Grayhawk Golf Club – Raptor Course

ADDRESS: 8620 E. Thompson Peak Parkway
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
TYPE: Resort
PHONE: 480-502-1800

The Buzz: Grayhawk’s original claim to fame, besides the fact it’s a public facility that boasts private club-type amenities, was that it hosted the Andersen Consulting World Match Play, the pioneer tournament that launched the World Golf Championship (WGC) series.  And while the first Andersen Consulting was played on the Talon Course in 1995 and was won by the unknown Englishman Barry Lane, the Raptor produced some big names with Greg Norman silencing Scott Hoch (1997) and Colin Montgomerie nudging Davis Love III (1998).

Hole #8 on the Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona

Hole #8 Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club

Built by Tom Fazio in 1996, the big, bold and somewhat brazen Raptor also was the site of Tiger Woods’ Target World Challenge in 1999 that produced local favorite Tom Lehman as its champ, as well as the site of the made-for-TV Tommy Bahama Challenge Matches (2004-05) that pitted young guns from the American and European Tours in a Ryder Cup-style event with the comedic duo of Gary McCord (U.S.) and David Feherty (Euros) as yuck-it-up captains. If that’s not enough, for the past 10 years the Raptor has hosted the Tommy Bahama Desert Marlin, which attracts notables/locals from the PGA Tour in an annual preseason shootout, as well as hosting the, a Fall Series event, in 2008-09.

Dang, with so many pros hanging out at Grayhawk who would have ever guessed that it’s also the course that has sponsored superstar Phil Mickleson on tour since his rookie season in 1993? But the 7,135-yard Raptor has an endless supply of memorable people — and holes, like No. 8, a surreal par 3 dubbed “Aces & Eights.’’ The reference is to a poker term known as a “dead man’s hand,” supposedly four of the five cards Wild Bill Hickock was holding when he was shot in the back in Saloon No. 10 at Deadwood, South Dakota. There is other “history’’ to the Raptor, such as the snake-like seventh hole called “Horace Greeley,’’ because the par 4 runs into the western sunset, as in “Go West, young man!’’

Yes, you’re going to like the Raptor, especially when you enjoy lunch afterward in Arizona’s most well-known 19th hole – Phil’s Grill. Hey, if the prime-rib sliders don’t blow you away, go for Phil’s old deal – half-pound barn-burger, haystack of fries and a root beer. You will savor the moment even if Lefty is a vegetarian these days!

Make it a 36-hole day at Grayhawk; read about sister course – Talon – by clicking here.

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