Troon Country Club is perched at altitude in the striking Sonoran Desert. Designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf in 1986 and named after its famous Scottish alma mater, Royal Troon, where Weiskopf won the Open Championship and Claret Jug in 1973 by three shots from US Open champion Johnny Miller and Britain’s Ryder Cup stalwart Neil Coles. Actually, Troon was Weiskopf’s first foray into the realm of golf course design and the first of many projects he and architect Jay Morrish would co-design.
One of the original desert layouts to emerge from the Scottsdale area during a prolific period in the 1980s and 1990s, the Troon course is routed around residential properties that back onto many of the fairways, particularly on the back nine. Thankfully though, the housing is low density and relatively unobtrusive so golfers can still enjoy a feeling of seclusion amongst the canyon location.
The 207-yard 7th hole (“The Lake”) is ranked the most difficult of the four short holes on the card, due in large part to the intimidating water hazard that fronts the green. The much-photographed 139-yard 15th is, however, the most memorable of the par threes, calling for an heroic tee shot across a ravine to a plateau green surrounded by hundreds of cacti.
Jim Stuart won the 1990 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship here and claimed victory again the following year at Long Cove Club, becoming the first player to win consecutive Mid-Am titles.
A 7-month course renovation was carried out by Tom Weiskopf and design consultant Phil Smith during 2020. Apart from installing a new irrigation system, bunkers were rebuilt with Capillary Concrete lining, greens were resurfaced with A4 bentrgass, while tees, fairways and rough were re-grassed with Tifway 419 bermuda.
The review below is harsh. Troon CC is by no means the best course in the Scottsdale area but it’s by no means poor. It’s certainly typical of the area but better maintained than most. Not up to the architecture of Estancia and Whisper Rock but I enjoyed the experience and its elevation changes and believe it to be worth playing if you can get a ticket.
Once ranked in the top 100 golf courses in the world, from an architecture point of view, this Tom Weiskopf creation is living in the shadows of the many spectacular courses which have been built in the past quarter century. It was an enjoyable day at a lovely club.