Course Spy: Trilogy GC at Vistancia

Teen phenom Ryo Ishikawa, posing here with President Clinton and Geoff Ogilvy, was Norman's other surprising pick.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia
Peoria, Arizona
7,291 yards, par 72
Green fees: $45-$129
623-328-5100
trilogygolfclub.com/vistancia

Service
Attentive without being overbearing. A well-attended bag drop, friendly pro shop personnel and conversant outside service staff instill the right vibe. A shout-out to Amber, the voice of Trilogy's radio ads, who dishes out a tasty B-B-Q sandwich with a healthy dose of charm at the turn.

Pace of Play
We managed to buzz around the course in a brisk four hours and fifteen minutes, which is a pretty impressive clip for a Sunday-morning round during high season, especially on a course that features a number of longish cart rides between holes.

Quality
This 2004 Gary Panks design in northwest Phoenix opened as a striking, prairie-style layout with tall grasses and dramatic mountain views. Today, it's scruffier and hemmed in by houses, but it remains a fair, fun test, loaded with beefy par 4s and a classic risk/reward, watery par-5 closer.

Value
We paid $79 on a weekend morning, a price that had us happy before a shot was struck. Sure, the course doesn't stand up to the genuine trophy courses in the Phoenix/ Scottsdale area, but there was no sticker shock with our green fees, either.

Verdict
The readers of one golf publication rated this track five stars out of five, on a par with Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes and Bethpage Black. This is delusion bordering on insanity. However, as a diversion to spring-training baseball, Trilogy at Vistancia hits a stand-up double.

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