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Monday, October 02, 2006


Cimarron Sun City Grande

6809 Yds, Par 72, Slope 123, by Greg Nash . . .
They Say: "The 18-hole "Cimarron" course at the Cimarron Golf Club facility in Surprise, Arizona features all the hallmarks of Arizona golf for a par of 72. The course rating is 71.3 and it has a slope rating of 123 on . Designed by Greg H. Nash, ASGCA, the Cimarron golf course opened in 2003."
They say not much. It is surreal how hard it is to find any information on Cimarron or any other Sun City Grande course -- and I won't be adding much. If you were to compare it to some of Greg Nash's other notable designs (such as Gold Canyon, Superstition Springs, and Los Caballeros) one might be hard pressed to say kind things about Cimarron -- which everyone says is the best course in SCG. My issue instead is that I played so horribly I am uncomfortable critiquing the course -- it would be like the 7 blind men describing an elephant.
I could say that I tho't it was very well done, luxuriant and lush in a non-threatening, entertaining Panksian way: no rough, manicured desert areas, slightly elevated greens and tees, wide & flat fairways . . . but not dull . . . it may even be that this apparent easiness is a McKinsian deception:
like the huge green for the short par 4 #1, to which I came up short, that made for a very testy up and down from the fairway;
and the canny # 2 par 4 green, with a large trap guarding the whole left side of the green and the back and right sides of the green making Pine Hurst style swale chipping areas -- I'd pulled my drive left into some moguls, then my approach to a left pin ballooned from my mogully launch pad and fell short into that bunker, since I was trying to avoid those swales, which I wound up visiting anyway when my shot out of the bunker rolled over the green;
I steer-jobbed a smother hook on the par 5 # 3 into the water in front of the tee, then made a virtual par;
I 3-jacked the par 3 #4 from the wrong tier on the skinny green;
I made an impressive par on the long par 4 #5; but . . .
my l-o-n-g toe-hit drive on the par 5 #6 found a trap up in the first dogleg -- that didn't worry me padre, I bin in the sand before -- but I felt something pop in my right elbow when I came out of the trap . . . I got good yardage, and had roughly the same as my playing partners left to the very elevated and bunkered green, a very comfortable 7iron distance, but I fell apart on the downswing, not from pain, just more like my funny bone had gone off . . . double bogeys there on out.
It wasn't till later that I realized that my flying right elbow simply couldn't handle the stress of my normal swing anymore . . . indeed on #14, I think, where I was trying to cozy up a half-5iron to a front pin position that the seed of recognition began to germinate: I absolutely pureed that 5iron by keeping that right elbow close for the half-shot and it went 3 clubs long. A fabulous chip, a brave downhill near-miss for par, and then a missed 10 ft come-backer, made it a double bogey.
Long Story Short (as if that were still possible) my impression was that it was a solid 3. No way is this a candidate for The Best Course in Phoenix, but a 100+ round on that course really denies one the authority for an opinion . . . and I think there are dozens of "architectural touches" on this course that make it very interesting.
The most aggravating thing about the course is how it shuts down so early. . . we teed off at 11 am, and there was hardly a soul left on the course, just a few grinders hammering away on the range . . . the snack shop was still open then, but by the time we made the turn it was buttoned up, so no more ice, no gatorade, no nuthin'. If one of our players hadn't lived on the back 9 I'm sure we would have been found, bones bleaching in the sun, somewhere.
The most amusing thing about the course is the floor in the rest room, a trompe le tile that looks like grassy rough, except for the white grout.

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