Grayhawk Golf Club is home to two outstanding daily fee 18 hole golf courses – Talon and Raptor. Since opening in 1994 and 1995, Grayhawk has won a number of awards including being listed in Golf Magazine's “Top 100 You Can Play in the U.S.” and “Top 10 New Courses You Can Play” as well as inclusion in Golf Digest's “Top 10 in the State You Can Play.” Each course has it's own unique personality and challenges as they wind through some stunning Sonoran desert scenery. Both courses are challenging with a slope of 143! Talon is a little shorter by 200 yards, a little tighter, a littler easier (rating of 73.6 versus 74.1), and more scenic with lots of desert carries. Raptor is wider off the fairways but tougher due to length, more steep and deep fairway and green-side bunkers, and tougher greens with lots of slope and undulation. Common to both is excellent service, fantastic club house and pro shop, and very good conditions. When we played in late May, the courses were making the transition from winter to summer grass and the greens had just been sanded and were a little faster than normal. Regardless, we thought the conditions were still very good. To learn more about Talon read our review of Talon.
Unfortunately, when we were at Grayhawk, we played Talon and ran out of time after playing 4 holes on Raptor. Therefore our rating of 9 is based on what we saw and what we have heard about this 18. But here is what we can tell you about the Raptor 18, it has:
plenty of challenges
lots of variety
some beautiful and fun holes
harder greens due to undulation and slope
plenty of steep and deep fairway bunkers
water to content with on 3 holes
a few desert carries
Here are a couple hole descriptions from the Raptor website. Perhaps the most scenic hole on the golf course, the sixteenth plays downhill into a natural amphitheater with a creek tumbling down the left side and empting into a greenside pond. A large grass collection area to the right side of the green acts as a bailout for those who loose their nerve. But from there, the pitch back towards a front pin location can easily result in a dip in the pond. The ideal play is to aim at the collection area and work the ball back to the green which is severely sloped from back to front. The finishing hole is a pleasure for the senses as it overlooks Scottsdale and greater Phoenix. Playing down-hill, the green is reachable in two, but the second shot will cause heart palpitations as players must adjust to a down-hill, left-to-right-sloping lie with water right and sand short left. It takes huevos grandes to get home in two. The lay-up is no cinch either, as the landing area is fairly slim and sloped from left to right towards water. We can't wait to get back and play this course.
Great course and the food at the Quill Creek Cafe features a traditional American menu with a Southwestern flare, and both the dining room and the patio offer stunning views of the golf course and nearby McDowell Mountains. Grayhawk was on of several courses that we played during a 7 day golfing vacation where we played 150 holes and did lots of other fun things – read our Golfing Vacation in Scottsdale to learn more about this fun trip.