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"2009 Golfweek's
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course address

12575 W. Golf Club Drive
Peoria, Arizona
USA 85383

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trilogy golf course at vistancia

Crafted by renowned golf course architect Gary Panks, the championship design at Trilogy golf club draws upon distinctive land features and a backdrop of stunning Arizona scenery to result in a truly extraordinary setting.

With more than 70 pronounced and transitional bunkers that feed gently into the golf course's fairways and native areas, Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia highly rewards careful planning and precise execution by the golfer. There are five different tee boxes from which to choose on this unique 18-hole, par 72-championship golf course. Tees range fro 5,573 yards to 7,259 yards, allowing players of every skill level to enjoy this exceptional test of golf.

Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia is located 25 minutes northwest of Phoenix in Peoria, Arizona. The golf course and clubhouse, featuring fine fare at Verde Grill, are both complementing components of the recreational amenities of the residential resort community developed by Shea Homes.

The Verdict:  With only 23 courses in the United States that Golf Digest considers worthy of its prestigious five star designation, only one of those is in Arizona, the Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia. With a design that is completely unique in Arizona: rolling terrain, striking native grasses, and shot making variety akin to the Midwest’s best courses.

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course notes

18 holes, 7,259 yards,
par 72, 73.9 rating, slope 134

Designed by:
Gary Panks

Course Opened:
Course Type/Style:
Number of Tee Boxes:
5 sets
Total Number of Sand Bunkers:
Number of Water Hazards:
4 of 18 holes
Most Challenging Hole:
No. 5
Most Memorable Hole:
No. 18
Sinature Hole:
No. 2
Acreage of Course:
90 acres
Average Size of Greens:
6,400 sq. ft.

Primary Grasses
Tif Eagle Bermuda

Months Open:
January – December
High Season:

January – April

October 12-29
Rounds per year:

Green Fees:
Low: $39 High: $130
Walking Options:
Unrestricted Walking

General Manager:
Greg Ellis
Golf Operations Manager:

Joshua Doxtator, PGA 
Roger Brashear, GCSAA

Golf Digest 4.5 stars rating

Course Review:
The Trilogy at Vistancia


When the award-winning talents of golf course designer Gary Panks are combined with distinctive land features and a backdrop of stunning scenery, the result is the extraordinary experience golfers will discover at Trilogy at Vistancia. This par 72 championship course opened in February of 2004. Accentuating Vistancia's native desert beauty, this course illustrates Panks trademark strategy of harmonizing a challenging course layout with its natural environment. "Our philosophy was to create a marriage of the 18 holes with their desert surroundings," Panks said. "Here golfers will find the game is highly visual as well as satisfying." "Trilogy at Vistancia is definitely one of the best courses we have done. Each hole presents a premium on course management and at the same time is visually appealing."

With its waves of native grasses that are green in the spring and gold in the winter, Trilogy at Vistancia, measuring 7259 yards from the tips, sets a striking scene year-round. With towering golden grasses bordering the lush green fairways, Panks and his team created a landscape that's as pleasant to the eye as it is dramatic for the golf game. Vistancia uses three types of grasses - blue gramma, weeping love grass and sanddrop grass - for the rough areas of the course, "like a wheat field," Panks said, "stretching to the edges of the Bermuda fairways."

At first it strikes you that this grass is a little out of place for Arizona. After all, Arizona is known for the rough and the out-of-bounds areas to be mesquite, saguaro and brittle brush like Pank's other Arizona creations, GrayHawk and Whirlwind. However, Panks drew his inspiration from grasses he saw on a hunting trip in southeast Arizona. He was in the Sulfur Springs Valley between the Chiricahua and Dragoon mountains. "It's a big cattle ranching area, and I fell in love with the look of it," he says. Well Panks may have loved the look of it, but be forewarned it is not a pretty site after golfers hit a few errant shots that find a home in the "native grass". A misfire into the two foot tall strands is merely a percentage point more playable than a ball in water as golfers have the option of marching in to find the ball, and then trying to hit it if they do. Finding a ball in that stuff is literally like finding a needle in a haystack. Penalty strokes can inflate your score, so be warned, stay out of the "native grass" at all costs and watch the other guys struggle in it.

