LAS VEGAS & SEDONA
If I’m honest I was not looking forward to Las Vegas, although always thought it a place one must visit, and while personally I wouldn’t rush back, I have to admit it was a far more enjoyable experience than I expected. The group found the shows to be spectacular and those that took the helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon thought it to be the highlight of the 4 days.
While a golfing tour, it was secondary on this part of the tour and I think the Revere 36 hole resort was probably an excellent choice on which to start. Our first day course, Concord, was a gentle introduction and ideal to get the travel out of the system. Scoring in the 4 bbb was excellent as you can see from the result below:-
Revere – Concord course
44 Patrick & Sharon (back 9)
44 Geoff & Liz
43 Arnold & Marie
Following the Grand Canyon Tour day where we lunched in the canyon, toasting our arrival with Champagne, our second round at Revere Lexington was a tougher and more scenic test. The starter suggested 4 shots harder and was spot on as Arnold and Mary proved with a winning score of 40 pts. Patrick & Pat pipped Richard & Judith on the back nine for second place on 38pts.
A very comfortable 5 hour drive by luxury coach taking in the Hoover Dam and a stop on the famous Route 66 for a comfort break and coffee, took us to the red mountains of Sedona and what a spectacular sight they make. We played one round here completing our series of 4BBB games and left the following day wishing we had a day or two more to explore the area – but that leaves us with a very good excuse to return!
Liz and Pat beat Rosemary and Ian by the narrowest of margins in Sedona, 23 pts to 22 on the back nine of a 42 pts total, closely followed by 3 x 41’s! To complete the first stage of the Tour.
A couple of hours up the road and we were smoothly transferred to the golfing Mecca of Scottsdale. Having left the hurdey gurdey of Vegas, stunning scenery of Sedona and the Grand Canyon behind, we were able to turn our attention to the golf. A gentle first day team event at Foothills GC, carved out of the desert, saw a convincing three point win from Richard, Rosemary, Mike & Mary with 87 pts.
Rancho Mañana G.C.,our second test of 6 rounds in Scottsdale, required more thought as positional play was of a premium, and Maggie, Mary, Gurdip and Patrick produced a superb yellow ball score of 125 pts.
Following a free draw for a mixed 4BBB we ventured to the quite lovely Eagle Mountain Resort where each hole was individually presented in its own setting. A big thank you to all at Eagle Mountain and especially Matt, who looked after us wonderfully all day.
Scoring was sensational! Judith & Jeff beating Ronnie & Bob for second place on the back nine with 45 pts. While first place went to Sharon & Patrick with a superb 48!
At Sun Ridge Canyon we commenced our Individual 36 hole stableford combined with a Team event. Another fine welcome and enjoyable test in the dessert. Not surprisingly the leading team of Bob, Richard & Julian also featured the best two individual scores of the day 40 & 35 respectively for the first two mentioned. Mike 36 and Jeff 35 were still well in the hunt. Liz G led the ladies on 38 with Maggie 35, Rosemary & Judith 34, and Liz T 33 were in hot pursuit.
Our final day of singles at Red Mountain produced some decent scores despite the difficulty of the greens, a well known feature of Pete Dye courses.
Bob added a 35 to his first round 40 to be a comfortable gents winner and Maggie went one better than her previous day on 36 for a 71points total. Sharon captured 2nd place also scoring 36 with Rosemary a close third. Richard was runner up to Bob and Andrew overtook Mike for third place in the Gents section. Best score of the second day not figuring in the top three went to Marie with another fine 36.
Throughout the tour we had been told that our final day course, We Ko Pa Golf Club. Would be a real treat and so it proved to be. Set on an Indian Reservation meandering through the desert and huge Arizona cactus with each hole given its own setting this undulating course was an absolute delight and one that would go into most well travelled golfers list of favourites.
With an equal number of ladies and gents a 4 BBB match was a must event to complete the Arizona section that throughout had been played in great spirit. It was decided that rather than usual match play, each pair would produce a 4BBB score, the winner being the higher score in each group. In the event of a tie the team which accumulated the highest total of points would be the winner. The Ladies were fast starters and were two nil up with the third match halved. The gents then rallied and won the following three very closely contested games, to take a 3 1/2 to 2 1/2 lead with hot favourites Maggie and Sharon suffering a 42/38 defeat at the hands of John and Julian. All waited with bated breath for the final match which, low and behold tied on 41, thus giving the men a 4 – 3 victory. However, the Ladies points total being 2 greater than the Gents the only fair result was to declare a tie!
The Westin La Paloma Resort and GC was our final destination on the Arizona Tour. A lovely resort and fabulous 27 hole Jack Nicklaus Signature course, carved out of the desert canyons with great imagination.
The first day team event was a very close run thing with Mike, David and Gurdip amassing 78 points to pip Pat, Rosemary, Julian and Ivan 40 to 39 on the back nine.
We drove a few miles out of town into the desert to Vistoso GC for our second day team event and lo and behold, Gurdip once again brought in the winning team accompanied by Bob and Andrew.
Following a couple of days playing casual golf to allow for an excursion or two, including Tombstone and the OK Coral, along with a tour to the Mexican boarder to see how Mr, sorry, President Trumps wall is coming along!, Arizona National was the scene of our Individual competition this week and Gurdip’s good form continued with a fine 39 points followed closely by Ronnie and Maggie on 38. The former winning the ladies prize on the back nine. Richard, again on the back nine, was gents runner up from Andrew in third place on creditable 35’s, while Judith finished third lady on 37.
Ronnie and Gurdip, individual winners at Arizona National
And so to our final day back at Paloma GC to end our tour with a mixed fourball. Once more, as we had experienced for 3 weeks, clear sky’s, mid 70’s and little wind greeted us. Arnold & Ronnie triumphed with a fine 41, Liz & Julian 39, Richard & Pat 37 taking he other two places.
I think we were all surprised at the cost on the ground, not helped by the strong dollar, and the almost compulsory tipping culture of 20% plus state tax, took some getting used to, but would that stop us going back?, I don’t think so! From the over the top, hurdy gurdy of Las Vegas and spectacular Grand Canyon, the magnificent red mountains of Sedona, sophisticated Scottsdale and true cowboy country of Tucson, I think it was a very popular and much enjoyed tour. Look out for San Diego and California in 2019.
Hope to see you soon.