Golf Course Review Talking Stick Golf Club O’ODHAM Scottsdale Arizona
Reviewed by: sdscratchorbust, Scottsdale
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Shout out to Mrkich’s recommendation I was finally able to score a round at the North side of Talking Stick. Since these two course are owned by the resort and maintained year round, or maybe the location, whatever it is the prices are always higher here comparatively speaking. I was able to get out on a Monday morning by random chance and scored a $45 hot deal.
Pure winter conditions. I would give fairways 8.5/10 only because a 9 is tough but they were close to carpet just a little played. Greens had divots from play but were the perfect firmness to roll really true. The speed was the perfect medium fast. Really finally maintained fringes and green areas. Top notch desert winter conditions.
The practice facility here is quite impressive. They do make an attempt to make it a more full resort like golf experience but it’s a miss IMO due to the heavy hitters in the area who know what they are doing. IMO the clubhouse architecture is blocky cold and gives an uninviting vibe. Stark contrast to the modern architecture of the resort next door.
I love the North south. It has soul is the best way to describe it. Talking Stick is located on probably the absolute worst plot of land in the US. It is literally a flat square plot in the desert. Instead of going the Fazio approach Coore and Crenshaw really did make a minimalist masterpiece of out it. I was never a big fan of We Ko Pa and especially not of the Talking Stick S. because of the artificial nature of the them. A Scottish links-style course carved out in the desert makes no sense to me. What the North is, is a smooth flowing golf course that seems to flow out of the natural terrain. The course is routed back and forth inside a box, with holes next to each other. There’s a barbed wire fence running along one side and a ginormous casino/hotel phallus shooting up out of the desert on the other. In spite of these limitations the course has my top 5 course flow ever for me. Start with a nice but no pushover par 4. Then one of the most uniquely designed and defended par 5’s I’ve ever encountered. It’s pure genius. Then a bunch of quality adult big boy par 4’s that require solid drives and quality shot making into elevated protected greens. There’s no cute desert short 4 pars that can get monotonous. Then you don’t come into a par three until the 6th hole. I love it. My group broke off at 9 and versus waiting I re walked the front 9. It was serene golf pureness. It’s good here. The bunkers are a unique contrast being being overly flowing and artificial. Versus having mounds breaking apart most holes, C&C placed these cavernous bunkers to break apart holes. Very unique and visually impressive. The greens aren’t a true links but have smoothly trimmed collars allowing Texas wedging. The green side bunkers are a stark contrast than you find here. They flow into undulations with minimal lips. The main defense being the slop away from them that is carried onto the greens. Really fun subtle sloping greens. I loved them.
I can’t wait to get back out and play the full 18.