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Sunday, December 17, 2006


Wigwam Red Course

6852 Yds, Par 72, Slope 126, by Red Lawrence


They Say: "Golf at The Wigwam is a truly classic experience. This Arizona treasure was established in the 1930s, a time when golf courses did not get built through dense housing developments, and certainly not with tight, target fairways. At the Wigwam, the golf courses have remained at the top of the list. This jewel of the desert is among the Southwest’s last remaining golf resorts built for a pure golf experience. Canals, streams and lakes cascade through the journey. The shadows cast on greens and bunkers are from majestic parkland trees, not multi-story resort buildings. Steeped in tradition, The Wigwam’s three 18-hole championship golf courses offer a diversity that cannot be matched by any other Arizona resort. Here, the golf enthusiast has their pick of not just one or two courses, but three 18-hole courses — 54 holes of championship golf including two courses designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones, Sr. And, in true Wigwam style, each course —The Gold, The Blue and The Red — offers a unique challenge that adds spice and variety to one’s stay at this timeless and relaxing retreat. For guests that truly love the game of golf, The Wigwam features a variety of golf packages to entice every traveler, from family getaways to golf-intensive buddy trips."

On a windy day I discovered that if I tape two fingers together on my injured hand, I can play better on my full-strokes. After a while, I was striping my drives well enough that our playing companions became interested in my unique swing -- rather like an aeronautical engineer's interest in How a BumbleBee can actually fly. I still had no short-game touch, wound up with a 46-48=94, while Mr Science slipped to a 38-43=81 . . . that back 9 IS a little tough, especially with the wind we had.

This is an "Old Phoenix" resort, much like Camelback: this course, one of 3, is not too challenging and park-style, rather than desert style. It used to be the West Course, since it seems like it is 18 miles west of the clubhouse, but apparently has been renamed -- as an afterthought -- after the architect Red Lawrence. The scorecard mentions that he designed the first desert style course (Santa Rita in Tucson (?)), but if he did, he didn't apply any of that knowledge here. He DID design the Championship course at UNM, which by all accounts is noteworthy.

We had gotten a good deal on our round, a large price break thru an internet booking -- they seem inordinately proud of their resort -- the breakfast buffet is $28, so I had to settle for some micro-waved black-bean chili at the halfway house actually on the Red Course . . . not to-o-o-o bad, but no more noteworthy than the course itself.

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