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 Raptor read our review of Raptor.
Talon is the more scenic of the two 18s and it plays through some beautiful Sonoran desert scenery with breathtaking views of the nearby McDowell Mountains and the distant skyline of Phoenix and Scottsdale. It leverages the natural terrain and plays past Mesquite, Palo Verde, and Ironwood trees, flowering and colorful desert fauna of all types, ancient Saguaros of all sorts of weird shapes and sizes, and around and across some deep box canyons. #13 gets you up close and personal with a big box canyon, appropriately named Heaven or Hell #13 is a short 303 yard dog leg right par 4 where you need to carry a deep box canyon, land on a wide but relatively short fairway and miss one of the 8 large, steep, and deep fairway bunkers. #13 offers an excellent risk reward opportunity – the long hitters can go for the green but have to carry more of the box canyon and avoid the front green-side bunkers.
The course designers must have moved a lot of desert around to sink the fairways into the desert, create all of the mounding and hills, and give the fairways lots of undulation and contour. Talon has some really fun and challenging holes, for example:
#2 a 346 dog leg right that will test your "go for it" attitude where you need to carry the desert and fly the huge bunker all along the right side of the dog leg to shorten the hole
#3 is a 505 yard par 5 with an uphill green with deep bunkers on the right side and lots of contour and slopes and valleys on the way to the green
#17 is a very pretty island green – in the middle of the desert!
the finishing hole is fantastic – beautiful, lots of sand, water, and a well protected green
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 to learn more about this fun trip.