The Padre course at the Camelback Resort is technically the older of the two routes at the 36-hole Marriott property, however it plays much newer due to Arthur Hills’s dramatic makeover during the ‘90s (the Ambiente course was added by Arthur Jack Snyder following Red Lawrence’s initial stab at Padre).
The routing at Padre will alone set it apart from the Ambiente: While the latter heads out and back through a narrow passage between real estate developments, the Padre has more room to move about its wider property. Hills also endorsed the ‘90s trend toward more heroic hazards, dotting the landscape with a number of ponds that will add strokes quickly for those with shaky hands.
The most notorious will come at the close to either nine. Players will have a sense of déjà vu as they come back on No. 18, as it shares a pond with No. 9, forcing players to air wide to avoid the drink upon approach. The former hole in the route is a par four, while the latter is a par five.
An entertaining layout that has its moments. Credit the Arthur Hills team in updating the original Red Lawrence design.
The course is routed well -- plenty of directional changes and hole diversity keeping you on your toes.
The short par-4 2nd is done well. The fairway tapers for those seeking to go with the big play from the tee. Those failing to get into the correct position will then face an approach angle that's ably defended by a frontal bunker.
The short par-4 12th is also done well with a somewhat similar presentation.
The four par-5 holes all feature water penalty areas which have to b accounted for. The 9th and 18th run parallel to one another and have water seriously a major concern -- but with varied locations in opposite areas near the respective greens.
Even with these engaging holes -- the layout has a number of pedestrian holes that are merely connectors to get from one part of the property to another.
The issue for the Padre Course is that it delivers on having enough of an interest with several strategic holes. Is the course a fountain of compelling architecture of the highest order? No. That's not present here. keep in mind, the bar for golf in the greater Scottsdale area is among the most competitive in all of the USA. Not every course needs to be at the highest of levels when courses are assessed. The Padre Course has enough fun moments and enough challenge to be worthy of a visit. Going with a balanced framework will certainly enhance the experience when there.
M. James Ward