The Rim Golf Club is located about an hour to the northeast of Scottsdale and is set in an exclusive, private residential estate. The golf course is nestled amongst the vanilla scented stands of Ponderosa Pine and the Rim was fashioned by the team that created Scotland’s famous Loch Lomond Golf Club.
Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish designed The Rim Golf Club, which opened for play in 1998 and Weiskopf reckons this final collaboration with Morrish was also one of their best. The course routing features rocky outcrops and the dramatic mountain backdrop of the Mogollon Rim – an unusual mountain plateau that extends across Arizona for nearly 200 miles from northern Yavapai County to the border with New Mexico – from which the club takes its name.
Five of the par four holes on the scorecard measure more than 450 yards in length from the back tees so, even with the advantage of playing at high altitude, golfers who can hit the ball long and straight will prosper here.
The signature hole on the card is the downhill, 581-yard, par five 13th, named "Spirit Hollow". Only reachable in two by the aforesaid long hitters, the downhill fairway leads to a green framed to the rear by a remarkable outcrop of enormous boulders stacked on top of one another.
In 2014 The Rim was purchased by Phil Mickelson and is now one of five layouts (including Stone Canyon, which was a solo design by the late Jay Morrish) in the Mickelson Private Golf collection.
The collaboration of Tom Weiskopf and the late Jay Morrish produced a good mixture of fine courses. The Rim is certainly one of their very best.
The course gets its name from the geological feature called the Mogollan Rim -- which one can see when playing the course.
The site is a thrill ride for sure -- plenty of movement in the terrain and while there are a few demanding holes in the mix -- the architectural tandem didn't include a heavy dose of inordinate difficulty given the fact that the course was meant for member play.
Part of the issue for The Rim is about location. Many people simply see Scottsdale as the primary destination for the more acclaimed golf experiences. Getting to The Rim is about getting away from the usual vegetation associated with Arizona -- the variations of cacti. The Rim is located in a ponderosa of stately pines. The scent of the trees envelopes golfers during their time on the course.
One thing to keep in mind -- the altitude does allow for increased yardages and players have to adjust in order to properly execute. Weiskopf / Morrish did include their signature "driveable par-4" with the fun 5th hole. So unless the tee shot is played with precision the net outcome may not be what the player is seeking.
The Rim has plenty of "flow." What I mean by that is Weiskopf / Morrish constantly keep things varied. Never seeking duplication but not doing so to the point of obviousness. When one speaks of the term -- a good member's course -- The Rim fits that description. The beauty of the surroundings -- both on and off site -- make for a grand time indeed. When you play the long downhill par-5 13th you really inhale the golf dimension and what it means to be in this area of Arizona.
Weiskopf / Morrish accentuated the "fun" elements in their designs. Not every design was memorable but The Rim clearly hits the high mark in delivering the connection between game and nature.
by M. James Ward