Arizona Golf Authority AZGA Arizona Golf Course Review: Villa de Paz is a favorite of local veteran players on the west side of Phoenix and has a well-deserved reputation as one of the area’s best value courses.
Designed by Greg Nash, it opened in 1976 and received a makeover in 2002 that enhanced the traditional, parkland-style layout featuring fairways lined with mature eucalyptus trees. Fairways are fairly tight, greens are well bunkered and water features bring water into play on 10 holes.
Level par is 72 at Villa de Paz; three sets of tees are set at 6,641, 6,146 and 5,458 yards with a rating of 70.1 and slope of 123 from the tips. Birdie opportunities abound with four par-4s playing at less than 345 yards from the tips and a nice variety of par-3s at 160, 225, 172 and 236 yards. But with all the water in play here, precision is the key to scoring; leave the grip it and rip it in the trunk of your car.
The ninth hole, a 559-yard par 5 with a dogleg right, is difficult to reach in two because of its length and the green complex, sporting a small putting surface shaped like a lima bean with a large bunker guarding the front-right corner, is best approached with a short iron.
No. 12 is strong par-4 playing at just 370 yards, but cross bunkers in the primary landing area and a lake that starts near the end of the fairway and wraps around the left and behind the green produce a lot of bogeys here.
Villa de Paz saves what may be the toughest par on the course for last. The 4-par 18th is the signature hole and, from the back tee, the dogleg right is a handful at 470 yards. The tee shot must carry a fairway bunker and the approach needs to carry a lake to reach a three-tiered green guarded by a large bunker along the left side.
Villa de Paz offers full practice facilities with a grassed driving range, putting, chipping and bunker areas, and the clubhouse includes a restaurant that serves up breakfast and lunch. It’s not a country club or luxury resort course, but all things considered, Villa de Paz provides a solid layout with plenty of thrills for one of the most reasonable green fees in the Phoenix area.
It’s “All Things Arizona Golf” from the Arizona Golf Authority.