Although the majority of the readers of this site are either Gainey Ranch G.C. members or former members, there’s no reason we can’t and shouldn’t extend the domain’s coverage to include other clubs in the Central Scottsdale area. Of course, the focus will remain on Gainey Ranch G.C. because (dare I say it?) Gainey has some of the most interesting people in the gold fish bowl of Scottsdale golf. I mean… I could write a book on the subject.
As Gainey members know, one of the great benefits of belonging to Gainey is that you get to play a lot of other courses in the area. When “the club” brings in lucrative outside tournaments, Gainey is no longer a private club and members get to the end of the line or go home. When the Hyatt plans an event and calls for the 39% of the tee times it’s guaranteed, it’s no longer a private club and members get to the end of the line or go home. When ClubCorp uses all of its tee times, especially in conjunction with the other groups in line, it’s no longer a private club and members get to the end of the line or go home. In the heart of the “season” and a lot of members want to play Men’s Day, you’ve got it; some members get to the end of the line or go home. Over-seed two of the three nines and… well, you get the picture.
Over the course of the summer (when demand on the course at Gainey is lowest), outside tournaments resulted in participants in the Inferno Cup competition being given wonderful opportunities to play McCormick Ranch – Palm, McCormick Ranch – Pine, Talking Stick – North, Talking Stick – South, Camelback – Padre, Camelback – Ambiente, Wildfire – Faldo and Grayhawk – Talon. Of all the private clubs I’ve ever been associated with, I’ve never enjoyed such diversity of play. What a great benefit. Counting Gainey, that’s nine clubs for the price of one. Admittedly, eight of the nine could have been played without investing in a membership and during the summer months, for roughly the same cost of a cart at Gainey, but who’s counting.
With that said, information about courses in the area will clearly be of interest to many readers of this column, especially in view of the fact that if you want to play golf, you’ll be forced into playing them on a fairly regular basis. In the future, I’ll be looking at play at some of the other nearby clubs. I’ll be comparing and contrasting course design, playability, costs, customer service and the overall desirability of play at that club. I’ll be frank, honest, forthright and fair. That may be good; that may be bad.
Next up in the course review process – Stone Creek. That may be bad. In fact, it was bad. You might want to hold off playing that one until after the next column is published.
Golfer tip of the day… Take fewer strokes. You’ll score better. This presupposes a tournament isn’t upcoming and you’re trying to pad the handicap. (Read the book: How to Cheat in Golf – Confessions of the Handicap Committee Chairman.)