An efficient checkin and start, and the beverage-cart didn't go AWOL. When we needed a restaurant recommendation after the round, a staffer leaving for the evening helped by tracking down a local resident who could assist us.
PACE OF PLAY
Our twosome kept up a roadrunner's pace for eight holes until we ran into a wall of foursomes. But this is a rapid-play layout with wide fairways, so little time is wasted looking for balls. Plus, you can drive right up to your ball.
Fairways and greens were ideal for early December, but lush conditions ruled out the run-up shots the architects intended. There are enough strategic choices to make you think, but the course lacks any real drama.
Though absent the thrills of other top Scottsdale courses, Talking Stick is not as costly, either. We paid $91 on a Saturday afternoon and got our money's worth. It's a steal in summer at $40 on the weekend.
You'd expect more "wow" moments for the peak greens fee of $175, but Talking Stick North delivers a sufficiently solid experience. Most visitors won't feel too shortchanged, but they won't be sprinting back to the starter either.