A large number of courses in Arizona are built with future real estate developments and Flagstaff Ranch is no exception. That said, it benefits from a paucity of Ponderosa Pines, which block the majority of homes from distracting players on the fairway.
The one notable exception is at the par three No. 7, where the green — placed beside an irrigation pond — also sits right next to the entrance of the real estate complex. Keep your wits about you when teeing off, lest your splashdown become the joke of the neighborhood! It’s one of just a few water hazards along the route, with a larger lake challenging players upon approach to the final putting surface at No. 18, a 540-yard par five.
A more natural water hazard comes in the creek that runs between the fairways at Nos. 10 and 13. Those who stay toward the center of the fairway on these holes should be safe...but many of us find that easier said than done, especially with an attractive creek in the corner of our eye.
Flagstaff Ranch is a full loop, not returning to the clubhouse until No. 18. Pack accordingly!
The central theme of Flagstaff Ranch is the connection to the beautiful terrain that makes up the greater Flagstaff area. The ponderosa pines frame many of the holes and the layout works through them with a mixed bag of different type holes.
Yes, there's adjacent housing in certain spots but, thankfully, it's more the exception than the rule.
Some of the fairway corridors can get a bit narrower than many might like. The green complexes are also a mixed assortment but nothing is moving the needle in terms of groundbreaking innovation.
Yes, there are a few holes of note but the golf is more on the lite side.
Those coming to the Flagstaff area and seeking noted layouts had best see if an invite to Forrest Highlands or Pine Canyon can be placd on one's respective dance card.
M. James Ward