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Thursday, October 05, 2006


Lone Tree

Par 71, Yds 6894, Slope 120


They Say: "Nestled within the serene setting of the San Tan Mountains, Lone Tree Golf Club is an Arizona golf course that offers one of the East Valley`s finest golf experiences—at an affordable price.
Lush desert landscaping, southwestern mountain vistas and sparkling water features create the perfect backdrop for your golf outing and make Lone Tree Golf Club one of the finest Arizona golf courses.
Lone Tree Golf Club, designed by architect Darryl Wilson of the CMX Group, opened in January of 2001. This semi-private, traditional style course makes the perfect setting for Arizona golf vacations and features five holes with water, one with an island green. Lone Tree Golf Club`s beautiful landscaping and natural surroundings rival that of many Phoenix golf courses and has four sets of tees and tiff dwarf grass overseeded with rye."

Engineering, golf course design married at CMX
The Business Journal of
Phoenix - September 25, 1998

Special To The Business Journal
Darrell Wilson used to play golf every day, but he doesn't have time to putt around anymore. He's busy designing golf courses for CMX Sports, a division of
Group Inc.
of Phoenix. Wilson in 1992 joined CMX Group, a top civil engineering and construction management firm, as a partner. A civil engineer himself, he heads up the golf course design, master-planned community and project management arm of the business, which has quickly become a major growth element for the company.
"We provide both engineering and golf course design in-house for public and private sector clients," Wilson said. "I'm not aware of another company anywhere that has married the two together. That makes us unique in the eyes of our customers and also allows us to meet their needs successfully."

We teed off around 1pm . . . I got a very rare hamburger (yech) and Mr Science got to hit some balls in semi-temperate climes, this time, y'know, around 100 . . . even tho' the whole place seemed shell-shocked from some tournament just wrapping up . . . I don't know who it was but they left plastic-tipped cigars all over the place and seemed to have never fixed a divot nor a ball-mark.

But if he's warm enough, nothing bothers Mr Science, he shot a 40-39=79, with 14 pars; I had a 50-41=91, with 6 pars. We were playing with a couple of old fellers a little battle-fatigued, themselves, even on the first tee, from the hubbub around the club house. . . "We play here all the time. It's never like this," they said, "not at any of the courses here along the main drag."

Like fabled characters from Wodehouse, they foozled, lost balls, became confused, wasted time. One took more time to hoist himself out of the cart, catch his breath, then return to his cart than he did hitting the ball each time. The other would pick up his ball -- when they found it -- and examine it like a Hassidic Jeweler, a very odd pre-shot routine. So they were slow.

By the 6th hole we were two holes behind. That IS a tough hole: very long with an extremely elevated green. The old boys had spent several lifetimes over in the left rough, fairway bunkers, and desert area, and finally wound up on the left backside of that green, trying to pitch up on top and hold it on the top tier, too.

I had a 6 on that hole, partially because of the hole, but also because of the heinous exhibition of golf we were forced to watch. Shrudd-dd-dd-dd-dder. They were both in double digits.

As we were driving over to #7, the Marshal showed up -- rather some kid from the pro shop, urging us to hurry it up.

"Tell it to our partners" I said out of the corner of my mouth. They were just now driving around the backside of the green back to the cart path.

When this Enforcer saw that, he shrieked in his little girl voice, "You tell them to pick up the pace, and, AND, not to drive within 30 yards of any tees, traps, or greens. If I see them out there again, I'll take away their cart keys and they can walk the back 9 . . . and I don't think they'd like that very much!" Then the little pissant wheeled a 180 and drove off.

Well, these guys had gotten inside my head, but I tho't that was a little out-a-line. But I just jumped up and teed off without looking out at #7 too much, l-o-n-g, flat, straightaway par 4 with water and sand all the way down the right side -- plenty of room on the left, but 3 of us wound up in a giant trap right next to the water, and the 4th over just short of that trap by the water. Mr Science & I waited somewhat impatiently while the old boys cut donuts out in the fairway, doing god-knows-what, till suddenly they raced up to where we were and said "Is that my ball?"

