Falcon Dunes Golf Course

ADDRESS: 15100 W. Northern Avenue
Waddell, AZ 85355
TYPE: Military
PHONE: 623-535-9334
WEBSITE: lukeevents.com/golf/index/html

Falcon Dunes - F-16 Fighting Falcon "Viper"

AZGA Arizona Golf Buzz: When you step on the first tee at Falcon Dunes Golf Course your adrenaline level will be running a bit higher than normal – for 2 reasons. First, you are about to play one of the top military golf courses in the US and second, the United States Air Force F-16 fighter plane air show going on all around you is an exhilarating spectacle to behold.

Located just down the street from the north end of the runway at Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base, Falcon Dunes is an artful Gary Panks design that has transformed formerly flat citrus-orchard Arizona farmland into a rollicking links-style championship golf course layout. From the “Falcon Tee” tips, this par-71 6,611-yard course is rated at an over-par 71.7 and a sneaky-low slope of 130.

Luke Air Force Base is home to the largest active-duty fleet of F-16 fighter aircraft in the world; 135 are based here. The F-16, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is officially named the Fighting Falcon. But the pilots who fly them call it the “Viper” due to its lethal similarity with the deadly snake. This is the airplane the USAF Thunderbirds precision flying team uses for their air show performances, worldwide.

While playing Falcon Dunes, you are treated to the departure and return of the F-16 air-to-air and air-to-ground training sorties which occur each morning, high over the uninhabited desert, west of Phoenix.

Falcon Dunes Golf Course

The word those pilots use to paint their enemies is “bogey”, and they lurk everywhere at Falcon Dunes.

Except for the 230-yard par-3 fifth, and the 607-yard par-5 sixteenth, scoring well here is not about hitting it long, it’s about accuracy, and using the fairway contours to your benefit. The links-style mounding and swales Mr. Panks used to craft this gem must be negotiated with the same precision that the pilots across the street invest in their flight plans.

The make or break scoring stretch at Falcon Dunes begins at the mid-iron par-3, 163-yard eleventh; avoid the menacing bunker front right and the deep pot-style bunker left of the green.

A solid tee shot and mid-iron approach at the 430-yard par-4 twelfth will produce a reasonable birdie putt; this elevated green is sloping right-to-left down to a protective front left bunker, factor that into your approach and leave yourself an uphill putt.

And, due to the links-firm conditions here, the drivable 300-yard par-4 thirteenth is very vulnerable, just make certain you have calculated the “trajectory vectors” correctly as the tee ball runs to the green. The green is understandably small and contoured but anything that’s on is a routine 2-putt.

United States Air Force Thunderbirds

All military and government employees, both active and retired, and their guests are welcome here. Complete, all turf practice facilities are generous and well maintained and the full-service Pro Shop is well stocked.

So, if you haven’t hugged your local veteran lately, go do it, and then turn the conversation to golf, and Falcon Dunes Golf Course.

AZGA Arizona Golf Authority “Local Hang” for Falcon Dunes Golf Course includes the on-site Falcon Dunes Restaurant and Bar, Max’s Sports Bar, on 47th Ave., just south of Glendale Avenue, and the Wigwam Resort located just south of the base in Litchfield Park.

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