The Monument course was the first of two 18-hole layouts to be unveiled at Troon North and it was laid out across the rugged landscape of the Sonoran Desert by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish in 1990, five years before its sister course (the Pinnacle) made an appearance.
Measuring just over 7,000 yards in total length from the tips, the lush Monument fairways wind their way through a dusty desert landscape where they skirt arroyos, dry washes and a variety of cacti and mesquite on their way to generally large, raised greens.
The 556-yard par five 3rd is the most memorable hole on the card. As the fairway doglegs right towards the green, golfers must negotiate an enormous rocky edifice in the middle of the landing area. It’s said that construction crews attempted to remove this stone "monument" but decided just to build around it in the end.On the back nine, the 13th is a feature hole, with pushed tee shots punished by the large irrigation pond that sits to the right of the fairway. The other par three on the inward half, the 244-yard 16th, is another terrific one-shot hole that plays downhill to a green that’s protected by two front bunkers.
The 36-hole layout at Troon North was the impetus for all the rest of the privately owned daily fee courses that would follow. Troon North's model is a simple one -- provide a country club for a day experience (CCFAD).
My first round at Monument occurred not long after it opened and the juxtaposition of the verdant grass areas provided a clear and stark contrast with the encroachment of the desert.
Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish provided sufficient landing area but for those seeking more ambitious line of attack the need for superior driving skills were certainly brought to the forefront.
You see that with the opening hole -- it's a daunting experience as one's 1st hole. The landing area necks down considerably the further one opts to hit the tee shot. The hole is clearly one that demands your attention right from the get-go. Even if one finds the fairway -- the approach is played to a well-defended green and a par on the scorecard is a solid start to the round.
The opening stretch of holes at the Monument are quite engaging -- the dog-leg par-5 3rd with the massive boulder at the corner of the turning point is attractive. Ditto the long par-4 holes that follow at the 4th and 5th respectively.
Just as the momentum is building the remaining holes for the outward side drop down in terms of overall caliber. They are functional -- but hardly memorable.
The inward half is plagued by the massive intrusive nature of housing that dominates the off-course landscape. Troon North is clearly a success but the golf experience then becomes choked with housing that strains to obscure all the key vantage points.
The uphill par-5 11th is a fine hole -- ditto the long par-4 17th with its fairway set below the teeing area.
Monument also has a wonderful back-to-back series of holes at the short par-4 15th and the long downhill par-3 16th.
The bar for competition in the public arena in the Valley of the Sun area has clearly grown since Troon North entered the picture. Certainly, it's worth playing but my most positive memories drift back to when the golf setting was in its more raw and natural stage. That situation is now forever lost. A pity.
M. James Ward
Enjoyable layout surrounded by nice homes. Pristine conditions. I love Weiskopf courses and I was not disappointed in this experience.
That said, I found much of it to be somewhat forgettable until you approach the finishing stretch and start dealing with the more significant elevation changes. The winds really impact decision making at this point.
Compared with Papago (much better value) and WeKaPo (much more memorable) I found this course to be a bit overpriced given options in the Scottsdale vicinity.
Troon North is probably the best of the public golf available in the greater Scottsdale area. I prefer monument slightly over pinnacle, but long for the days when I first played this course and they only had 18 holes. That layout was the pick of the litter.
I am surprised this is not rated much higher. A Weiskopf design that has withstood the test of time it is a fun course to play. From the famous (infamous?) monument on three to the surprising water hazard on 13 this course has a little bit of everything. I especially like the variety of the finishing holes. The 14th is a par 5 that appears to have a Disneyesque rock mountain right behind the green, 15 a short par four with a carry over the dessert and then 16 long par 3 over the dessert. The 17th is a long par 4 that hourglasses with a fairway bunker and then a dried out gulch crosses the fairway. I also appreciated the clubhouse as it really blends into the dessert environement
It was a special day. I was very close to play the exclusive and very private Scottsdale National that moment but it was not possible, I could only manage to give it a ride and take some pictures plus check the amazing maintenance facilities they have. But I was so close to Troon North where I didn't have a scheduled game that I gave it a try and it was a very productive day as after playing the famed Monument Course I was able to give a ride to the Pinnacle Course which was under the greens reconstruction program so could see what it is going to be like in a couple of months.
The round started on my own but on 3rd I was able to join to very good players and it became a very enjoyable afternoon. The course is one of the most famous in the area and I have to say that very well deserved, but I was not that familiar with it so every hole was a surprise and also a challenge with some semi blind tee shots over the desert.
There is a very big rock in the center of the 3rd fairway which is called The Monument and gives the name to the course. Although all rye grass was dead from winter the bermuda grass was already ok and bent grass greens were rolling excellent and in very good shape.
There are many good golf holes but the final four still remain fress in my memory:
- 15th a short 4 to a narrow entrance. It is better to lay up as a left miss is dead, but it is worth the try.
- 16th a long 3 downhill to a huge green. plays shorter than it looks like.
- 17th a long 4 of almost 480 yds downhill green where again judging distance is very tough.
- 18th a short reachable 4 downhill with a spectacular view from the tee.
It happened to me after my visit to Scottsdale that all course are sort of similar and I find it hard to remember many holes but luckily the many pictures I took help me to be able to write some more about each course.
Of the ones I played it was the best mantained and most challenging, if travelling here for golf a certain must play.
Is it that special? Defintely not, although some holes are very challenging.
Nice public course with wide fairways and plenty of different tee boxes, this is an enjoyable course and well worth the visit where a good score is very gettable.