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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

 

Apache Stronghold

7219 Yds, Par 72, Slope 138, by Tom Doak

Mr Science Reports on a Road Trip:
The QOG and I played Apache Stronghold, finally. We both think it will be a great overnight trip for the group. She also wants Mrs. T, Cactus & Mrs Cactus to come and play in her foursome. (Good luck, Cactus!)

The course is not in great shape now, but the potential is obvious. The greens are bentgrass, like Troon North and Boulders, very soft, fast, and smooth except for a few blemishes due to harsh weather this summer. The fairways are Bermuda, which is just going dormant now. They haven't overseeded in the past, but have marked out the areas to do so this year. In September it should be in tip-top shape, though dormant Bermuda is very playable, just not green colored.

It's about 7 degrees cooler than the Valley. We started at 12:30 Saturday and 10:20 Sunday to avoid the morning chill I played in just a golf shirt (and long pants). The high was almost 60 both days.

The course has a lot of the characteristics of the mountain courses I like, like Stoneridge. The view from the back tee on 18 is fantastic. You can see forever in every direction. I played from 6500 yards, the Apache tees. The Chieftan's are 6077. There's Warrior tees at 7007 and the Stronghold tees at 7519.

The first hole is 661 from the tips, and it's not downhill at all, perhaps a tiny bit uphill near the green. Even on the holes that are not uphill or downhill, the fairways are anything but flat. Almost every hole has a wash running across it, and some of them are definitely a problem.

The par-3 17th is 198 from the Apache tees, and the first 175 is one huge unplayable lie, ending in a 20-foot high cliff.

On Saturday, I birdied the 18th. 432 yards from an elevated tee with a cross bunker in the middle of the fairway. I flew the cross bunker (250 yard carry), and had 102 to the center for my approach. Made a 12-footer for the bird. Holes like that are why mountain golf is fun for me.

The package deal is $155 now, but was $129 in the summer. That includes one motel room, two greens fees with carts, two dinners in the casino buffet, two lunches, two buckets of range balls, and two sleeves of logo balls.

We could play it twice
, like we did. Drive out in the morning, play in the afternoon, and then again the next morning and drive back. Or, we could play somewhere in the Southeast valley (maybe Las Sendas, or Gold Canyon) in the morning, drive in the afternoon and play the next morning. The drive is interesting too, through Queen Creek canyon, and the mining towns of Superior, Miami, and Globe. The Sleeping Beauty mine is in Globe, that's where all the QOG's turquoise jewelry is from.

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