Arizona Golf Course List – Arizona Golf Authority Golf Course Guide
This is one of Arizona’s oldest and most treasured private country clubs with a rich history that operates on a seasonal basis from May through October. The golf course is built near the spectacular Mogollon Rim on property once owned by the U.S. Forest Service and leased by members when it opened as a nine-hole layout in 1956.
The second nine opened a year later and by 1967, the 1,800-acre parcel had been traded to the members. In exchange, the Forest Service received 16 acres of land near McNary for every acre it gave up.
The club becomes a second home for many private club members from the Phoenix area during the valley’s hot summer months and remained their No. 1 choice until Forest Highlands opened in Flagstaff in 1987. The original nine, which now is the back nine, was designed by Arizona golf legend Milt Coggins and developer Gray Madison. They, along with Arthur “Jack” Snyder, created the second nine.
White Mountain isn’t particularly long but demands accuracy to negotiate the thick pine forest lining most fairways. You’ll find five sets of tees, with the tips playing at 6,523 yards and the forward tees at 5,561. From the back tees, it is rated at 68.3 with a slope of 122.
The terrain is defined by rolling hills, rugged outcroppings of lava and malapai rock formations, excellent views of the largest stand of Ponderosa Pine in North America, and you’ll love the smooth bent-grass greens that can be nurtured in this climate. Constant elevation changes add to the character and there is no out of bounds. If you can find it on White Mountain, you can play it.
White Mountain starts off tamely but the fun starts at the fourth hole, a 414-yard par 4 with an uphill dogleg left over a lily pond. Three of the next four holes are excellent par 5s with plenty of variety, playing at 613, 503 and 527 yards.
The back nine, which is a little more open than the front, heats up at the 12th hole, a 178-yard par 3, followed by a short par 4 of 330 yards. Big hitters who dare cut the corner can drive the green, but plenty of trouble awaits those who try and fail.
The signature hole is the 18th, a 440-yard par 4 over water to a severely sloping green, where three-putting is the norm. That provides plenty of chuckles for other golfers relaxing on the spacious clubhouse patio.
White Mountain offers active, junior and social memberships, but all are by invitation only. While that might sound a bit stuffy, much of the club’s charm is its casual, laid-back approach to golf and life far from the trappings of a big city.
It’s “All Things Arizona Golf” from the Arizona Golf Authority.