Squire / Hawk, 6085 Yds, Par 68,
by Arnold Palmer
They Say: "Located in north central Scottsdale, Starfire at Scottsdale Country Club offers beautiful views of the McDowell Mountains as players wind through the 27 holes lined with many mature eucalyptus, pine and cottonwood trees. The "King" Nine was designed by Arnold Palmer and opened in 1988. Palmer also redesigned the Squire and Hawk nines making them more challenging with bunkers and water hazards coming into play on 13 holes."
King - #8 - a challenging 205 yard par 3, well bunkered and surrounded by water.
Hawk- #9 - a sporty narrow 339 yard par 4 that requires a combination of distance and accuracy to score well.
Squire #5 - At 175 yards, this hole is a modest but tricky Par 3 over water with bunkers left and mounds right.
No driving range, a harried staff, over-booked t-times, possibly . . . not what one's mind's eye sees when one thinks of Scottsdale Country Club course designed by Arnold Palmer . . . there were 7 par 3s on the course combination we played. Another course that has struggled with growing pains since it original development, trying to keep up with longer distances, and so there are holes where a tee juts out uncomfortably into the path of another hole.
Several of the par 3s are 200+ yds, but the par 5s are short and so are most of the par 4s. The Hawk had been shaved down, in preparation for over-
seeding, so I could get my roll . . . had 2 300 yd drives, on #3 and #9, but didn't score well . . .
I think I was off my rhythm, since we teed off at 12:30 instead of early morning . . . I didn't eat any lunch, and so I felt weak and light-headed at times. Mrs Cactus and I do have an apple together on the 10th hole each round, and then split a bottle of shampoo for the last 6 holes, but, sustenance-wise, that's not enough, is it?
Although we played with a charming Englishman (been here 18 years, via California), and we had a bit of a laff the whole day while we waited on tees, it still was sort of an ordeal . . after last weekend's low score, I just felt like I ought to break 80 easily on such a course -- and of course, Mr Science ALWAYS feels that way . . . 8^D. . . but we didn't . . . we missed fairways, we missed greens, and we missed putts.
Mr Science finished up with an 79 and I had an 83, each with one birdie. I got mine on Hawk #3 after my 300 yd drive, just chipped up a 7 iron a club-length away and then tapped in. on #9, that extra 20 yds to the green meant I came up 8 more feet short, and missed the birdie, dangit.
The most notable hole on Hawk is #7 . . . I wisht I'd realized where we were cuz I definitely remembered screwing this hole up before . . . you can't see the water around the dogleg, and if you drift right on your drive -- and there are trees looming over the tee from the left, that sorta pushes your shot to the right -- then you have a very difficult 2nd shot over the water to a penninsula green. I did go right, so far right I was in a rut in the rough, so I laid up, then skipped a half-9 over the water; took 3 to get down, double bogey . . . grumble, grumble, grumble.
Mr Science had cut the corner too sharply, then chunked his 2nd into the water; double-bogey for him, too. . . grumble, grumble, grumble.
We just think that if we knew ahead of time about the water, we'd position our drives better.
Squire #7 is sort of a similar hole -- straightaway, but a big water hazard in the middle of the fairway, about 230 out from the tee, with big trees hanging over the right side of the tee, this time. There's some kinda sign there talking about the traditions to respect with this hole, which used to be #1 on the old course, but you really don't have any option there but to fade a long iron out short of the water. Naturally I used a 3 wood, and pulled it straight left into a tree. I laid up short of the water, playing strategically, then tactically pureed a perfect wedge over the green into the bunker. Double bogey.
Mr Science pulled his 3iron, too, but with a little fade, then caught a perfect bounce off the mounds in the left rough, back out into middle of the fairway. Ordinarily from there I'd figger him for a morale certainty for a birdie, but he settled for par.
Not too much to say nor to remember about the rest of the holes.