Bunkering at the course is also aesthetically pleasing as well as challenging: The course's 72 bunkers are pronounced, yet feed seamlessly into the fairways and natural grasses of the rough areas. Trilogy at Vistancia highly rewards careful planning and precise execution by the golfer. A perfect example is the mini-minefield on the par-4, 15th (348 yards from the back tees) which leads a long hitter to believe the green might be the one safe target. "There are so many options for playing this hole that you really have to think about how to play your shot" Panks says. The options include landing among a sea of cross-bunkers that dived the fairway in half or in the bunker to the right of the green. On all of Pank's courses there is a reachable par 4. However, there is so much trouble here with a beach load of sand that most rational thinkers will not attempt such a shot, but who really thinks rationally on the golf course? Panks always builds in ample landing space, a safer route with openings into the greens. For anything more daring, the risks are obvious.

Besides the golden grass and bunkers, you'll find generous landing areas on many holes and great variety in the par 3's, including some with water. Many of the memorable holes are par 4's like the 3rd hole, a 416 yard test, which is one of the more difficult carry holes. There is a desert to cross off the tee as well as on the approach to the green. And the 6th hole, a 373 yard dogleg right with a major wash in front of the tees. Off the tee, you can aim right and shorten the distance with a risk-reward shot over a knoll studded with two saguaros. "You have to decide how much you can bite off," says Panks. The ninth hole is a beautiful finish to the front side. It's a 509 yard par 5 dogleg left with significant bunkers on the drive and approach shot. You have to hit over a transition zone that lies below a very elevated green. Panks has a knack for creating courses that are playable and fair, yet intriguing. He puts obstacles out there on the fairways, but always shows you how to take the path to the green.

Characteristic of a Panks design, the greens are large, but offer plenty of movement through gentle tiers and undulations, allowing for some testy pin placements in tournament competition. As every player will discover, hitting onto the green is not a final guarantee - putting proves integral for a descent score on this course.

Signature hole: The par 3 playing over 200 yards from the tip, number 2 is dubbed the Signature Hole. "We strive to make the par 3 holes unique with landscaping and water features to embrace the natural wash, "Panks said. This is quite apparent on the challenging 2nd hole where water engulfs the entire left side. Even if the ball stays dry it is likely to find sand. There are several other very memorable holes. The finishing hole plays along a palm-lined creek down the right as the splendid clubhouse and Verde Grill come into view as a thoroughly enjoyable round of golf comes to a close.

The 3 Best Holes at:
TPC-Myrtle Beach

By Chris King on May 4, 2010

The TPC-Myrtle Beach is one of the Grand Strand's bluebloods.

It enjoys the benefit of a premium brand, superior design (the team of Lanny Wadkins and Tom Fazio is tough to beat), and it's the home course of Dustin Johnson, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour. Throw in a bevy of national honors, and it's not hard to see why the facility is so highly regarded.

Identifying the three best holes on a course that has hosted what was then the Senior PGA Tour Championship and gets a regular workout from Johnson is a challenging task, because the candidates are plentiful. We asked course owner Chip Smith to identify the best of the best at TPC-Myrtle Beach and he complied, with an assist from Johnson.

The three best holes at TPC are:
No. 5, 158-yard, Par 3: Despite being TPC's shortest hole, the fifth is one of its most challenging, particularly from the tips where the tee shot requires a long forced carry over water. The green is wider than it is deep, so your margin for error is limited. A bunker in the right front looms for players not playing from the tips, as does a bunker in back of the green. "There is almost a false front on the front of the green," Smith said. "It's a tough little shot because the green is narrow. The right side of the green is always better than short because of the lake."

No. 17, 193-yard, par 3: The words island green and TPC have almost become synonymous because of the famed 17th at Sawgrass, and No. 17 at TPC-Myrtle Beach is a reasonable approximation. The primary differences? The 17th in Myrtle Beach is a peninsula green surrounded by water on "only" three sides and it's approximately 50 yards longer. The 17th is TPC-Myrtle Beach's signature hole and with an almost constant wind, it represents a significant challenge. "Because of the distance, I think it's a little tougher than 17 at Sawgrass," Smith says. "Now I've never stood on 17 at Sawgrass on Sunday with $1.4 million on the line either (laugh)."

No. 18, 538-yard, par 5: The 18th, with a creek running along the right side of the fairway and a large lake on the left, is Johnson's choice as the course's best. It's a classic risk-reward hole. Players that can snuggle up to the creek before it runs out to the lake can get home in two, but there is considerable risk. Half of the green is exposed to water and with the rough surrounding it shaved, it's not an easy green to hold. One person who doesn't have to worry about length is Johnson. What does one of the PGA Tour's longest hitters use to reach the green on his second shot? "Depending on which way the wind is blowing, anywhere from a 5 or 6 iron to a 3-wood," he said. For the mere mortals among us, an iron on the second shot when attempting to reach the 18th green is out of the question!

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