun Ridge Canyon has a country club for a day atmosphere without all of the stodginess often associated with private clubs. Everyone working at the course from the pro shop staff to the grill room hosts are top notch and genuinely want to give each golfer an experience to remember.

After checking in at the pro shop, golfers are sent to the practice facility until they are summoned by the starter to tee off. The practice facility is broken up into three separate areas located a short cart ride from one another. A practice green, a short game area and a full length grass range.

At a course of this caliber, golfers usually receive a yardage book, but not at Sun Ridge Canyon. Instead, they raise the bar by offering a new product that makes yardage books and even in-cart GPS obsolete. The xCaddie by GolfLogix is a personal GPS unit that a golfer carries and provides exact yardage to the pin from anywhere a golfer can conceivably walk on the course. Club selection never becomes an issue with the xCaddie and it even offers advanced game & performance tracking features.

The course starts with an unintimidating short par four. The next four holes are all fairly long in length and favor a fade off the tee. Although there are no forced carries on these holes, there is a premium placed on keeping the ball in play as with all holes at Sun Ridge Canyon. The sixth hole is one of 5 par threes on the course. Hit it left and you are in the canyon, hitting your third and equally intimidating shot from the tee. The seventh hole is the first real desert style hole, with a target fairway requiring a 200+ yard tee shot for a short iron to the green over a desert waste area. Rounding out the front nine is the second par three and another target style par 5.

The first taste of water comes into play leading off the back nine. Not only do you need to clear 100+ yards of water but to have any real shot at par you need to either land short, left or right of a bunker in the middle of the fairway 225 yards out. Try to remember to look back down the fairway over the next several holes. The vistas are picturesque and give any golfer an appreciation for how Keith Foster’s architecture contours the canyon. In case you forget, he has positioned the par three 14th to play backward down the canyon to showcase this view. However, the green is tightly placed just left of a large pond that seemed out of play on the previous par 5 13th. After negotiating the well bunkered 15th & 16th holes, you come upon the signature 17th. The 17th is a par three that may or may not require a tee shot over the deepest part of the canyon depending on the set of tees the course is using that particular day. The two sets of tee boxes are at 6 o’clock and 3 o’clock respectively so it may be a long iron over the deep canyon from the distant tees or a short iron from the closer tee boxes to a severely sloping downhill green. The final hole brings you back to the top of the canyon to the clubhouse area, complete with a beautiful landscaped waterfall just in front of the 19th hole.

Back at the clubhouse, Sun Ridge Canyon also has a well-equipped pro shop, locker rooms and a full service restaurant. The pro shop caters towards high-end clothing lines, made by the likes of Axis, Tehama, and Tommy Bahama. The clubhouse also features a full service restaurant and bar, making SunRidge Canyon much more than your average golf course.

RATING:
GolfTest USA recommends Sun Ridge Canyon as an “Elite” golf course in the Phoenix area.

Elite Course:
The best the area has to offer
Must Play Course:
Don’t miss playing here
Quality Course:
Good solid track
Average Course:
A standard golf experience
Only in a Pinch:
Below average golf