Grayhawk Golf Club – Talon Course

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

The Buzz: Two Arizona Golf Hall of Famers had a lot to do with the Talon Course at Grayhawk, a golfer-friendly layout at 6,975 yards that exudes variety and views. Let’s start with Heather Farr, the late LPGA and Arizona State star whose impact on the course includes a life-size bronze statue on the first hole that is appropriately named “Farr View.’’  Continuing with that theme, there is a set of Heather tees and a Heather Farr Room in the clubhouse, as well as the course being the annual site of the Heather Farr Matches, pitting the state’s top women pros against the amateurs.

The other person of distinction in regards to the Talon is its architect, Gary Panks, who has built more golf courses in Arizona (29) than any other designer. Where the Talon differs slightly from some of Panks’ other works is that it was co-designed in 1994 with former PGA/ Champions tour star David Graham, and in that regard it is among their best work.

You will never forget the 11th hole, dubbed “Swinging Bridge,’’ or the 13th, entitled “Heaven or Hell.’’ They are about as solid a combination of a picturesque par 3 and a risk-reward par 4, respectively, as there is when it comes to the Scottsdale golf scene. But there are a whole lot more of those signature-type experiences thanks to some beautiful box canyons, island greens (both water and the sand variety) and elevated tees that give the course an up-and-down feel despite its flat terrain.

Blame it on the bulldozer, as Panks and Graham moved a massive 200,000 cubic yards of dirt. The greens also have a little bit of a Six Flags Over Arizona feel, with several boasting tripled-tiered surfaces. “We gave them exactly what they wanted,’’ Graham said in defense of the Augusta-like surfaces. “Granted, they’re a little outrageous, but overall it’s a pretty darn good golf course.’’ It’s also a few strokes easier than its big sister, the Raptor, and that also makes for “a pretty darn good’’ golfing experience.

Make yours a 36-hole day; read the review of sister course – Raptor – by clicking here.

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