Conveniently located just southeast of Flagstaff (Arizona), Pine Canyon Club is a Jay Morrish design that is a ton of fun to play. Morrish is known for utilizing elevation changes to set up exciting tee shots and heroic carries and that is just some of what you’ll find at Pine Canyon.
The course is tastefully routed through a housing development that doesn’t detract much from the play and overall experience. You’ll find that the course plays shorter than the scorecard indicates due to the elevation changes combined with opportunities to cut off yardage on doglegs and risk/reward situations. One thing you will likely hear members talk about is the great variety of hole lengths and shapes throughout the course which adds to the long term replay value of Pine Canyon. The greens have large undulations throughout which your forecaddie can help read which can be especially beneficial when certain hole locations are in play.
From a conditioning perspective, players will be thrilled to find the course is kept in excellent shape with bluegrass fairways and pure bentgrass on the greens. In the end, you won’t be disappointed with a visit to Pine Canyon Club. The course stands tall among the loaded state of Arizona and features a unique terrain and setting that is a breath of fresh air compared to all of the desert layouts around Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Any look at the front nine must mention the par three holes at the 3rd (“Crosswind”) and the 5th (“Pine Meadow”), where the former measures all of 238 yards downhill from the back tees and the latter plays uphill to a very tricky two-tiered green.
The stronger back nine also features a couple of terrific par threes. The green of the 152-yard 11th (“Eagle’s Nest”) is protected by a small lake to the front and left whilst the putting surface of the 204-yard 17th (“Sweet Serenity”) is etched into the hillside on the other side of a deep gully.
Most difficult hole at Pine Canyon Club
The most difficult hole is certainly the 2nd Hole – 451 Yard Par 4 – Climbing 50 feet in elevation from tee to green and featuring four large bunkers in the final 75 yards, the 2nd hole presents a tough test early in the round at Pine Canyon. The bunkerless fairway is harmless enough on the surface but the uphill approach shot plays longer than you think and the plethora of deep bunkering around the green presents a tough challenge. A high fade into the green eliminates the majority of trouble but if you over cut it right of the putting surface then your ball will tumble off the side hill into trouble. You pretty much just have to man up and take your medicine here and pat yourself on the back if you can avoid bogey.
For those golfers who like to indulge in a wager or two with their opponents during a round, tied matches can be resolved at the very short “Double or Nothing” 19th hole, where bets can be settled on its island green.