WICKENBURG, Arizona – It’s no secret that Scottsdale, Arizona is the “World’s Finest Golf Destination” with its myriad of championship courses begging to be played, sunny, warm days year round, breathtaking panoramic mountain views, and tons of eateries and after-dark entertainment.
However, if you’re looking to escape the cosmopolitan atmosphere and want to romance the old west, then head west to Wickenburg, Arizona. Just over an hour drive from the greater Pheonix area will land you in the historic town of Wickenburg…the “team roping capital of the world”, where sprawling ranches and horse loving people inhabit this vast countryside.
Wickenburg Ranch (WR) is a Trilogy Resort Community, which boasts an active lifestyle with its centerpiece being the WR Golf and Social Club, a 5-star facility. From the iron gated ranch entrance with a windmill water tank, to the spur and pistol tee boxes, and aptly named golf holes, the western theme of the town is reflected. We were warmly welcomed by two horseback riders upon arrival, which complimented the western, rustic decor of the clubhouse, which was filled with artisan, culinary and wellness amenities.
Grab a crafted cocktail and cozy up by the fireplace in the Grand Living Room or meander outside and relax at one of the multiple outdoor patio areas that include plush furniture groupings, fire pits, fireplaces and endless long range views from the clubhouse that span across the desert and mountain topography. A resort style zero-entry pool, walking trails, sports courts, fitness center and of course, golf encompass the community.
As for the golf, WR offers 18 holes of championship golf on what is known as Big Wick. The artfully crafted collection of holes traverse through arroyos showcasing vistas of Vulture Peak and Prescott National Forest. It’s a thrilling ride over lush, rolling fairways with crooks and crannies, tricky doglegs, blind approach shots to slick, Bentgrass greens some of which are concealed, nestled between desert flora.
With so many uniquely designed, captivating and intimidating holes, it’s hard to discern which is their signature hole. General Manager, Corby Foster, revealed two exhilarating signature holes… No. 13, a par-3 aptly named “Big Water” which demands an elevated tee shot over water to an elongated, peninsula green guarded by bunkers and water.
Onward to hole #14, a long par-5 named “Yikes”, starts off with an intimidating shot off an elevated tee to a hidden green. The challenge is to navigate your ball between the stream cascading over rocks down the left side of the fairway into a pond that sits left of the green, while the desert hillside guards the right side of the fairway. The visually stimulating water features, desert flora and distant views of Vulture Peak will serve to distract even the more serious golfer!
Big Wick was included in the list of top five best courses to play in Arizona by Golfweek in 2017 and 2018. Also the course was named #1 in the U.S. for course conditions and #9 on the list of top courses by Golf Advisor for 2017.
If this isn’t enough to wet your appetite to visit Wickenburg Ranch, the short’n sweet 9-hole, par-3 Li’l Wick blends golf and entertainment for an experience unlike any other. Designers Wendell Pickett and Bill Brownlee took the original driving range and created an entertainment oasis situated on a long peninsula of the waterway that connects several holes in which the final four are lighted at night.
Aptly called “The Watering Hole” because this lakeside sports bar and grill complete with widescreen TVs, is the nucleus of this 9-hole park. Guests can enjoy a casual game of golf…no tee times, no dress code… with music streamed around the course. If you care to hang out between holes this 18-acre design has “chill zones”…cozy seating areas with lounge chairs and even a giant hammock to sit and relax.
Four bridges connect you to The Watering Hole so golfers can stop between holes to grab a drink and quick bite. This 9- hole gem was thoughtfully planned out with three tee boxes per hole, elevation changes, and uniquely designed walking paths accentuated by railroad ties fringed with grass. This is not a pitch-n-putt…Li’l Wick plays 663 yards from the forward tees to 1240 yards from the rear tees. This is truly a 9-hole party playground for golfers!
Wickenburg Ranch Golf and Social Club is an amazing place, in a captivating setting that showcases the natural splendor of the land. Presently it is open to the public; so don’t miss the opportunity to experience this unique setting because eventually the facility will become private. Interested investors can opt for a two-night discovery stay to sample the amenities.
Come “west” and discover Wickenburg Ranch!