The 6,823-yard course at SunRidge Canyon Golf Club is a Keith Foster design that’s laid out across a dramatic desert landscape of ridges and canyons, where subtle elevation changes enhance a thrilling golf experience.
Similar to Augusta National’s “Amen Corner” or PGA National’s “Bear Trap,” SunRidge Canyon also features a treacherous stretch of holes, with this one coming at the end of the round and extending to twice as many holes.
“The Wicked 6” at holes 13 to 18 features two par threes, two par fours and two par fives and they all – barring the two short holes – play uphill, often into the prevailing wind. Golfers had better made their score on the preceding holes before tacking this tough sequence.
The wicked 6 is truly wicked. Very tough course but in great condition. A fun muni course
I am baffled as to why Phoenix folks do not talk about SunRidge Canyon as much as they should. Why? It’s a scenic track that gets lost in the conversation of best public golf courses in the area. I paid less than 100 dollars to play this little gem in the desert, and quite frankly enjoyed it a lot more than some of the superior “rated” courses of the area. To play it is to enjoy the topography of Arizona’s mountains; SunRidge is quite literally, as the name suggests, in a canyon, and the views are tremendous. The Wicked Six, as the final holes are named, are diabolical. SunRidge Canyon laid out two par threes, fours, and fives, and there are exactly zero pushovers among that grouping. The 17th requires a 200-yard carry over a valley to a green that’s shaped like a boomerang; in fact, it has two flags so those playing from the front tees do not have to worry about carrying the aforementioned valley. The 18th may be the toughest of them all, an uphill two-shotter that requires precision and touch on both shots. A few complaints about the place is that conditioning can be improved and there could be a greater variety of holes on the front nine; they do tend to blend into one another. It’s a great design and should not be missed, especially at the price point compared to some of the more well-known courses. Don’t forget about SunRidge Canyon.
Fun to play course with great views, challenges and opportunities to show off (#17) your skill set. This is a really good golf experience that has forced carries, difficult bunkers, and elevation changes galore.
Don't think about walking and be careful in the rough and washout areas for critters and reptiles. Best clubhouse around to sit and recount your round.
There are a good number of people who will never be enamored with desert golf. I don't share that view but I can understand such feelings when designs in a barren landscape are overly narrow and the resulting penalties for wayward drives is a quick reload.
SunRidge Canyon often gets little attention because many who come to the immediate area usually are searching out the more prominent courses and those designed by the upper echelon names.
It is both sad and tragic to hear what has happened to Keith Foster but it pays to remember he has done some very interesting courses and SunRidge Canyon is most certainly one of them.
Interestingly, although there are home sites flanking the course the routing is well conceived and keeps the intrusions to a minimum. However, in order to do that there can be at times somewhat exhausting cart rides between the holes.
The outward nine works itself down a deep valley and the you return mostly uphill for the remainder of the round.
One of the really interesting features of SunRidge Canyon is the green shapes. They are quite varied and often invite the bold approach. Be forewarned -- attempt such shots only when total execution is carried out.
The main drawback is that much of the inward half follows a continuous line in the same direction. Consequently, the prevailing wind is usually with players going out and against when coming back.
Foster excels in creating holes with different shapes and movements. You don't see the straight-razor cut fairways with repetition to the max.
I've played the course a few times over the last 25 or so years when I get back to the area and my last visit was this past winter.
SunRidge Canyon would likely stand out more so if an area where there is no so much golf. For those looking for something with plenty of design details a visit to SunRidge Canyon can certainly be worth your time and effort.
M. James Ward