Sanctuary Golf Course

Director of Golf: Chris Johnson
Course Superintendent: Paul Schieffer
Course Architect: Randy Heckenkemper
Par 71 – 6624 yards from the tips
Slope/Rating:  71.7/135; 69.1/125; 67.2/115; 68.1/118; 61.5/104
10690 E. Sheena Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85259

Central to Scottsdale, the eco friendly, Sanctuary Golf Course at Westworld, marked their 10th year with a new director and updates to the course. Fresh trimming improved teebox views in this lush setting, nestled below the McDowell Mountains with Camelback in the distance. Fragrant desert flora and a variety of fauna abound.

The course was designed by Randy Heckenkemper and built under the regulations of the Audubon International Institute. It is a true sanctuary for birds, golfers and birdies, if you’re lucky. The birds are evident as roadrunners greet you next to the water habitat between the clubhouse and ample practice facilities. Even on a cold, windy day, golfers were abundant. It is very women friendly as evidenced by the number of gals registering, ladies leagues on both Tuesday and Wednesday, female instructor Kay Kennedy and amenities in the powder room. The men’s league should be restarting soon and don’t worry, it was a steady pace of play, right at 4 hours for a challenging round of risk/reward golf on a busy course.

As for birdies if you’re lucky, hole number 5, at 69 yards from the ladies tee serves up as much luck as you will find on any course. But, the celebration can be quickly stifled on the next tough hole.

All the greens are fast, expansive and bring new meaning to the word undulations. Great finesse is helpful for long unpredictable rolls, making course knowledge a real premium.  Membership pricing makes it affordable to play over and over to gain that knowledge. Only 3 are left, but the public is welcome to play repeatedly at reasonable rates and will want to do so. Bunkers have been upgraded with care, if you are a beach hitter.

Sanctuary made the finishing hole a lasting memory with a desert wash that separates the fairway on another dogleg.  It demands a solid drive down the middle as bunkers guard the right side and the left side is a haven for lost ball seekers. The uphill elevation changes make up for the seemingly short yardage, so an ending par score is a real parting victory.

Chris Johnson is the new director, bringing lots of experience and creativity, such as the Friday night “Wine Down”.  From 5-8, enjoy live entertainment, $5 wine and $2-3 drafts. Reservations are recommended due to popularity. James Dumek was one of the friendliest and informative starters we ever encountered. Susan was on the spot with beverage service. In cold play, try hot spiced apple cider. Swing juice of choice can be added as desired.

Carts have updated software showing realistic layouts and distances. Players’ carts ahead are colored red if reachable and the onscreen menu allows for order pickup at the turn.  If only it could determine adjustments for wind changes!

Check the website or call for menus, tee times, and specials in this beautiful setting. All the employees are happy and cordial. Why not? They work in a sanctuary!

Written by Danny and Alice Scott, Couple of Travelers and founders of Butthead Covers, Inc.

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