Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Talking Stick North



When you think desert you think sand. One of the biggest things about playing Talking Stick North is trying to avoid the sand at all costs, which isn't easy as the duo has sculpted the course so you find your way into bunkers very easily. 



Bunkers, bunkers everywhere and where is my rake? (its a famous poem for sure).

Arizona has a problem; it has a ton of amazing golf courses but very few of them are not in housing developments. So when you can play a course that just sits in the desert and is surrounded by the mountain beauty of Arizona it is a true joy and C+C make a really nice desert course that sits in this landscape and let's you enjoy nature.

This design philosophy is no more apparent than on the Roadrunner hole


which actually has a roadrunner hanging out on it.


I got such a kick out of this and if you play TSN definitely be on the lookout for all manner of wildlife as prairie dogs, birds of all feathers and even a random coyote are present for your round.

The common complaint about Talking Stick is that it is very flat and there isn't a lot of variety in the holes but for the North course I will have to disagree. While there are similar design features on multiple holes (the most notable are forced carries across the desert scrub on tee shots):



those design features are actually interesting and add variety to a flatish terrain. Plus, I would argue that not every course has to have rolling hills and valleys to keep a golfer interested. I quite liked TSN and my favorite definitely has a lot of character to it:


I am a huge fan of split fairways, probably due to growing up and watching the split 8th hole at Riviera. Here at TSN it is a fantastic hole with a real risk/reward depending on which way you play it.


I gambled, went left and barely cleared it (maybe with a generous desert hop or two). The split continues almost all the way up to the green and makes for a really fun hole.


The green conditions were good and as I played this course on the leading edge of Summer, the grass was longer to stave off death so the putts rolled slower but true.

One of my other favorite things about TSN was the pace of play. I was allowed to go out as a single and I got around the course in about 2.5 hours. Even 3somes/ 4somes I saw got around in under 4 which is great. The staff is really friendly as well and I had an enjoyable time at Talking Stick.

Overall I say the course is well worth your time if you are in the Scottsdale area and I look forward to my next visit!

For more info on Talking Stick check it out here: https://talkingstickgolfclub.com/

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