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Saturday, April 15, 2006


Dobson Ranch

6712 Yds, Par 72, Slope 123, by Gary Panks


They Say: Dobson Ranch Golf Course is an 18-hole championship golf course featuring mature landscaping and large greens. Twice voted Best Public Golf Course by readers of a popular Valley entertainment guide, golfers appreciate the excellent course condition and playability.

[Can you believe that's the picture they use to advertise themselves?]

This'd be more like the low-end Muni efforts by Gary Panks, than the more exotic opportunities he has had. It's still a nice course, similar in condition to Apache Creek, and almost as flat, but with tons more trees and no desert transition areas . . . a park-style course in the old Phoenix mold.

The Clubhouse complex deserves mention: it is huge, with several outbuildings, including one for club repair (I couldn't tell if it was ever open); the driving range is also rather commodious; there are two practice greens, and if the whole course was a lush as this area, it would be a very fine resort facility. The Ranch House Restaurant and Bar which serves the golf course instead of the caddy-shack kind of operation was a little strange, full of antiques and bric-a-brac like it'd been decorated by a bunch of little old ladies, but the corned beef hash was mighty tasty and my old club in Houston had a piano bar, so, who is to say what's right?

But despite being suitably fortified and "warmed up" by playing the day before at Apache Creek, I couldn't get started well playing consistent until the 8th hole, from there on out, I had 7 pars; something about shortening my backswing and swinging under control, I guess. I wound up with a 52-44=96. Which didn't feel great, but a heckuva lot better than the daylong torture the day before. Note that back 9 is 500 yds shorter than the front nine, tho'.

Mr. Science Reminisces: Another good round, overall, but much less consistent. Better ball-striking even than yesterday, but the putting was lacking. I arrived at the 18th tee having made 10 pars and one birdie, but 6 over par and thinking I was 5 over. 65 yards from the pin in 2 on the par-5 18th, needing to get up and down to, I thought, again equal my best. 55 yards from the pin in 3, thinking I can still break 80 even with a double bogey. Shot 80.

Yeah, I remember that last hole. While Mr. Science floundered there, I finished strong. Condition-wise this course has it all over the other Phoenix-area Munis, but that doesn't make it a better golf course than Cave Creek, Aguilera, or Papago.

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