"Yep" Mr Science managed to gargle. He managed to hit a good 3iron out of the trap just short-left of the green, but I caught the lip coming out, then overclubbed to the back of the green which left me a 3putt. I blame that double-bogey on our dilatory companions and the rude pencilneck from the proshop. Mr science hit what we all tho't was a pro shot, but he said later he didn't take it high enough. It curled about 8 feet below the pin, and he missed the par putt.

On the par 3 #8, impatient and frustrated, we didn't suss-out the distance correctly, misguided by the scorecard and the lack of a yardage marker on that tee, so we all came up short in the swale in front of the green. I bladed my wedge over the green for a double-bogey, but Mr Science calmly lobbed up a yard from the hole and tapped in.

I couldn't see anything but a red haze by this time . . . I like to play fast as slow as I can, if you see what I mean, but this chinese torture was exactly that opposite: play slow as fast as you can. So I topped my drive about 75 yds, then hit a massive recovery shot 3 wood with a bit o'hook on it . . . would a been better with a bit o'slice on it . . . wound up on a gravelly hill that partially hides the water hazard from you on the second shot. I was brimming still with aggro confidence, just needed a half 5-iron off the gravel, over the water, onto the little tongue of green sticking out into the lake there, nothing but cup . . . never did find that ball, tho' I could swear I saw it bounce . . . there's water on the other side of the spit of land on the other side of the water left of the green. I think that's where it went.

Mr Science meanwhile had split the fairway with his drive, then confidently stroked his 3wood to the neck of the dogleg around the lake . . . he meant to fade it away from the water, but it took a tidy little draw instead then followed the contour of the fairway on around the corner. . . he couldn't have had more than 50 yards to the green, but he had to play to the middle-back of the green away from the bunkers and water, and he had 25 ft for his birdie. So we have to realize what a good score par is on that hole, especially with the pin where it was. Tough hole.

I managed to slow my swing down enough on #10 to clout a good drive, then almost hit a good second shot that rolled back off the front of the green into a swale. Mr Science was 12 ft away in two, so we lolled on our putters and watched the old boys ride around the fairway for a while, foozle a shot, the ride around some more. I finally got tired of waiting and chipped up and backhanded my par putt.

We both parred the next two holes, including the island green # 12. Would be a hairy hole in a crosswind, but with a little breeze behind us (I'll bet that's why that approach on # 10 came up short!), all we had to do was lob the ball up in the air at the green.

Here the old boys called it quits. We shook hands and said farewell, and I think everyone was glad. They said they were tired, but they mighta just run out of balls on the island green. Dunno.

I bogeyed the l-o-n-g par 4 #13. After a pop-up drive, I hit a sparkling 5wood that turned out too long, windblown over the green into the huge mounds in back, not for the first nor the last time that day. The only thing about it, was how many sprinkler heads/valve covers there were around the green . . . not just one here and there, but in clusters of 3 or 4 around the green, in the fringe. . . I always seemed to be chipping over them or around them from the mounds behind the green.

"You can tell this course was designed by a civil engineer," said Mr Science, not without some appreciation.

"You know God is a civil engineer, don't you?" I asked Mr Science.


"Who else," I explained, "would put a sewage line through a recreation area?"

The other holes were all entertaining, in a sort of over-planned-with-glitches way, over-engineered, I mean, to complement the neighborhood, with golf as a secondary concern . . . we liked the course, but . . .

we especially liked #17, another l-o-n-g par 4 with an elevated green and trouble all down the right side.

I'm not sure that #18 is the equal of #9, but that might just be because the pin wasn't all the way over on the left. As it was, I foozled my first 3 shots till my stance for 4th shot was as close the water as you could still hit a ball from. I totally pureed my 7iron from about 155, I tho't it might be over the green, even against the wind, it had such a pro trajectory, but it landed just on the green, right AT the pin, and spun back almost into the water. I had to hit my chip with one foot on the concrete slip a foot below the ball, up a foot from the hole for a tapin bogey. Mr Science had a drive down the middle, a second shot up into the throat of the dogleg again, a pitch to the green, and an easy two-putt par . . . . I don't know how he stays awake, sometimes . . . 8^D. . .

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