The Talon course at the Grayhawk Golf Club (which also hosts the ranked Raptor course) is a public display of design skill from two underrated members of the golf community, architect Gary Panks and two-time Major winner David Graham. The property offered the duo unique landforms to work with, from which they derived a number of unique short holes that will linger on players’ minds.
The most-photographed of the bunch is the par three No. 11. It will be worth playing from the back tees for many (175 yards) for that will grant you the opportunity to walk across the swinging bridge to the back teebox, which is built up within a box canyon, to play across a desert expanse to a green that has also been built up.
The theme of box canyons and their impact on course architecture continues during the back nine, including No. 13, where players will experience either “Heaven or Hell,” as the hole title suggests. At just 305 yards, players may find the former if they successfully gun for the green across this Cape-ish box canyon...or they may experience the latter if that decision proves brash.
This is a great course and well maintained. Not a terribly challenging course but it is not an easy course.
The Talon course at Grayhawk is not quite as good as The Raptor although there is not much to choose between them. The course runs over similar terrain but I feel it’s a little more scenic than T. As you expect the conditioning is excellent with lush fairways and firm fast greens. The Talon is more demanding from the tee than The Raptor but this is more of illusion as the landing areas are pretty generous. The front nine is good but not quite as much fun as the back nice which has more of a risk and reward element about it. None more so than hole 13 named “Heaven or Hell” a short par 4 which if the player finds the fairway its a good opportunity to make birdie but if they miss reloading is advised! Hole 17 names “Devils Drink” seems pretty innocuous at only 130 odd yards but with a bit of wind finding this island green is not a shoe in. One thing that stands out when comparing the courses is the bunkering around The Talon which is more severe and the greens which have more ledges or tiers…this is real test of the players short game. As with The Raptor its worth playing when in the area and the staff and facilities are hard to beat.