No score and seven years in the making, all hail the new Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club! Opened in February 2015, this course will rival any desert splendor in the greater Phoenix area, scoring high with amateurs and pros alike. Just a couple weeks prior, hordes of workers were on deck to complete the model Shea homes above the number one fairway, to bridge gaps in the cart paths and to detail the landscaping, meticulously replacing saguaros. It looked like a Pixar movie scene of grown boys on their big Tonka toys grading, not our game, but the earth – paving way for the spectacular future clubhouse. Plans will evolve over time to include a social club with all of the amenities expected in a luxury lifestyle community including restaurants, a day spa, tennis and pools. The interim club with all the basics will be perched on a strategic vantage point for drinking in the western wonder along with your favorite libation.
A star-studded cast was hired by Blue Star to ensure the upscale delivery of golf and more in Trilogy tradition. General Manager Christian Corbett is a Bostonian most recently migrating from Utah and Head Golf Professional, Justin Henderson, PGA makes his daily commute from Prescott. Andy Huber from Troon heritage, was drawn from his most recent position maintaining coastal links along the Algarve in Portugal so there is no doubt about the sustenance of the pristine golf conditions within the dramatically inspiring rock hills. Are you ready for prime time play with incredibly striking views?
Both visually stimulating and intimidating, the line of sight on hole 6 to an uphill green surrounded by bunkers, is completely engulfed by a large reflective lake. The left fairway allows for bailout by the weak of heart. A sand area borders the far side of the lake to capture brave drives eking over the water but short of the miniscule fairway before the green, which slopes from back to front. As on the entire course, putting surfaces are ideal but the subtleties compound the challenge on this short par 4.
On hole 9’s par 5, the easiest shot is the drive, and then it is up, up and away, but to where? The green is hidden from view atop the high hill guarded by bunkers on the right and back. Easy from the back tees if you divine the green’s position on this blind monster; judge the right distances, and play well with steep lies. Did we say easy? The forward tees need 3 long steady shots for par or birdie. Look back and say ahhh.
The closing dogleg left is littered with sand bunkers and elevation changes. Favor the right side of the elbow for a direct approach, as a left side short cut requires a blind shot. Miscalculations of distance with three different desert crossings on the way to an uphill green could result in a fairway to seven.
For the ultimate in desert luxury below the Bradshaw Mountains, all residents of the Shea Homes, Trilogy community will have a social membership. Public play at Wickenburg Ranch is available for $75-$95 and includes not only the golf cart and practice balls, but also a Travis Mathew polo AND a Travis Mathew performance outerwear piece with the WR brand logo (valued at $69 & $99 respectively). This is a no brainer. They have sold out every available tee time for 80 straight days continuing through the club’s upcoming spring aerification closure.
“We are fortunate in that we may be the only golf club in the country with that type of record,” said Justin Henderson. “Many courses are struggling to fill their tee sheets. We’ve got the opposite situation, and if that’s a problem, I’ll take it.” Pull them on and hit the tees. Way out west cowboy town Wickenburg is now right around the bend from Phoenix thanks to the near completion of the 303. Play is limited to 72 rounds per day so book early.
The first residential community offered within Wickenburg Ranch is Shea Homes’ Trilogy at Wickenburg Ranch and home sales are taking off like the golf. Homes within the community are designed to combine modern luxury with western flair, while taking advantage of the natural surroundings, as homeowners will have access to state and federal lands and trails.
Shea Homes’ Trilogy® at Wickenburg Ranch residents experience a more temperate climate than the Valley of the Sun. Warm days will be followed by much cooler nights and mornings, as overnight temperatures in the summer drop to approximately 10-20 degrees cooler than those of Phoenix, appealing to potential winter visitors and year-round residents from the Phoenix area and other states.