Arizona's spectacular, once-private Seven Canyons is open to the masses
Seven Canyons Sedona, Ariz. 6,746 yards, par 70 Green fees: $50-$125 928-203-2001 sevencanyons.com Behold, a victory for the 99 percent. Seven Canyons drew raves when it debuted in 2002. The pairing of Tom Weiskopf's deft design skills with the high-desert, red-rock canvas of Sedona, Arizona, resulted in a palette of incomparable golf.
But for most of its existence the stunning backdrops were reserved for the fortunate few, with memberships costing up to $175,000. The economy, however, has forced several private courses to open their doors to more golfers and more revenue, and you can now play Weiskopf's dazzling design for as little as $50.
It's a steal. Located two hours north of Phoenix, Seven Canyons is tightly packed into a small parcel at 4,600 feet, amid 300 feet of elevation change. As such, the emphasis is on shotmaking. Any frustration from the occasional layup is mitigated by artfully placed bunkers, imaginative green complexes, and the Coconino National Forest's visual splendor.
Of the four par 3's, the 175-yard fourth crystallizes the course's virtues the best: elevation changes (a three-story drop), bold bunkering, fair-but-fiendish greens and a panorama of jagged red mesas and spires. For fans of shotmaking and majestic scenery, Seven Canyons is a perfect 10.
(Photo: George Fuller)