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.
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.