A superb clubhouse and range with the awesome backdrop of the Superstitions can't mask the fact that you feel more like an outsider at a private club than a valued customer at a high-end public course. No one was at the poorly marked bag drop when we arrived. At least the staff was helpful and polite.
Pace of Play
Not quite glacialit was a Saturday morning in high season, after allbut nearly five hours is way too slow. We saw only one ranger, near the 11th green, who, when asked about the pace, said that he'd identified the problem group and "things should pick up." We waited on every shot the rest of the round.
The course is a bomber's paradise, with lots of wide-open tee shots, but the individual holes aren't terribly memorable. It was, however, in amazing condition, with immaculate fairways and skating rink-fast greens, the latter of which undoubtedly contributed to the slow play.
Compared to Scottsdale's trophy courses, this is fairly priced, though hardly a bargain. True, it's maintained like a Tour course, the views are outstanding and there are plenty of Nicklaus signature design touches to satisfy. But the rates make this "special occasion," not a multiple play.
You'll need to refill the gas tank if you're driving from North Scottsdale, and the vibe still oozes exclusive private club, which it was until 2010. Still, this course summoned greatness from Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa, both of whom won twice here.