As of Sunday, May 6 when the temperature rose to 106 degrees, surpassing the 105-degree record set in 1947, the writing was on the wall. It’s going to be a hot summer – time to make plans to escape to Arizona’s high country for golf in Sedona.
An Hour and a Half Away, 10-15 Degrees Cooler
An easy hour-and-a-half trip up the 17 from north Phoenix, Sedona Golf Resort sits at 4,000 feet, which amounts to temperatures ranging from 10-15 degrees cooler than the deserts below. Doesn’t sound like much but it is! Add the ever-present afternoon breeze, and it’s appreciably more comfortable than golf in Scottsdale/Phoenix.
The Golf Experience at Sedona Golf Resort
Cooler temps aside, the par-71, 6,646-yard golf course at Sedona Golf Resort is a pleasure to play. It was designed by Gary Panks to frame the many spectacular views of red-rock country as it moves up, down and through high chaparral dotted with juniper and pinon pines alongside varieties of yuccas and agaves.
The three par 5s on the front side stand out. The 3rd hole, ranked as the 15th hardest, comes in at 506 yards with the best shot of the trio to make birdie. The tee shot is significantly downhill, but the next one, or two, climb back uphill. The 5th hole is a beast at 623 yards uphill the whole way to a huge green complex connected at the hip to the 8th green. Definitely a three-shot hole, the 5th is the No. 1-ranked hole on the golf course. The 9th weighs in 100 yards less than the 5th; it too runs significantly uphill on its way to the property’s highest point – the postcard 10th hole.
The Iconic 10th Hole
“The iconic view from the tee box on the par-3 10th hole has to be one of the greatest photo ops in the game,” said Jeremy Hayman, general manager of Sedona Golf Resort. “The view looking back towards the tee from the green on the 6th hole is pretty special, too. The extra altitude certainly makes for sweeping views as well as comfortable temperatures, but we also can offer things like bentgrass greens that aren’t normally found in the Valley.”
It’s all downhill from the 11th tee. This gives golfers the option of playing something less than driver on the 11th, 13th and 15th holes, while still staying aggressive on the approaches. The 12th hole works downhill with a dogleg left tempting longer hitters to go for it in two, which is definitely a green light with a good tee shot. After all the twists and turns, ups and downs of the golf experience, the golf course finishes with two manageable holes at the par-3 17th and the par-4 18th.
Stay and Play
Given the relatively short drive from Phoenix, most golfers round-trip-it, but those who choose to stay and play have a bunch of close-by options. The Hilton Sedona Resort is only a lag-putt away. The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort and a couple bed-and-breakfast inns – Las Posadas and Adobe Hacienda – are all within a half-mile of the club, and that’s only a few nearby options.
The quality and convenience of making a run to Sedona Golf Resort allows golfers to play during the summer instead of holding off for the incredible wintertime weather that made the Phoenix/Scottsdale area into one of the most popular golf destination in the world. But when it’s over 100 degrees, the 100 mile trip to Sedona Golf Resort is the smart play.