Heritage Course – Wigwam Golf Resort: The Patriot and Gold courses at the Wigwam Golf Resort have more name recognition, as they were designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr., but the Heritage (formerly called the Red Course) remains the favorite of members and local golfers, annually receiving the most play of the three.
It was designed, appropriately, by Robert “Red” Lawrence, who set the standard for desert golf design as we know it today when he created famed Desert Forest in Carefree. “The Desert Fox” as Red would become known, worked his magic with the Heritage Course, a more traditional design with a neat blend of mature trees, wide fairways, large greens, streams, canals and ponds that bring water into play on 10 holes.
Built in 1972, it plays to par 72 at 6,865 yards from the back tees. Some have always called it the “The Heritage Course” and like the Jones designs, features several memorable holes, including one very tough finishing stretch. Many of its large undulating greens are sloped toward the front, creating challenges on approach shots.
The back nine builds to a tough, dramatic finish after starting with a pair of relatively tame par-4 holes at 373 and 378 yards and a 148-yard par-3. Birdies become far more difficult in the closing stretch, starting with a 414-yard par-4 at No. 15. Next up is a par-4 at 454 yards with a left dogleg and an approach shot to an elevated, well-bunkered green with water on the right and back.
Don’t relax yet because 17 is a treacherous par-3 at 254 yards with trees, a bunker on the right side and a canal running the length of the left side. Take it home with a 591-yard monster, where the ideal tee shot is to the right on a left dogleg, the second shot must avoid two lakes connected by a narrow stream, and the green is guarded by trees on both sides with a canal running along the left side.
Afterward you can relax and dine at Wigwam’s patio, which overlooks the Gold and Patriot courses and other facilities. The Wigwam is the only golf resort in the West Valley and the only one in the state to offer three championship courses.
The resort, which opened in 1929, was purchased late in 2009 by a group that includes Valley sports mogul Jerry Colangelo, a former owner of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks. Along with the courses, the resort features 331 guest casitas (each with a secluded patio or balcony), and 72 suites, set among 450 acres of landscaped gardens, towering palm walkways and citrus tree-lined enclaves.
Other facilities include three restaurants, three lounges, two swimming pools, nine tennis courts, a health club, full-service spa, two Jacuzzis, bicycles, business center, beauty salon, massage and special children’s programs. It also has a “Village Green” area, which was built in 2005 near the driving range with a two-acre putting green, garden, fire pits and wine bar where guests gather to relax under the stars and try their hand at a little “night putting.”
To read “The Buzz” on Wigwam’s Patriot Course, please click here.
To read “The Buzz” on Wigwam’s Gold Course, please click here.
It’s “All Things Arizona Golf” from the Arizona Golf Authority.