We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
If the Cholla and the Saguaro courses at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club were the only two courses you ever play, you will have experienced the finest gifts golf in Arizona has to offer: a spectacular natural setting, manicured course conditions and sensational golf course design.
36-holes have been laid upon the pristine high-desert property across the valley from the Tonto National Forest’s Mazatzal Mountains and their majestic pinnacle called Four Peaks, English for the native American Yavapai word WeKoPa.
The view of Four Peaks commands your attention all day long and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation reservation location outside Fountain Hills ensures development will never encroach upon the natural desert oasis these courses occupy.
Although they play a bit differently, Cholla and Saguaro complement each other perfectly. Scott Miller’s Cholla is played through the air, while Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw’s Saguaro is most successfully played on the ground. Comparing the first hole of each course demonstrates the distinct, yet complimentary, yin and yang that make these two an enjoyable golf course pairing.
The opening tee shot at Cholla’s 351-yard first asks you to make a simple choice: how much desert do I want to carry? As you stand on the desert-island tee box some 90-feet above the perfect carpet of fairway below, which runs away from you at about a 45-degree angle, you can choose to carry all the desert wash and knock driver on the green. Or, reduce the carry and play a metal hybrid and a gap-wedge second, or adjust your line of play a little more and employ a 5-iron then 9-iron strategy. Choose your target line and execute the shot; what fun. You will face this choice off the tee repeatedly and you will fly the vast majority of your second shots over hazards to tantalizing pins on raised greens in stunning settings all day long.
Saguaro is all about golf on the contours and swales crafted upon the natural terrain by Messer’s Coore and Crenshaw. The 469-yard first at Saguaro presents a fairway so wide and appealing only a total misfire can miss it. Yardage is relative here as the fairway plays firm and fast and your tee shot will run forever over and around the subtle bumps and mounds. As you consider your approach, the front and left sides of the green appear wide open, the pin seemingly defenseless. Here’s a tip, it’s not. The complex has been deftly shaped to collect and reward shots of proper trajectory and those along the ground; other types of shots may be summarily rejected.
Saguaro plays firm and fast, and will ask you to reconsider golf through the air several times during your day. You’ll probably hit every fairway and stand over your second, viewing an immaculate green complex, choosing a club for what appears to be a generous target. Consider bouncing the ball to the hold rather than carrying it to the flag. Around the greens, you may find a low running shot a bit more rewarding than a lofted one. On the greens, consider their author and pay strict attention to your position relative to WeKoPa. Don’t be surprised when you watch your straight uphill 4-footer break 6-inches and come to rest 7-feet below the hole.
Cholla and Saguaro, together with the elegant We-Ko-Pa clubhouse, enormous double-tee practice ground and stellar staff, provide an 18 or 36-hole day that is the epitome of world-class golf in the one-of-a-kind setting we call Arizona Golf.