Almost twenty years after he fashioned the Shadow Creek course in Las Vegas, architect Tom Fazio was handed another enormous budget (reputed to be in excess of $200 million) by the Discovery Land development company and asked to turn a nondescript tract of desert landscape into another iconic golf course.
With money no object, construction was undertaken on a grand scale which involved the clearing of almost five hundred acres of former ranchland, the shifting of five million cubic yards of earth, the transplanting of more than two and a half thousand mature trees and the installation of a number of lakes and streams.The best hole on the card may well be reserved until last. With the snow-capped Santa Rosa mountains as a backdrop, the par five home hole doglegs past a tumbling creek on the right of the fairway where an approach is played to a narrow waterside green protected by a sentinel 50-foot elm tree.
From the moment you arrive at The Madison you get the feeling you are entering somewhere ultra exclusive. The opulent clubhouse furnished with only the finest furniture to the proshop stocked with high end brands you soon get the impression that only the most wealthy can afford to play here. Even the practice facility is high end with Titleist Pro V1 range balls, a perfect grass tee and a state of the art performance centre on tap for the member to utilise. The course is immaculate with rolling fairways framed by bunkers filled with white sand. The greens were perfect with barely a pitch mark on them but you would expect that considering how little play little play they get. I was slightly underwhelmed by the course considering the investment but that does not mean it is not a fun day out…its worth it just to visit the comfort stations/food courts dotted across the course. The 9th is a fun short par 4 which with the right conditions is drivable but if you get out of position a par is good score. The 18th a long par 5 with water guarding the right side of the fairway gently curves from left to right. The green is slightly elevated which catches the player out if they do not take enough club to carry the water. The Madison is very much geared up to be a residential private community with a nice golf course for those fortunate enough to be able to afford to play there and although the course is not much of a challenge it is still a nice place to spend a day.