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Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Trilogy at Power Ranch

6740 Yds, Par 71, Slope 128, by Dick Bailey


They Say, "Eighteen holes of spectacular Arizona championship golf meander their way through the cleansed desert of the Queen Creek wash, following with every turn the subtle elevation changes of the area. The par-71 Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch located in the southeast Phoenix Valley was designed by golf course architect Dick Bailey and stretches over 6,700 yards.
Natural undulations and strategically placed mounding combine with Trilogy's natural setting to create a golf course that is able to both challenge the accomplished player and accommodate the novice. Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch offers a collection of golf shots as full of trepidation as they are drama, and challenges the player to utilize the imagination, in addition to nearly every club in the bag.
Surrounded by breathtaking vistas of the San Tan Range and Superstition Mountains, Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch sits among many of Arizona's most notable landmarks. Trilogy Golf Club offers solid golf course design, consistently outstanding conditions including some of Gilbert's truest greens, and animated guest service. The golf course and clubhouse, featuring fine fare at the Lantana Grill, are both complementing components of the recreational amenities of the residential resort golf community developed by Shea Homes."

The Arizona Traditions is the only other Dick Bailey course I have played, that I know of, but dang, his name seems so familiar . . . we liked Power Ranch much more than that other course, especially the back 9, The front9 could be very much like the Arizona Traditions, not a very memorable course.

Suddenly, on #13 we were reminded we were on a Golf course: that Par 5 was laying cross-wind, which made the undulating, narrower-than-usual? fairway seem tiny, with 100 yds of trash obscuring our view of the landing area. So confused, I naturally had to dunk one into the brush, before hammering a heel-pull left of the large mounds on that side of the fairway. Then I gravitated a 5iron off the backside of a mound so sweetly that if I'd known it was going to be so sweet, I'd a hit a 5wood instead and made the green. My half-wedge approach went right over the pin, but ontop on the second tier. It took a cautious 2-putt to salvage my virtual par.

Meanwhile Mr Science scorched his drive up the right side, then laid up short in a typical Mr Science fashion a dozen or two yds short of the green; from there, 'twas but a simple up-and-down (he does it so often) for birdie.

#14 has about an 85 degree dog-leg left -- so severe that from the tee we couldn't imagine what was in front of us. Our playing companions cautioned about water separating the landing area from the green-side fairway, but they weren't sure how far it was, so it was all hit-and-hope. I hit my best drive (my only good drive of the day) down the rightside of the fairway, away from the water, and 160 yds from the middle-of-the-green. Mr Science was in Position A, 130 yds or so. I hit a 6 iron sorta solid, but the toe caught in the turf, the club face stayed open, and I hit a high fade that I lost in the haze. Mr Science hashed up his 8iron and came up a little too short this time, and he couldn't get up and down. My ball had stayed on the green, but wound up 37 ft past the hole on the front of the green, downhill at least 2 feet, on a lower tier of the green. But the line was clear to me, in the odd way it happens sometimes, and it was clear to everybody that my putt was going in for a bird as soon as it made the turn downhill, a break of at least 7 ft.

#15 is a medium-length par 3 -- all I can remember is my relief at making an 8 ft bogey putt. Mr Science, too.

#16, a long par 4, the #2 handicap hole, has a large natural preserve -- that's what they call them these days apparently -- guarding the green, which is very deceiving as to it's size and orientation because of that natural area, which is fortified on the greenside by a short bulkhead. I barely got over the first natural area by the tee, then laid up short of the second, leaving @150 yds. Then I hit a solid 7iron right of the pin, but I scuffed my texas wedge, and left too much to save bogey. Mr Science had hit a good drive again, but his approach lacked trajectory, let us say, and came up short in The Moat, as he dubbed it. Still, with one foot on a concrete step and the bulkhead a yard in front, he still managed to pop up onto the green and 2putt for a bogey.

That's the difference between our handicaps, I hit bad shots, but was never in trouble, and still made double, while Mr Science hit good shots, but wound up in trouble, but still made bogey . . .

#17 is a fairly long par 5 that has a rounded, elevated fairway with sloping shoulders, but the green seemed to be the major obstacle, hard to get on and difficult to putt, being steeply inclined, tiered, and mounded, itself. The fairway bends way around left, tempting one to cut the corner, but there's the rub: bushes, trees, swales, and natural areas intrude all up and down that inside left side. Bogeys for both of us, scratching around without hitting good shots.

#18 is a short enough par 4 that it ought not be too challenging, with a large landing area , but the water hazard intrudes further into the fairway than most here in Arizona. Neither of us got off the tee that well, hitting into the wind onto a landing area that slopes back uphill from below the tee. We both had 200 yds over the water. From his angle, Mr Science had all carry and a sticky lie, so he laid up. I tho't I might sorta layup and gofor it all at the same time by hitting my 1iron rather than my balky 3-or-5-woods and aim left of the green away from the water. So I did but I put such a slice banana on it I was sure it was wet. I didn't see a splash or a abounce, but Mr Science said with a odd kind of peevish amazement "Your on the Green!" I made no pretence of competence, but it was a sweet result, a good miss. Somehow he mangled his up and down and wound up with double-bogey. My 45 ft uphill putt was straight uphill, once I ignored the triple breaks I was reading, but I left it short for a kick-in par.

I had a bunch of missed birdies, at least 4 of them makeable, under 10 ft -- 2 or 3 others wound up being 3putt bogeys -- my favorite thing in the whole world! . . . 8^P. . . but the one that almost ruined my round was on the very first hole. After hitting a shakey toe-hook a respectable distance out in the middle of the fairway, I hit an arrow-like one-liner 7iron to 8ft below the hole . . . even tho' it was going to slide on me some, I felt very confident, but then, one of our playing companions, a sandle-wearing, cigar chomping, senile old beazer stood right on my line making his tap-in bogey -- I mean the big shlub stood on my line contemplating his little knee-knocker, till it looked like Sasquatch had been rutting around the pin. Freaked out - I tried to putt-thru the depressions, but that just meant I missed by 5 ft, and missed the comebacker.

I was so upset, I mangled the next hole too, a short par 4 with no apparent hazards. I guess that's another differennce in our handicaps: somethings bother Mr Science, but it rarely affects his game . . . but it does mine, more often. Still, I managed to keep pace better with him this round, and avoided the big numbers in the middle of my round, even when my driving was wretched. 41-46=87 for me, with 5 pars and a birdie; 40-45 for Mr Science, with 4 pars and a birdie. I loved the greens here, but Mr Science was too unhappy with his putting stats to put a good word in for them.

Not a great course, but a very entertaining back 9 in the same vein as a Brian Whitcombe course.

They gave us coupons for lunch, unexpectedly, and the burger was very good. My brekky sandy was pretty good too, the only criticism I would have made was that it was made with scrambled eggs instead of a fried egg, but, hey! I know some people prefer scrambled . . . Coffee was good, too.

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