In 2013, ten years after The Golf Club Scottsdale first opened for play, businessman Bob Parsons stepped in to purchase the golf facility then immediately set about changing just about everything associated with it – starting with a new name; Scottsdale National.
One of the first moves he made was hiring Jackson Khan Design to make improvements to the Mineshaft course, design a new 18-hole layout called “The Other Course,” and add a little 9-hole short course named “The Bad Little Nine” to add some spice to the set-up.
Tim Jackson and David Khan, along with associate Scott Hoffman, had all worked with Tom Fazio on high-profile projects like Gozzer Ranch and Shadow Creek and they’d also been involved in the renovation of the Dunes course at Monterey Peninsula so they were hardly unknowns.
Still, entrusting a young, enthusiastic design team with such a demanding project took a fair degree of courage on the part of the owner, who continued to snap up additional little plots of land along the perimeter of the 223-acre site he’d acquired for the new-build.
The landscape was pretty flat and featureless so shaping the terrain was a huge effort. Over a million cubic yards of soil was shifted, 20,000 tons of rock excavated, 36 miles of irrigation pipe laid and 73,000 tons of sand used to cap the fairways – along with planting more than 100,000 shrubs, trees and cacti.
The design team spent at least six days a week on site during the 15-month construction, with the course opening on 29th October 2016. Incredibly, anybody now looking at what’s been built, will probably think the architects were fortunate to be given such a great natural site to work with.
Notable holes include the 170-yard 6th, “Dragon Fly” (featuring a wide, boomerang-shaped green with a small protecting bunker in the middle) and the 535-yard 10th, “Gila Monster,” where run off areas surround the green and bunkers are set back from the putting surface.
On the back nine, the 300-yard 17th, “Butterfly” is a wonderful short par four with a huge central bunker extending past the front of a massive, rolling green measuring all of 15,500 square feet in area. It’s a great opportunity to bag a late birdie but nothing can be taken for granted here.