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Whisper Rock (Lower)

Whisper Rock (Lower)

Scottsdale, Arizona
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Scottsdale, Arizona
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  • Address32002 N Old Bridge Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85266, USA

Scottsdale is quite a golfing Mecca with more than 30 clubs and an even greater number of golf courses located around the city (Desert Mountain has five 18-hole private layouts) so Whisper Rock is just one of many top end tracks vying for attention around The West’s Most Western Town.

Not that the owners of the development here are involved in a recruitment drive for members as they have already achieved their quota of invitees prepared to part with the six-figure joining fee. For the lucky 300 or so who can afford the membership cheque – and they include a couple of dozen professionals – their investment buys them into a couple of the most spectacular courses constructed in recent years.

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The Lower opened for play in 2001 and it was the first foray into golf course design for Phil Mickelson. Owner Gregg Tryhus teamed Lefty up with Dallas-based architect Gary Stephenson to turn a boulder-strewn area in the Sonoran Desert into a very special golf venue. Incredibly, they would produce 43 different routings for the course before deciding on the one that would best fit the landscape.

Like Tom Fazio’s Upper course which appeared in 2005, the fairways on the Lower are very forgiving – once the tee shot has overcome the forced carry from many of the tees – and that concession to accuracy obviously keeps down the number of balls lost in the adjacent scrubland. Where it gets a lot tighter though is around the green sites as many of these are deep and narrow with waste areas and sand bunkers in close proximity. Here, golfers are encouraged to emulate the short game skills of the course’s debut designer in order to score well.

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